Burnley secured promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking after Vincent Kompany’s men won 2-1 at Middlesbrough on Friday.
A 19-game unbeaten league run has taken the Clarets 19 points clear of third-placed Luton, who have just six games remaining, at the top of the Championship.
The decision to act swiftly to land former Manchester City captain Kompany after his first managerial spell at Anderlecht came to an end has proved a masterstroke.
Many feared the worst when the Clarets’ six-year stay in the English top flight came to an end last season.
Due to the terms of a controversial leveraged takeover by an American consortium in late 2020, a “significant proportion” of a £65 million ($78 million) loan had to be repaid when they were relegated.
Nearly £70 million worth ($87 million) of players departed as Nick Pope, Dwight McNeil, Nathan Collins, and Maxwel Cornet were snapped up by Premier League clubs, while two pillars of the club’s stay in the top flight, Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, left on free transfers.
But Kompany has put together almost an entirely new squad at a fraction of the cost, with his knowledge of the Belgian market and connections at City helping to land bargains.
Burnley’s victory also helped Sheffield United edge closer to a Premier League return as Middlesbrough remain in fourth.