Aston Villa - Michael Neville Withdraws
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Michael Neville Withdraws

Statement by Michael Neville and Aston Villa Investments Limited (AVIL) concerning the takeover bid for Aston Villa Football Club

For Immediate Release

Since the formal bid was submitted by Randy Lerner to the Board of AVFC on the 14th August 2006 and subsequently accepted and endorsed, the consortium and I have spent many hours considering our position and whether to push forward with a bid or to bow out gracefully.

I did say publicly a few weeks ago that I hoped to put an official offer in for the club, but if my approach wasn`t successful, that my overriding wish was that someone would gain control who had the overall resources to take the club forward, and that they would have my absolute and total support. All I have ever wanted is to see Aston Villa return to their rightful place competing for honours both domestically and in Europe.

I have worked extremely hard for the last year to fulfil the dream of being involved with Aston Villa football club, and whilst the financial structure and backing was there to complete a transaction, the structure of that financing was not acceptable to the consortium or me.

It is clear that the overwhelming majority of supporters believe that Randy Lerner`s bid offers Aston Villa Football Club the most exciting future and a potential return to glory. After so many years of disappointment and mediocrity the ever-loyal Villa supporters deserve to see the club achieving the highest honours. I have come to the conclusion that together with the brilliant Martin O`Neill as manager, Randy Lerner and his team have the right credentials, the necessary finances and the pooled resources to restore the club to where all of us supporters want to see it, and with that in mind, I have decided to end my consortiums approach in order not to jeopardise the takeover in any way. I would also call upon all other potential bidders to stand aside and allow the will of the supporters to prevail. The transfer window will close soon and Martin O`Neill needs as much time as possible to strengthen the squad, and prepare for the new campaign.

I have tried to be been open and honest throughout this campaign, and have enjoyed my communications with the fans and trustee groups and would thank them for their advice and encouragement in the takeover attempt. I hope that in some way the AVIL consortium will be seen at the very least as acting as a catalyst in bringing forward other bidders.

I would also encourage everyone to thank Doug Ellis for his massive contribution to Aston Villa, he has been at the helm for a long time, and this club has the most fantastic foundation of any Premiership club, its there to be built upon, and to deliver the dream that he has begun and worked and toiled at for so long.

I want to formally extend to Randy Lerner and his team the very best of luck and would ask him to help take the club back to the very top. We Villans are very proud of the Claret and Blue and will expect to see Villa challenging the top four once again. I would also remind him that the fans of Aston Villa are second to none, and deserve nothing but respect for standing by the club during its lean years. I don`t think Randy Lerner will have ever experienced anything as exciting as a "full to the rafters" Villa Park.

I regret not being the person to bring forward the winning bid but I am confident the incoming group will do great things for our club both now and in the future.

Issued by Michael Neville on behalf of Aston Villa Investments Limited (AVIL)

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 24 2006

Time: 10:28AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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24/08/2006 10:35:00

Well played Michael Neville.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:47:00

Thanks for trying Mr Neville. Randy Lerner, come on down !
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:50:00

Andy Warhole once said "everybody get 15 minutes of fame during their life" Mr Neville has 10 mins left, maybe if he had put the money on the table he would of been in with a chance.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:55:00

So, remind me, is Still still in the picture and what about the QC Podcast ?
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:55:00

A very dignified and honourable statement. Well done Mr. Neville. Hope Padfield takes note!!
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:57:00

Never thought he had the funds, but well done for starting it off. Am I right in thinking that if there are no other bids today then Randy will have Ellis's and Petchey's shares and therefore be in control of the club? And then can MON start spending?
MON the Man
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:58:00

Fair play to him, he might have helped in getting the ball rolling but when it came down to it he has realised that he is never going to compete with the likes of Lerner. At least he is not getting in the way anymore.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 10:58:00

Michael, Thank you. When the history is written I do believe that you will be shown to have been the catalyst. Good luck in the future and thanks.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:03:00

Michael, you are a gentleman. UP THE VILLA!
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:11:00

Great result. Started the ball rolling and has taken a bow at the right time. Thanks for your efforts Michael. Good luck to you and yours. UP THE VILLA!!
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:16:00

Sounds like he should set up some where with O'Dreary
irish villa
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:32:00

Was told Padfield QC was withdrawing, which to be fair unless he puts in a cash bid today with no due diligence, he already has! By midnight tonight it will be over basically.
The Fear
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:32:00

Well done Michael Neville. He comes across as a really nice guy and a true gent. Let's hope Padfield takes note
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:35:00

Let us hope Padfield and AV06 have the same moral courage as Neville and withdraw gracefully. Please, let us give Randy the chance to do what he has promised, which includes backing out if it does not shake down the way he envisages. Now it is up to MO'N and the team.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:56:00

Ahh, bless. Almost feel sorry for him now.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 11:57:00

Ithink neville should be on the board under lerner, I think that would suit everyone, lerner= money and business then neville= villa at heart which lerner as admitted he is not. It would be a gr8 idea but cannot see it happening, cheers neville for all the hard work. The neville and lerner stand all the way instead of ellis stand
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 13:42:00

Lets hope Villa can push on now, lets get the new faces we need and put our great club where it belongs.Heres to a great future.
silkie villain
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 13:59:00

I had a funny feeling about him all the time, I am not sure if he ever had the funds and it was just a dream (like us all). Especially with the financing line. But who know what might have happened had he not been involved and pushing from last year. So well bowed out sir.
NY Villa
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 14:30:00

Fair play to the bloke, he thought he had the plans in place to be able to live the dream. I'm sure every single on eof us would have done the same if we thought we could.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 14:45:00

If its first statements were more like this then he might have got somewhere. Fair play for trying, cant fault him for having a go, i wouldnt have begrudged him too much if he did get control, but for me, Lerner is just too exciting an opportunity not to wantq
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 16:59:00

Thank you, at last. If you had been more "up-front" with your sources of finance from the start, there would have been less hosatility towards you. Perhaps, even support for your proposal. All the Villa fans ever wanted was for someone to take the Club, who they could trust. We think we have found that person in Randy Lerner. UP THE VILLA
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 17:11:00

Never been sure how genuine Neville really was. Didn't approve of all his actions, and think he should definitely have come clean over the ending of the Comers interest.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 18:26:00

Is it true that if AV06 or Still do not put in a counter bid as of midnight tonight then it's all over and Randy's in?
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 19:00:00

To quantify my last question, I've read various tabloid comics speculating about what's happening but thought I'd ask if anybody (Fear ?) has the definitive answer regarding the situation.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 19:07:00

Thank you Mr Neville for getting the ball rolling.
Report Abuse
24/08/2006 19:26:00


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