Aston Villa - Why Randy Lerner Pulled Out?
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Why Randy Lerner Pulled Out?

Joint statement from Aston Villa Shareholders Association and Villa Fans Combined.

The never ending saga of Mr Ellis seems to know no bounds, unless groups interested are willing to bow and scrape to our so called 'Mr Aston Villa` no matter how much money they have got or how good they would be for the club, they will have no chance of wrestling power away from one very destructive and sad individual.

Today`s events only go to illustrate just how farcical the situation is, not only has Mr Ellis let Aston Villa down but also the board of AVFC plc have let us down to a man for not controlling the 'chairman`.

Randy Lerner came to England with the intention of bidding for Aston Villa. His advisors and himself had been in contact with VFC and the Shareholders Association in order to gauge the fans feelings and they showed a great willingness to listen. There can`t be many billionaires in the world that would treat 'simple fans` with that level of respect.

Our information is that Mr Lerner had a meeting with Mr Ellis today that was described as 'farcical` because Mr Ellis tried to jostle for position and play one group off against another.

Mr Lerner had the funds in place and was willing to offer the full asking price. What he was not prepared for was the level of disrespect that Mr Ellis showed and was stunned to the point of walking out when Ellis said to Mr Lerner:

'Once you have bought the club, you will report to me.`

So not only does Mr Ellis want a kings ransom for his shares, he also wants to remain king.

Mr Ellis, by the time this is all finished, I think you will find out that you will be reporting to the fans, I think you should be prepared for a massive backlash as you have reduced our club to a farce for your own selfish ends.

You are not Mr Aston Villa, you are the Menace of B6 and I suggest you step aside before the start of the season or see what a Villa Park scorned really looks like.

(Please note, we haven`t and won`t endorse any bids or approaches, our fear is that if Mr Ellis treats one group with so much obvious potential and funding in this way, then he will treat them all the same. Instead of new owners and a top new manager, we could face a new season with an ailing 'chairman` and the 14th managerial victim).

Jonathan Fear, Chairman of The Aston Villa Shareholders Association.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 27 2006

Time: 12:34AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Typical Doug Ellis! Still cannot see him possibly being in charge of the club in the new season. The amount of pressure he will be under will be unbelieveable.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 00:50:00

I've finally come to the decision that I'll not return to Villa Park until that cancer has left. Heartbreaking but at some point you just have to make a stand.
The Fear
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 00:52:00

If this wasn't so sad and true, I would still be rolling around on the floor, has anyone considered a challenge based on his mental stability? Maybe the S (tupid).O (ld).C (unt). views Villa Park as a pyramid and when he falls off the perch so will Aston Villa, together buried, him in the centre circle and Villa Park opened as a shrine of rememberance. A beautiful but small park where fans can come and sit in their thousands and reflect upon the 80's and a place for Mr. J. Fear to walk his dog each day and for it to leave a gift on Mr. Ellis as a sign of his leadership.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 00:54:00

I am biiterly disappointed once again. This must rank along side Chinese water torcher. I have suffered like most Villa fans for a long time. I was there in 1969 as were a lot of us. Docherty said Villa fans would watch Villa shirt being hung out to dry. It was far less pain in 69 than 06. Villa fans are the best fans in the world why is it that we are treated with such utter distain? Come on Doug let my people go!
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 00:59:00

Well there goes perhaps an oportunity of a life time but then again who knows?
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 01:32:00

I will not return to Villa Park until radical change occurs ie Doug lets my people go and MON or someone equally as good steps in. We demand change.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 01:51:00

Absolutely appalling Disgusting. A disgrace. This man Ellis is the lowest of the low. The Lerner bid was a tremendous opportunity, and the old man has choosen to screw it up. He will no doubt do the same with the other bids. Meanwhile weak-kneed Stride and co yet again choose to turn a blind eye, and let the old fool continue his destruction of our great club.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 02:43:00

For the first time during 20 years of supporting Villa, I have lost total interest in the team. Until Doug Ellis goes, nothing else matters..doesn't matter what manager we have, who we sign, how many games we win..the cancer is not cured until he goes. I wont be going back until he's gone. And as for 'Once you have bought the club, you will report to me.` I am glad that has been leaked out. No seriously I am. Everyone from potential managers, to fans everywhere, the press...that quote if it was said is the biggest mistake Ellis has ever made.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 03:05:00

FEAR!!! Ask randy to come back. Please!
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 04:01:00

How do you know he said this?
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 04:50:00

Guys, I've been telling you for months, the Menace isn't going to sell. He's going through the motions of "attracting bidders" purely to keep the fans off his back. My guess is that Michael Neville won't produce the funds and that will be the Meance's guess as well. Randy Lerner was clearly a serious bidder and therefore a real threat to Doug's charade. Best caution of action for the Meance - humiliate him so he does an immediate about turn. If the Fear has a line of contact to this guy, may be he can convine him to stay interested? Time will tell but I certainly wouldn't put a penny on Michael Neville stumping up the cash and even if he does, the Menace will find a way out of accepting the bid. In the mind of the Menace, he's still going out in a box.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 07:45:00

I've got to say that I am gutted but not suprised. Seeing Ellis playing-up to the cameras at the airport on his return from holiday and outside VP last night you can see he just loves the attention. He claims that any takeover will proceed as long as it is in the best interests of AVFC. This is evidently not the case as any deal has to be in his best interests. A friend of mine lives next door to Ray Ranson. Now I am not for a moment endorsing that bid but the comment that came back was Ellis just would not talk business. He wanted to discuss the paintings hung in his office. He has simply lost the plot.
Cheshire Villan
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27/07/2006 08:07:00

I saw Mike Neville on SSN. Nicer house than mine but didn't look like the garden of a man that had 64 million. I know he is only the public face of a consortium but who are they? How much cash have they got? I don't know if Lerner would have been good for Villa or not but they have made the right noises and the real point is the role Ellis continues to see for himself which will doom all other takeover bids. Agree with many other posters - the board is a disgrace and I want ALL OF THEM gone. Seeing Ellis wandering around you can tell the bumbling fool isn't capable of making a cup of tea never mind conducting a multi million pound deal. Doug Ellis can see a new man could turn things round rapidly and wants to claim credit. His final legacy? The man who let a billionaire who wanted to buy Aston Villa walk away because Ellis couldn't/wouldn't.
Steve W
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 08:21:00

I just can't believe he's still messing things up. The statement says it all and let's hope it gets the media coverage it deserves so everyone knows what that senile old scrooge has done to our football club. There's a guy with the money and a proven track record, ready to take Aston Villa forward. That was Doug's 'criteria' for new owners and this just proves what an appalling businessman he is, and why he should have no place in any new regime at VP. Go things get nasty
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 08:35:00

I hope Ellis goes obviously. I just wondered why Lerner was so put of with Doug asking him to report to him, he'll only be alive a couple of years max, and could soon start forcing doug out of the picture. Steve W - Neville is a self made millionaire but almost all of the funding will have to come from his consortium rather than himself, as with the comers, they had the money, as I understand it, it'll be similar again. How much money they'll have for new players is anyone's guess. Not much sadly I guess.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 08:56:00

I'm sure about that thekentvillan! We've been comforting ourselves with the thought that he'll only have a couple of years left for a decade!
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 09:00:00

'I saw Mike Neville on SSN. Nicer house than mine but didn't look like the garden of a man that had 64 million' - brilliant!
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 09:01:00

MR FEAR GET BACK ON THE PHONE TO LERNER. Doug says you will report to me. Randy nods and says yes of course Mr Ellis. Randy buys and owns club and relocates Mr Ellis's office to the basement with no stair lift. Randy realises the club requires more cut backs as the cheif scout, masseur and water sprinkler was not enough. This means Mr Ellis has to be released from the payroll. Mr Lerner can then get on with his job - if you have his or his advisors number Mr Fear get back onto him please. I dont want Sven goran eriksson and become a hate club. I dont know anything about Nevilles consortium. We know Randy has got a helluva lot of cash and is good news for Villa we must do all we can. Just tell him to expect the farcical in his dealings with Ellis but once he owns the club Ellis has no real power.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 09:07:00

It's OK to say go ahead and buy Villa Randy, ignore Doug. But he won't let him buy it will he?
Steve W
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 09:26:00

Report Abuse
27/07/2006 09:28:00

Personally I think we are being a bit harsh on Doug. If this report is correct then I can not beleive that anyone could be so stupid or sick as to actually say those things. The man is clearly mentally deminished and we should now start putting pressure on Peter Ellis to have his father removed from all official functions on grounds of diminished mental capacity. He is a (financial and emotioan) danger to himself, Aston Villa Football club and his family. At this rate he will ruin the Ellis family and destroy the future for his children and grandchildren. We should not be angry with Mr Doug Ellis any longer, the responsibility lies with those around him who are responsible for looking after him and imposing checks and measures. That is the purpose of both a family and a board of directors, to look after their nearest and dearest, even when one has to be "cruel to be kind". Peter Ellis and Steve Stride, I now look to you to live up to your responsibilities and do what is right by Doug Ellis, yourselves and Aston Villa FC, remove him from official life (even if it means making him club president).
Villain Of The North
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:00:00

Jason, they aren't my conclusions, I know because I've been briefed on why he pulled out. I've never said whether he would be the best thing or not, I've not (and won't) back any group until all details are out (not that any of our backings will affect it when it is Doug and Petchey with the share stranglehold) BUT YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. A potential bidder was repelled by unaceptable demands of our chairman. A chairman is legally obliged to look after the interests of the shareholders, ALL SHAREHOLDERS, not just himself.

(Jason, please turn off your caps lock when posting on this site)
The Fear
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:01:00

Villain, when you surround yourself with yes men, the only thing you'll get is 'yes'. It is an undignified end to his era but as someone much closer to this than I'll ever be said, 'he only has himself to blame, he has brought it on himself'.
The Fear
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:02:00

it seems to have been pretty widely reported that Lerner backed out because of Ellis. SSN and BBC all reporting it, so it's pretty clear then Menace is at it again. Nobody is saying that Lerner was definitely the right man for Villa, but it would have been nice to have had the option to choose
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:06:00

As Doug is demanding more than market value for a takeover, perhaps Lerner or other interested parties could start buying stock at market value until they get more than 15% and then approach Petchey for his 20%, they would then own more of the club than Ellis and at very least, take control of the club. I don't care what Doug owns or what profit he makes, as long as he is no longer in control of AVFC. Or is this kind of approach against stock market rules? (I know that share prices would rise but as they are currently less than asking price maybe it would still work).
Villain Of The North
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:12:00

Agree VOTN that we want rid of Ellis at all costs. However, the new people do have to right for the club and although I was impressed with Neville on SSN yesterday, it's impossible to back any of the consortiums without knowing more details, e.g who will manage the team, will there be funds available to buy players and how much, and what role will the coffin dodger have in the new regime. Once again Ellis has single handedly destroyed all the optimism we felt yesterday and he is losing the last shreds of dignity he had remaining. For Lerner, it would be like one of us buying a house, and the previous owners telling us what wallpaper and carpets we could and couldn't have in the living room. Ridiculous
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:20:00

How can this happen..? mr Ellis is the major shareholder but as mr Fear points out he has to look after the best interests of all shareholders surely. there must be some rules that Ellis has broken and if so lets get him removed. ellis wants to sell the club AND remain in charge. He is mentally ill and has gone senial. Something must be done.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 10:32:00

If a billionaire in discussion with fans groups about the future of Aston Villa isn't good enough, who is going to be? Let's watch the Neville bid get slowly unravelled now. IF he is a real fan then he knows he has to play on Dougs ego. I hope however Doug has his keys taken off him and shown the door completely as the no.1 requirement for a fresh start at our beloved club.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 12:53:00

I`m gutted that Mr Lerner has walked away. Who actually heard Doug Ellis say "Once you have bought the club, you report to me?" I have given the benefit of the doubt to Ellis over some of the decisions made at B6, but this one is looking too hard to take. Yesterday was a sad, sad day for the fans, and players of Aston Villa Football Club.
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 13:01:00

If someone with the business pedigree of Mr Lerner and his associaes were seriously going to invest some reported 64m plus I would have thought that they would have done some very serious digging into the history, operations, profile and potential of the club they wish to buy. Surely they would therefore have become acutely aware that they would have to deal with a senile old sod who has clung onto power for 23 years or more, and resisted all comers in that time. So all it has taken is a meeting with him and they walk? Either there is more to come out in the wash or they do business in a very different way in the states, did he just think he was walking into a "corner shop" with his money and was going to walk off with the whole shop? Play hardball Randy you soft *****!
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 16:45:00

Without meaning any ill will to Doug. even if Learner allowed him to stay on as a non executive president, He'l only be there for 5 years max, He has to die sometime he is 82
Report Abuse
27/07/2006 16:49:00


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