Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday July 14 2006
I was called today whilst shopping at Sainsbury. To say I was shocked was an understatement, it was a reporter from the Birmingham Post saying the players of Aston Villa had released a statement against Doug Ellis. I was so happy I bought a can of beer (only the one mind, don't want to get carried away now!).
The only comment I could give until I collected my thoughts was how proud I was of the players as it proved how much they care for the club. It just shows their tenure at this once mighty club isn't just about money, they are ambitious and they want to win things AND THEY WANT TO DO IT HERE.
Doug Ellis, you should hang your head in shame. You have no one but yourself to blame and you should resign on the spot.
Rumours have circulated for a long while that Doug's penny pinching has increased to ridiculous levels, with talk of him going around Bodymoor Heath turning off the lights and crashing computers by turning them off at the mains and the man who has led Villa from a mighty to a crestfallen club now has to face the embarrassment of a player mutiny.
Three cheers for the players following this unprecedented release.
The players statement said:
'People talk about Aston Villa being a big club and winning the European Cup in 1982. We feel it should be a big club but if the chairman has got ambition, he needs to start showing it. It has to come from the top.'
Sounds familiar doesn't it? Managers, pundits and fans alike have said for years that the club have gone stale and that their is a lack of leadership from the top. Now the players have added their voice and lets face it, the players are the ones who live and breath the expectations and the disappointments.
'So many other clubs are doing so much to show their ambition apart from us. As players we're all ambitious and we want to improve on last season. The chairman should be behind the club and not working against what we're trying to achieve. There have been a series of cutbacks and we feel we have to mention this because they are now starting to affect us.'
'At the end of last season, the chairman refused to pay £300 for the pitches to be watered. The training ground development, which we were all looking forward to working in, has stopped.'
Remember, this was the development that Doug Ellis said was guaranteed because the £8million had been 'ring fenced'. Another Ellis lie.
'Now we have lost a masseur because the club refuse to pay for one and are clubbing together to pay for our own.'
'We have also heard that the physio, who was on his way to see Martin Laursen, could not claim back for a cup of coffee at the airport. We've had no explanation for the cutbacks and we feel if the manager (David O'Leary) can't get one, then we have no chance. Maybe the chairman thought he would have left by now because of the takeover. Supporters are concerned with what happens on the pitch and rightly so. But we feel with all the cutbacks, it is difficult to attain the targets we all share.'
'In the second half of last season, there was no investment in the team, a loan player - Eirik Bakke - was sent back to Leeds, and now we're unable to sign James Milner from Newcastle. There are no positives coming out of the club. We need to see a plan where the club is going and all the players feel the same. Every penny is being watched.'
It will be interesting to see if David O'Leary will now come out and back the players and release a further statement telling us what it is like working under the Ellis regime.
Everything most of us fans have feared would happen has happened, the club is on its knees. Queue a realistic bid and woe betide Doug Ellis if he blocks it.
Date:Friday July 14 2006
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