Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday May 12 2006
Joint statement from Aston Villa Shareholders Association and Villa Fans Combined....
Doug Ellis told fans in the programme that 'we are moving in the right direction'.
It would be nice if he could explain to all fans and shareholders exactly what that direction is? Does he mean in the direction of the Championship because that is where we are heading?
Aston Villa should not be moving in any direction because WE SHOULD ALREADY BE THERE and before the Menace of B6 returned we were! Now we have no money, a tiny squad, a manager who is hugely unpopular and a set of fans who are leaving in their thousands.
After 22 years of Doug Ellis' 'guidance' we are so far away from being a top ten club that the board have had to revert to telling everyone Villa are the 'Kings of the Midlands'. That might be good enough for Ellis and our incumbent board but it isn't and never will be good enough for the fans, shareholders and the heritage of this fantastic club. If these people had any pride and self-respect, they would step down with immediate effect. None of them have or will.
David O'Leary has managed to deflect a great deal of anger away from Ellis this season with his disastrous pr statements and poor team performances but what is he expected to achieve next season - if indeed he remains as our manager - if he has to sell from an already wafer thin squad before he can buy? No matter how bad a job the manager has done this season the main finger of blame has to point at Ellis.
It is obvious that the Comer bid isn't coming - if indeed it ever was - so Ellis can stop hiding behind that excuse. It is also evident that the asking price that Doug has set conflicts with the valuation put on the club by potential investors who will not pay over the odds for the shares when they know at least £20million is needed to strengthen the team and a further £8million is needed for the Bodymoor Heath re-development.
It is all well and good saying that the club is in the hands of Rothschild and is up for sale but if the price isn't realistic, Ellis knows full well that it won't sell and the status quo remains.
Both the chairman and manager have treated the fans with a great deal of disrespect and the result has been only TWO attendances over 40 000 and a massive 7% drop in overall attendances. Next season promises to get much worse with many fans refusing to renew season tickets and talking about boycotting the club until Ellis has gone.
Quite what can be done without potential investors coming forward and stating that they won't meet the valuation, the larger shareholders calling for an EGM or indeed the board acting as they should and removing Ellis from his position, we don't know. What we do know is if something doesn't happen this summer, next season will be yet another struggle on and off the pitch.
It seems obvious that we have a joke of a chairman and a joke of a board. The only people once again left not laughing are the fans and shareholders of Aston Villa.
Date:Friday May 12 2006
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