No matter how often you remind yourself that footballers, unlike fans, really don’t have any feelings for their club and are simply doing a job for an employer, it is still shocking when one of your favourites decides to leave.

Robbie Blake is the best player I have seen in a Burnley shirt since Trevor Steven over 20 years ago. I’ve always felt he is good enough to play in the Premier League (or Serie A or La Liga for that matter) but when a transfer to Wigan Athletic is justified on the grounds of ambition it hurts every Burnley fan.

When we were champions of England, playing in the European Cup, Wigan Athletic were a non-league club struggling in a rugby league town. I suppose it could be worse – he might have gone to Blackburn.

I doubt we will be able to replace Blake with a player of similar class. We are in midtable but with a tiny squad and the money we get for him (over a million) will probably be used to bulk up the size of the squad with three or four players. We also need the money as well – last night at the AGM the go-ahead was given to sell our ground and our training facilities to a company owned by the chairman to help pay off debts.

Merry Christmas Robbie.

Update: Here is a thoughtful piece from a Burnley fan who realises that Robbie Blake is simply doing what professional footballers do.