With millions being funnelled into transfers and teams acting as global companies and franchises it is hard to remember a simpler time for football.
Without Saudi owners, divine intervention or a sudden urge for Ronaldo to come to Turf Moor, it is unlikely that Burnley will ever win the Premier League, although they have made good fist of staying in the division for the past six years.
But there was a time when Burnley were one of the powerhouses of English football, even before the golden era of Harry Potts in the 1950s and 1960s.
Yesterday (May 7) marked a full century since Burnley were crowned Division One champions of England, having drawn 2-2 with Sunderland at Turf Moor on the final day of the season.
This is the story of John Haworth's men in claret and blue, who went unbeaten for 30 league games, a record beaten only by Arsenal's Invincibles in 2004.
Pre-season, summer transfers and background
Burnley had endured a successful 1919-1920 season, finishing runners up in the league.
The first football season since the end of the First World War pointed towards a new dawn for the Clarets, who had last secured silverware since 1914 when they lifted the FA Cup after beating Liverpool at Wembley.
However, the 1919/20 campaign wasn't without its controversial moments for the Clarets.
Howarth's side were fined £20 in March after it was found they had broken transfer rules in approaching E Bradbury from South Bank FC.
They also made headlines, for all the wrong reasons, in Scotland. In April, Renton FC complained to the FA after L. Roberts was unfairly sold to Hamilton Academicals.
But Burnley were keen to wipe the slate clean. 1920/1921 was, after all, a new season.
Manager John Howarth had been at the club since 1910 and he, and club captain Tommy Boyle, were confident that Burnley would enjoy another prolific league season.
The skipper even told the local press that the Clarets could win the title.
Burnley did not play any pre-season friendly games during the summer of 1920, the reason for this was never made clear but it was an odd choice even by the amateurish standards of the day, especially for a side like Burnley who were widely considered to have some of the best sporting facilities in the country.
A practice match between the first team and the reserves, which was watched by a crowd of around 10,000 at Turf Moor and saw gate receipts donated to the Burnley Nursing Association, was the only training they had before the season began.
It meant that Howarth's men had last played a competitive game back in May (four months prior) a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Lancashire Senior Cup.
Although the core of Burnley's squad remained the same, there was a sense of dead wood being cut from the club when it came to transfers.
The movement of players happened throughout the year in those days and in-season transfers will be mentioned later on in this season.
Burnley brought in three players in August, buying goalkeeper Frank Birchenough from West Ham United and defender Bob McGrory from Dumbarton. George Richardson, a non-league signing from Horden Athletic, also joined the ranks of Burnley's defence.
James Twiss, Patrick Norris and Billy Clarkson, forwards who had played fewer than 10 games for Burnley between them, all exited the club before the season began.
The squad that lined up for the start of the 1920/21 season was much the same as last year and strong because of it.
Burnley favourite Boyle, a 1920s Ben Mee, was a stalwart at half-back (a holding midfielder/defender) with his partner-in-crime Billy Watson, while full-back (in those days literally a "full" back as in a full time defender), Len Smelt was an ever-present in the back line, battening down the hatches from deep.
The Clarets also had plenty of fire power up top. In those days they lined up with five attackers (yes that's five) with a single centre forward supported by wingers and inside forwards.
Scottish striker Joe Anderson was the Claret's number one choice up front throughout the season, he had arrived in 1919 from Clydebank and had set the league alight. He was supported by inside forwards, Bob Kelly and Benny Cross.
Lining up in a 2-3-5 formation, two full-backs, three half-backs, two wingers (or wing-halfs), two inside forwards and a single striker. Also known as the "pyramid" the formation would become famous across Europe, with pioneering Hungarian teams using it to great effect.
The system also allowed the Italian national team to win back-to-back World Cups in the 1930s.
In a sense, this was Burnley bringing a pioneering formation to the English game.
August to October: A false start
Despite their pre-season enthusiasm, Burnley were crippled by a slow start to the season, losing their first three fixtures to Bradford City, who had finished 15th the season before, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City again.
Howarth's men conceded seven goals with just one scored and sat at the base of the league table as September rolled around. This run of defeats was Burnley's worst start to a league season since 1906–07, when they had also lost their opening three matches.
The defeats led to a major team shake-up.
Goalkeeper Jerry Dawson and defender Boyle were reinstated to the starting XI, while Bert Freeman and James Lindsay were dropped in favour of Billy Nesbitt and Benny Cross, respectively.
Full-back Tom Brophy was also signed from St Helens Town, although he rarely featured.
This was a significant point in the season as Freeman, who was Burnley's all-time greatest goalscorer at the time, never regained his position as a first-team player. He had netted 103 times in 166 games for the Clarets but his demotion at the start of the season was the death knell for his Burnley career.
Burnley picked up their first two points on September 6, 1920, beating Huddersfield Town 3-0 at Turf Moor with Bob Kelly, Tommy Boyle, and Billy Nesbitt scoring.
A win against Middlesbrough, followed by a 0-0 draw, was rounded-off nicely when the Clarets thumped Chelsea 4-0 at Turf Moor. Boyle, Kelly, Cross and Nesbitt all grabbed their second goals of the season, fully instilling Burnley's attacking five as a force to be reckoned with.
West Bromwich Albion's Len Moorwood was signed in October to provide further goalkeeping backup while Tom Bamford and Richard Cragg both exited, neither had featured heavily for Howarth's side.
October began with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge before Burnley won four on the bounce, fully dispelling their shaky start to the campaign.
The Clarets 2-0 victory over Spurs was the first time that season any team had been able to prevent Tottenham from scoring in a league match. Anderson had now bagged six league goals and Kelly five.
In typical Burnley style (did anyone say "anti-football?") the team's performance at White Hart Lane was slammed by Daily Mail reporters who claimed Burnley had set out to stifle their opponents and in doing so "spoilt the match."
Some things never change.
Burnley, who had started September at the foot of the table, were now sitting pretty in fourth.
November to January: Dominance
Burnley carried on their winning streak into November. Goals from Bob Kelly, Tommy Boyle and Benny Cross helping them defeat Newcastle United 3-1 at home. They dispatched the Magpies again in the following match, the victory hoisted the Clarets into second.
Howarth's freescoring side, who were also showing their solidity with five clean sheets in 14, were building Turf Moor into a fortress, having only lost there once since the opening day of the season.
A 2-2 draw with Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on November 20, was enough for Burnley to top the league on goal average. It was only 11 weeks since they had sat at the foot of the table.
Burnley celebrated their newfound success by battering Oldham 7-1 with Kelly netting four goals, bringing his league season tally up to 11.
A win and a draw against Liverpool, followed by a 2-0 victory over Lancashire rivals Preston North End, took Burnley into the Christmas period three points clear at the top.
Burnley set a club-record 17-game unbeaten run on Christmas Day 1920 when they sank Sheffield United 6-0.
Transfer activity continued for the Clarets after inside forward Jack Lane was brought in from Cradley Heath before the new year.
January just brought more good results for Howarth's men with Burnley dispatching Preston, and then Blackburn. The Clarets put seven past their rivals over both matches.
Anderson pulled ahead as Burnely's top scorer after he netted his 15th goal of the league season against Rovers.
February to May: The final flourish
The relentless Burnley machine didn't seem capable of stopping.
On February 5, Anderson scored five as Burnley annihilated Aston Villa, recording their second 7-1 win of the season. The striker was continually lauded by the football reporters at the Burnley Express who described him as a "menace" to defenders.
The paper even published a cartoon of Aston Villa goalkeeper, Sam Hardy, who they claim was more than eager to run from the pitch after the full-time whistle had been blown.
The result saw Burnley equal the Football League record of 22 matches unbeaten, putting them on par with Sheffield United and Preston North End. A new league unbeaten record was set, following a 0–0 draw with Aston Villa, four days later.
Despite losing half-back George Halley to an illness, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season, Burnley secured a late home win over Derby County in the next fixture. The win sent The Rams to the bottom of the league table.
Before February ended, defender John Pearson and winger George Douglas were brought in to bolster the ranks.
Howarth's side concluded the month with an emphatic 3-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in front of a crowd of 42,653; at the time it was the largest league attendance ever at Turf Moor.
Burnley continued to cruise throughout Spring, taking four points from the next three matches.
They drew at Bolton, beat Arsenal at Turf Moor and then drew at Highbury.
A late Benny Cross goal gave Burnley a 1-0 win over Manchester United the following week, extending the team's unbeaten record to 30 matches.
Burnley lost their first league game since September 1920 at Hyde Road on March 26 when Manchester City dispatched them 3-0
This was a real wobble for the Clarets as City were also challenging for the league title and eventually finished as runners-up. But Burnley exacted their revenge in early April by beating both Manchester clubs in successive fixtures, to bring their league win tally for the season up to 23.
The team suffered its fifth league defeat of the campaign on April 9, losing 0–2 away at West Bromwich Albion. This was followed by a one-all draw with the Baggies seven days later.
From the outside looking in, Burnley were running out of puff. Their form had dipped throughout March and April with a smattering of draws.
But in reality the Clarets still had a trick or two up their sleeves.
Anderson had already bagged 25 league goals (a tally which would see him finish as Burnley's top scorer) while Cross and Boyle were still adding their own contributions week-in, week-out.
Howarth's men needed just one point from their April fixture with Everton to clinch the league championship.
The Toffees took the lead 15 minutes into the game, but Benny Cross scored the equalising goal three minutes later before Burnley held on to become English champions for the first time in their history.
The Burnley Express lauded the side as "the greatest team that ever was."
The league campaign ended with a 2–2 draw against Sunderland on May 7, 1921.
The draw took Burnley to a tally of 59 points, five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, and one short of West Bromwich Albion's then-record league total of 60 points set the previous season.
At half-time the championship trophy was paraded around Turf Moor pitch accompanied by a marching band.
After the full-time whistle was blown, supporters swarmed the pitch to celebrate the team's success before the trophy was presented to captain Tommy Boyle.
The season ended with a bitter-sweet taste when Bert Freeman left the club after nine years service.