Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday July 24 2006
Is this speculation healthy?
All Villa fans, to differing degrees, are excited at the takeover talk and the links to this manager and that manager.
Obviously the Birmingham Mail broke with a name today, Randy Lerner, and we've got the latest round of 'the next biggest thing' stories circulating. We also have the internet at meltdown with Chinese whispers, rumours and people in the know. We are all as bad because we are all so desperate for change.
The question is, does all this speculation really help Aston Villa? The answer, quite clearly, has to be no. For one thing, some of the businessmen linked are serious players, they won't mess about and play games with Ellis, as attractive as Aston Villa might be, any shenanigan's and they'll be off
For another, where did this latest name come from? Do we really believe that advisers of Randy Lerner would want his name made public IF he was about to bid? How would that help before negotiations took place? All it would do is serve to drive up the share price which no potential suitor would want.
The only other way that potential suitors could be leaked to the press would be from within the club? Surely we aren't now seeing dirty tricks in order to put off bidders?
The acid test for all these stories has to be when a statement is made to the London Stock Exchange. Not from people 'in the know' online! When we get player rumours we say we'll believe it when they are 'in the shirt - on the pitch'. Maybe the same acid test should be put to these 'stories' and say 'in the boardroom, cheque books open!?'
Remember we've had Russians, South Americans, Arabians, Americans and Europeans all linked over the last few years, none of which has come to anything. Although we dearly want things to succeed and for our club to once again have an ambitious board to put Aston Villa back to where it belongs, maybe we all need to calm down and see how the next few weeks play out.
It is obvious to say that the vast majority of Villa fans and small shareholders would welcome professional, decent and well funded approaches and would hope that Rothschild do everything in their power to enable deals, what we don't want to do is to put potential suitors off approaching.
My fear is, if people are named before they have even approached, they may move on or that the latest round of 'links' will prove unfounded and just confuse the issue still further. As ever, Villa is being viewed as a soap opera, the media frenzy will no doubt not die down, it is just a shame to see names splashed on the front pages before deals are made - if indeed deals are going to be made.
Date:Monday July 24 2006
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