New Manager Arrival Feared?
With reports appearing in the Mail (the favoured outlet for leaks from the board) suggesting that Villa hope to make a managerial appointment in time for the pre season tour which begins on Monday, a number of worrying issues arise.
With Michael Neville's consortium having yet to arrange a meeting with Mr Aston Villa agreement would seem to be a long way off. Two other consortiums are thought to be interested and obviously an astute businessman such as Doug Ellis will want to weigh up the options and decide what is the best deal for Doug Ellis. Or Aston Villa if you prefer to believe that fairy story. Whatever he decides will take some time.
Though the USA option seems to be fading fans favourite Martin O'Neill is thought to be the first choice of both the Neville group and Randy Lerner. However it has been widely reported that O'Neill is not interested while Ellis remains in charge.
If a takeover is close - and many of us remain dubious about Ellis's true intentions - surely it would be irresponsible of the board to appoint a manager who did not meet with the approval of any new consortium. But with the League season three weeks away there is pressure on the board either to make an appointment or make it clear Roy Aitken will carry on in a caretaker role.
The appointment of Martin O'Neill would be fantastic for two reasons. Firstly, he is a proven manager who has vastly improved the standing of every club he has managed. Secondly, if his reported comments are true it would send a signal that the removal of Ellis from Villa Park was at hand.
However, the appointment of an unpopular manager (Hoddle, Souness, Reid - name your own particular muppet) would indicate that Ellis was not planning to leave any time soon. And we'd all love that, wouldn't we?
By Steve W