Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday April 25 2006
From what I have gathered in my fruitless attempts to get some clear information in the last two weeks, there is no takeover due at Aston Villa.
For all the hopeful talk that as soon as we were safe bids would be rolling in, the talk on the street now is - and it will come as no shock - the Comer bid is all but dead in the water as their interest has dropped lower than our attendances this season and although a valiant effort has no doubt been made by 'Solihull born life long Villa fan Michael Neville' to find investors (talk again has suggested he has been in and out of financial institutions for months), no one is jumping to the task. Rumours have persisted for the past few months that the Comer brothers, who have never been quoted remember and were only ever part of a consortium, have lost interest. The approach began last September, if they were going to bid they would have by now. Still, the spin around the AGM for the second year in a row about due diligence saved a few uncomfortable questions - that and the blatant LIE that £8million had been ring-fenced for the Bodymoor Heath redevelopment which is now being dramatically cut back. Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies.
With David O'Leary saying that he is in the dark with reference to his summer budget (you've got to laugh, Villa - Doug Ellis - budget? The words don't exactly fit together do they?) it looks like the summer could well be more gloomy than this diabolical season.
Contrary to whispers that David O'Leary would leave the Villa hotseat after the Sunderland game to save his reputation, it now appears that he will do no such thing (that would take guts and dignity I guess) and I'm not convinced that Doug - who is asking once again for cut backs in all departments and going around turning lights off after people - has the money to pay the manager, who is thought to be on nearly £2million a year, to depart.
From what a few sources can gather, approaches have been made to Rothschild investment specialists but nothing is at an advanced stage and there have just been preliminary talks.
Doug Ellis is entitled to ask for whatever he wishes for his shares BUT if he truly IS Mr Aston Villa (and most of us know that he isn't!) he would surely lower his asking price as long as he got guarantees that he could remain as a legend-in-his-own-lunch-time so he can stay in the executive boxes for the rest of his life AND that the money not used to line his pockets would be spent on the team.
All sounds very easy, but with Doug nothing is ever simple. Maybe we should re-visit the Sven stories and hope he finds a real Sheikh as opposed to a fake one. There aren't many clubs in the country with a catchment area as big as ours without any 'real' competition. The possibilities are endless with Villa, we just need to hope some rich bugger/s with decent modern business capabilities (and maybe a big enough ego to take on the job) finally wakes up to the chance. If not, the parking situation at Villa Park will be far easier next season as we'll lose more than the 7% in attendances that we have lost this season.
As you know, I like to end my articles on a positive note, so I'd like to tell you just how much I enjoyed my chocolate muffin after lunch.
Date:Tuesday April 25 2006
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