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The Raison d'etre For A Top 10 Club?

Following the comments by David O'Leary recently, I admitted that I couldn't argue with much of what he said but that if O'Leary says we budgeted for the top ten, why aren't we in the top ten?

Jeff Ray answered:

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here and agree with most of what he says as well. We are simply not a club with (available) financial resources to compete for Champions League Football. Top ten . . . well, to be honest, all that means to me is that we're not going to compete for much of anything but we're not in any real fear of relegation.

As for this season, Fear makes a good point. My only real counter is that with the takeover talks up in the air, it has been a rather unsettled year, perhaps that contributes to our lacklustre performances. We are six points out of tenth place and we are co league leaders in draws this season. A couple of lucky bounces and perhaps we are there.

Let me pose a different question though. What is the raison d'etre for a top ten club? When the season starts, what do we tell the players the goal is? What do we tell the shareholders the long term plan for the PLC is? As I said above, a top ten club to me means not going to go to Europe, not going to get relegated, and while a cup run is possible, it is likely to fail when one of the top clubs gets drawn. So, ultimately, what is the point? Is it to serve as a platform for a merchandising campaign? If so, that's a pretty sorry campaign - wear our gear, we're mediocre! Is it to turn a modest profit? What is the point?

This is, to me, the fundamental question facing Aston Villa. Yes, we are a top ten club budget wise. And, as far as I can see, the manager, no matter who he may be, is going to change that. But what is the long term plan? What is the long term goal? Because 'top ten club' is another way of saying 'we make up two of the games each season that the contenders and relegations clubs must play'. And I don't really want to be a makeweight. But, from what O'Leary said, our budget is basically set up to ensure that each year we will play 38 games of premiership football AND NOTHING MORE. And this is an issue that faces a number of clubs today. Really, who has the finances to seriously compete in the Champions League? Maybe three or four teams? Who has the money to compete to be in the first knockout stage? Maybe another two? For the rest, life is all about 38 games of Premiership football each season.

With thanks to Jeff Ray




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 9 2006

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think the comments by Jeff are excellent, the problem Villa have is they don't and never have had a long term plan, I don't think they have ever even had a medium term plan. Ellis isn't the sort of man who is capable of building for the future, if he was he would be leaving a legacy, in stead he will be leaving a squad in need of investment, an average manager and an 8million debt for the re-development of Bodymoor that HE allowed to become state of the arc. Villa are simply drifting and until we get some professionals (not Bodie and Doyle, they've had their day! Showing my age with that comment) we will continue to drift.
The Fear
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09/03/2006 10:20:00

I think the comments by Jeff are excellent, the problem Villa have is they don't and never have had a long term plan, I don't think they have ever even had a medium term plan. Ellis isn't the sort of man who is capable of building for the future, if he was he would be leaving a legacy, in stead he will be leaving a squad in need of investment, an average manager and an 8million debt for the re-development of Bodymoor that HE allowed to become state of the arc. Villa are simply drifting and until we get some professionals (not Bodie and Doyle, they've had their day! Showing my age with that comment) we will continue to drift.
The Fear
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09/03/2006 10:20:00

The writing on the wall began with the formation of the Premiership when the game became money savvy. There have always been big teams and also rans but Sky etc have magnified jsut a few of the big boys. Villa are in the second tier of Premiership footie - like the majority of Prem clubs. They exist merely to remain a member of the 'Prem club'. No less no more. A few more years of Chelsea/Man U/Liverpool/Arsenal and just watch the gates drop throughout the Prem! The sad thing is Villa were in the top tier in 92. If only the club had been lead by someone with vision. All we can do is repeat the mantra "The potential is there, the potential is there"
cropped
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09/03/2006 10:37:00

The writing on the wall began with the formation of the Premiership when the game became money savvy. There have always been big teams and also rans but Sky etc have magnified jsut a few of the big boys. Villa are in the second tier of Premiership footie - like the majority of Prem clubs. They exist merely to remain a member of the 'Prem club'. No less no more. A few more years of Chelsea/Man U/Liverpool/Arsenal and just watch the gates drop throughout the Prem! The sad thing is Villa were in the top tier in 92. If only the club had been lead by someone with vision. All we can do is repeat the mantra "The potential is there, the potential is there"
cropped
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09/03/2006 10:37:00

Alex Ferguson was widely quoted, on the formation of the Premiership, as saying he believed Aston Villa would be Man Utd main competition. Sadly lack of investment and lack of vision put pay to that scenario.
still skeggy
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09/03/2006 12:49:00

Alex Ferguson was widely quoted, on the formation of the Premiership, as saying he believed Aston Villa would be Man Utd main competition. Sadly lack of investment and lack of vision put pay to that scenario.
still skeggy
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09/03/2006 12:49:00

Good assesment there. The only thing I would add is that even tho we are perhaps no better than a top 10 club the manager should still challenge his players to get into Europe and push them as hard as possible. Admitting you are pleased with 10th is hardly going to give the players the correct desire to suceed is it?
DeanoVilla
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09/03/2006 12:52:00

Good assesment there. The only thing I would add is that even tho we are perhaps no better than a top 10 club the manager should still challenge his players to get into Europe and push them as hard as possible. Admitting you are pleased with 10th is hardly going to give the players the correct desire to suceed is it?
DeanoVilla
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09/03/2006 12:52:00

We weren't though Cropped, we finished second in the inaugral year of the Prem.
The Fear
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09/03/2006 14:15:00

We weren't though Cropped, we finished second in the inaugral year of the Prem.
The Fear
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09/03/2006 14:15:00

You could pose the question " What is the point of Aston Villa"
Erod
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10/03/2006 12:14:00

You could pose the question " What is the point of Aston Villa"
Erod
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10/03/2006 12:14:00

 

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