Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday April 12 2006
Following on from:
Civil Action v Doug Ellis Part One
Civil Action v Doug Ellis Part Two
Maroon finishes off by explaining the relevance of the legal talk:
Now some may ask how is this relevant to what has transpired at Aston Villa. Our Chairman Doug Ellis has a reputation as one of England's most complacent and egotistical chairmen. He caused a storm in the mid-1990s when the Witton Lane Stand was renamed The Doug Ellis Stand. Critics point to the fact that other members of the board, rarely challenge Mr Ellis’ management and decisions.
13 former club managers have long criticised Mr Ellis’ lack of ambition,an uproar was caused when he was the first football director to pay himself a salary as high as £200,000 per annum in the 80 s. His professed love of Aston Villa has been questioned in light of the fact that he has served on the Boards of Villa’s arch-rivals, Birmingham City, Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers (as Chairman). There have been several supporter-led campaigns for Mr Ellis to stand down from his position, in recent years various interested parties have made unsuccessful attempts to buy Mr Ellis’ stake in the club.
In 2004, at the age of 80, Ellis agreed to relinquish some of his control of the club by appointing Bruce Langham as chief executive. Mr Langham resigned in May 2005, reportedly owing to a bust-up with Mr Ellis. He has claimed, to have invented the bicycle kick while representing England at football. There is no record of any player bearing his name ever being registered with the FA.
Doug Ellis has a long and unsuccessful association with Villa. He was part of a consortium that took over Villa in 1969. He was, immediately prior to this move a director of Birmingham City, our nearest rivals and stated that everyone in Birmingham should pull together, not to make the Blues the most successful team in the country, nor England, but Europe!. Since then he has been Chairman at Villa Park, apart from a brief period when he was ousted in a board room coup. This 5 year period was significant as Aston Villa, guided by manager Ron Saunders, whom Ellis wanted to sack, built a team that won the League Cup, the League Championship, European Cup and European Super Cup.
Based on the above facts, I hold Doug Herbert Ellis responsible for the demise of Aston Villa. The 14 managers under his reign were some of England's finest. DOL in the 3 years as manger has spent approximately 6 million pounds on players per year. A club with Villas tradition and size should have the resources to compete at the highest level. These resources in this age do not allow that, Fact , Reality.
I believe all of the above was allowed to happen in a culture of complacency, mis-information, cynicism, division and media manipulation.The sensationalist media is not interested in the English game, or reporting the facts, they already are destroying yet another world cup team with their frenzy of half truths on team divisions.
The English game has a tradition and a unique rivalry between clubs based on generations of loyal support. It reflects some of the better qualities of working class England and has served as an inspiration for generations of youth.The tradition of fair play and team spirit are part of that culture.
The point of this Article is that there is something we can do about it at Villa not just for the sake of Villa but the English game.
Aside from a Boycott after our next game, I believe that a civil action against Mr. Ellis is appropriate, even if it should end in a European Court. I believe Mr Ellis, at the age of 82, is not fit to run a Club the size of Villa. That the appropriate checks and balances are not in place and that his record with Villa, 14 managers later and a CEO of just one year are sufficient grounds for his immediate retirement. I further believe that no member of the present board is fit to serve for allowing this to happen. I believe that DOL deserves one more year with the proper resources to rebuild Villas football team.
I trust that Villains will make the right choices. Its up to you! But action is required. You are not powerless to change all of this. Aside from a boycott I believe a civil action is in order and I believe you need to help to get the word out, for Villa, for the sake of the English game, lets get back to a level playing pitch.
Date:Wednesday April 12 2006
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