Aston Villa - Randy Lerner Speaks Our Language
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Randy Lerner Speaks Our Language

I've purposely not mentioned this until today, but have asked and been advised I'll cause no offence by sharing this information.

I've mentioned before, mostly in passing, that myself and Navid Nazier have spent a great deal of time talking with advisors to Randy Lerner. I think the fact these people have approached the fans groups is a very positive sign for the future of the club. They are in no doubt that fans need to be treated as the life blood of the club and we've certainly hammered that point home.

We've spoken about the many gripes of Villa fans and how relations can be re-built. We've done our best to relay the mood of the fans whilst making it clear we don't speak for everyone (hopefully that sentence will avoid me getting yet another slating elsewhere!! It doesn't suite some agendas but you'll never see me quoted as saying I speak for all fans or all shareholders, quite frankly I'm not always master in my old household and I live alone!).

I am currently working on a document that I'll hand over to them, hopefully in the next day or so, outlining some of the gripes that we have all spoken of over the last few years. Many things are just so obvious and they've been amazed that they aren't already in place.

The lack of a museum has certainly struck home and there is an article by Janine Self of the Sun confirming that Randy Lerner will look at providing a Hall Of Fame type of set up.

The great thing is these guys don't do all the talking, they don't do any dictating but they do a great deal of listening.

I had the great honour of taking a call from Randy Lerner on Monday. The timing could not have been better, because for the first time I'd allowed myself a bottle of champagne to toast the bid. No sooner had I started supping than the phone rang. Luckily he rang before the bottle was emptied! He came over as a true gent, very down to earth, excited at the proposition and totally no nonsense.

I then spent some time yesterday with two of his American advisors and his British based advisor. It was a most enjoyable experience and again, these guys listen (either that or I speak so much they couldn't get a word in!).

So why do I like the bid? Believe it or not (and many won't I'm sure) it isn't because they approached us personally, it is because they approached the fans groups. The things we've suggested could just as easily have been done by Mr Ellis, but whereas - despite meeting us once - he kept us at arms length, these guys want the fans involved, they know the history and pride we have and intend to act as custodians building Aston Villa with us, not in-spite of us.


Will our history be honoured? Yes.
Will we be taken forward? Yes.
Will the team of 82 be included? Yes.
Will people who need honouring be embraced? Yes.
Will money be spent on the team? Yes.
Will Bodymoor Heath be made state of the art? Yes.
Will they plan to re-establish us as a global brand? Yes.
Will they sign Martin O'Neill up long term? Yes.
Will the fans be brought back into the fold? Yes.
Will the fans have representatives? Yes
Will they make me manager or chairman? Oooooooooh noooooooo. :-)

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 16 2006

Time: 10:47AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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He sounds to good to be true old Randolph. I can just imagine Jon face when he answered the phone "Hello" "Hi Jon it's Randy!!"
still skeggy
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16/08/2006 10:51:00

haha.. I bet he thought it was a wind up. Just 1 question, you say O'Neill will be signed up long term but when that question was asked of him on SkySports yesterday he denied it and said he doesnt believe in contracts. Seems to be some conflicting info.
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16/08/2006 10:57:00

I'm just waiting for the day Randy posts on this forum.
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16/08/2006 10:58:00

That would be great the trouble is if someone used the username Randy_Lerner we wouldn't believe him. Someone would insult him and he might banned us all.
still skeggy
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16/08/2006 11:05:00

No plans for a new North stand then, no? Diss-appoin-tingggg...
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16/08/2006 11:06:00

I think the corners need to be filled too. The atmposphere just gets lost in Villa Park. Filling the corners and making it more enclosed would make the place a hell of a lot louder.
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16/08/2006 11:13:00

Be careful Mr Fear, maybe Randy was checking you out. Remember the old mafia saying, "keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer".
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16/08/2006 11:25:00

Sorry to nitpick deano but i watched the interview on Sky Sports, MO'N actually declined to answer any questions on takeovers, transfers and contract extensions, stating he'd been to busy with the squad, he didnt say he didnt believe in contracts, just that he'd been in football for 15 years with 4 clubs. he also mentioned how great it was to be back in football. one thing i'd like to mention about that interview was how much the journo's like martin, every answer he declined was mentioned with a giggle from them. Its great to have the face of the club liked by the media and not an embarrasment to the fans.
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16/08/2006 12:01:00

am i still dreaming ???
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16/08/2006 12:24:00

Hmmm all I can say is that a few lower teams just got a little more worried.
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16/08/2006 12:47:00

I really hope this is the real deal, Randy Lerner sounds too good to be true, just that pessamistic side of me keeps nagging that something aint right. It's probably down to being constantly let down by Ellis' promises that I'm waiting for the inevitable down turn in events.
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16/08/2006 12:58:00

..and within a few seasons a few higher ones will be too :o)
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16/08/2006 13:04:00

how funny would it be if randy lerner posted on here...i think ive already thought of my 'new' user name, watch this space!
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16/08/2006 13:13:00

well played mr fear thansk for the update, if any deserves a presidents seat then it should be you, play your cards right with lerner and you could be sitting in the board room with dougie, your dream come true a chance to work closely with mr aston villa
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16/08/2006 13:15:00

I have to wonder if Mr Lerner has a plan though. He seems to be making promises he cant possibly keep without a huge investment which if he isn't a true villain could lead to massive losses. Is all this just politician talk?
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16/08/2006 13:48:00

The Cleveland Browns fans had a reputation as the best, rowdiest and most rabid fans in our football league. A special section of the new stadium was built for them. Beer and security restrictions cut down on the rowdiness (along with poor teams on the field), but Lerner loves the fans, even though he is an introverted, not quite "people person."
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16/08/2006 13:59:00

Can you ask him to put a star over the badge please.
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16/08/2006 15:22:00

All of this sounds more in a short space of time than Doug Ellis ever did which speaks volumes for Lerner and his team in wanting to build closer links with supporters. We badly need it too. I'm sure he will do things sometimes that we don't agree with over the years - you can never please everyone..but at least he's willing to listen and that's a very encouraging start.
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16/08/2006 15:43:00

Leothelion and Deanovilla, there are already council approved plans for the redevelopment of the North Stand, taking the capacity to 52,000. The reason that this has not happened is because of our failure to regularly fill the 42,500 seats that we have. As for atmosphere I think you will find that we have to sing first before there is an atmosphere to lose. At times VP is wonderful (B-lose last season) but any noise is often generated from those at the back of the Holte. I am unsure of where you sit, but it is up to all fans to generate the desired atmosphere. So for anybody that is reading this lets start the campaign to get everybody singing. Trinity, Witton Lane, top of the North Stand as well as the Holte. Don't be shy, sing your hearts out for the lads and if somebody next to you complains tell them to like it, lump it, or join in. VP in full voice scares the life out of our opposition so lets do our bit to make matchdays as truly memorable as possible.
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16/08/2006 15:48:00

totally agree voiceoftheholte, i sit in the witton and have done since i was 4 with my dad, mr brother and his mrs are season tickets holders in the holte. sometimes in the witton you end up near a family of oppostion fans, which makes you sing louder, but i suggest if the person next to you asks you to quieten up, you direct them to the nearest crown green lawn, because football without singing is like cricket. boring.
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16/08/2006 16:03:00

I want a deal over and done with Padfield and his Billionaires can go away. Too many cooks spoil the broth etc, do you think a Judge will be willing to mix with the rank and file. I can see him now sitting with his wig wondering what the comman fans want? I dont think so, why is he afraid to say who is behind the consortium? It sounds like the game we used play as kids that my dad could beat your dad up!
NY Villa
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16/08/2006 16:35:00

Its articles like this that make you wonder why we are even giving the other suitors the time of day. Well we're not really, are we?
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16/08/2006 17:24:00

Far be it from me to be sceptical, but he is not exactly going to say 'no' to any of those questions is he? However it is commendable that he has taken the trouble to get in touch. I will be more impressed when meat is put on the bones though. For example if he said there will be a statue of Ron Saunders, Dennis Mortimer was to be recognised and welcomed as he should be and there was to be a club museum. All this to be in place by the start of the 2007/8 season. That would be impressive. Just to say 'yes' to those questions is just words. Lets hope we see action.
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16/08/2006 18:26:00

Come on the Fear! How real is this supposed bid from AV06? Surely they will have followed Randy's lead and tried to make contact aswell?
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16/08/2006 18:36:00

This all sounds great but i'm wondering how much the tickets will cost after a year or two. I don't mind paying a bit more if there going to invest it back though.
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16/08/2006 18:50:00

how great it is to be optimistic again after all these years and actually looking forward to the start of a season properly 4 the 1st time in years,im loving all this. tho if i had one gripe it is,i for one just want randy to finally take over and for all the speculation about this judge to go away because its not what villa need at the minute i dont think,2 ppl fighting over are great club.also we need it to happen sooner rather than later coz we really need fresh blood now even under are new messiah o'neill and then we can really start dreaming about europe again,now who wouldve thought we would be saying that this season. villa til i die.
Belfast Villain
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16/08/2006 20:39:00

I would love to see an American baseball style thing at the start of each home match. You know when they have an honourary guest such as a former player or manager throwing out the first pitch before the game. I think each week we should have one of the championship/european cup winning legends joining in the warm up or something, afterall they must be the least gloryfied champions ever! I mean imagine the reception & lift it would give the crowd to see Ron Saunders on the pitch or Ken McNaught, Gary Shaw or Jimmy Rimmer. The roof would be taken off especially if they egged us on to make some noise! INSTANT ATMOSPHERE!!
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16/08/2006 22:49:00

Great idea! How about getting one of them to lead out the team with one of the mascots?
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16/08/2006 22:58:00

Think it all sounds superb! Am a little concerned whether we will get some fresh blood in quickly though, just feel we will miss Milner somewhat. I know a few were blooded last season but will be another couple of years before they start to reach their potential consistently. Whilst i have no doubt M O N will get improvement from most will this not just level out the fact that all the teams around us have strengthened considerably over the summer? This would mean we could be in the lower reaches by christmas & unable to strengthen till Jan, which is always a rather poor market anyway. I feel it is vital we get at least a couple in August.
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16/08/2006 23:03:00

Even more reason for shareholders to send those forms straight back and ignore the whinges and whinings of AV06 !!!
Report Abuse
16/08/2006 23:07:00

Absolutely agree Penfold17, you can see straightaway that they are totally out of touch with what us fans want, seems exactly like a judge thinking "how shall i impress common footy fans? Oh i know i will say we've got 2 billionaires...Haw haw haw" must think we're thick or something!
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16/08/2006 23:13:00

Ok maybe they have got good backing & they will come out with some unbelievable bid whilst revealing there plans & who the backers are in an attempt to land an almighty knockout blow to the Lerner camp... Who knows? Just i am very impressed with the things Randy is saying and the way he obviously loves seeing the fans excited.. Rare qualities indeed!!
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16/08/2006 23:23:00


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