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Ipswich manager George Burley
"It's down to the team"
 real 14k

Monday, 21 May, 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Burley scoops top manager award
George Burley with his award
Burley has had an outstanding season with Ipswich
Ipswich boss George Burley has been voted Carling Manager of the Year.

Burley, who led the East Anglian side to fifth in their first Premiership campaign, beat Liverpool's treble cup winning manager Gerard Houllier, Premier League winners Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Leeds' David O'Leary.

He was presented with his award at a League Managers' Association dinner in Nottingham on Monday evening.

Burley guided Ipswich to the Premier League this season - at the fourth time of asking - and they have stunned many football observers who had them down as relegation certainties at the start of the season.


To survive against the big names and big spenders as a newly promoted club is impressive
  George Burley
But right up until the final game of the season they were battling for a place in the Champions League and have secured a Uefa Cup spot.

Although the ex-Scotland international has had an outstanding season, many will wonder why he has got the nod ahead of Houllier.

The Liverpool boss captured the Uefa Cup, FA Cup and Worthington Cup as well as finishing third in the League.

However, the votes were cast in the week leading up to the FA Cup final, before Liverpool had won two of their cups.

And Ferguson was also a strong favourite to win what would have been his sixth award.

United won the League title in mid-April for the seventh time in nine seasons but Champions League success eluded them.

A 16-strong panel voted for their manager of the year.

A panel spokesman said: "George Burley has all the attributes of a fine manager, on a small budget he has bought and sold wisely and moulded a team that has played some of the most attractive football in the Carling Premiership.

"Promotion to the top flight is a big step up and to survive against the big names and big spenders as a newly promoted club is impressive, to take that side to a European qualification spot is outstanding.

"Burley looks set be the manager who will bring back the glory days to Portman Road."

The Carling voting panel in full is:

  • Adam Crozier, Football Association chief executive;
  • Richard Scudamore, Premier League chief executive;
  • Gordon Taylor, Professional Footballers Association chief executive;
  • John Barnwell, League Managers' Association chief executive;
  • Niall Sloane, BBC Sport;
  • Paul McNamara, BBC Sport;
  • Brian Barwick, ITV Sport;
  • Vic Wakeling, Sky Sports;
  • Alan Green, BBC Radio Sport;
  • Jonathan Pearce, Capital Radio;
  • Joe Melling, Football Writers Association;
  • Alex Montgomerie, Football Writers Association;
  • Neil Midgley, Referee's Association;
  • Ian Todd MBE, National Federation of Supporters Clubs;
  • Mark Hunter, marketing manager Bass Breweries;
  • Stuart Cain, head of sponsorship Bass Breweries.

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See also:

17 Apr 01 |  Football
Stubbs talks top managers
13 Apr 01 |  Sports Talk
Is Burley the season's best?
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