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Doug Ellis & Neville Chamberlain

After reading much of the debate regarding the past under Doug Ellis and the future under Randy Lerner, I cannot help but be reminded of the political situation in Britain in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Doug Ellis should be thought of as Neville Chamberlain. He found himself in a position of power and the view of many is that he didn't help the country at all.

Chamberlain, a Brummie himself, could be considered to be someone who nearly destroyed the country through his actions - or inaction - but others would claim that the time from Munich to Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, the Appeasement Era, ensured the nation was at least in a position to defend itself.

But, and it is a big but, he stayed on for far too long. Once he realised he had made too many mistakes, Chamberlain should have stood down, but the former Lord Mayor of Birmingham didn't.

So, a man who had spent a lifetime serving the public became vilified by his peers, by members of the House of Commons and by the wider public. It took the debacle of the Norwegian campaign, the invasion of France and the Low Countries, and a vote of no confidence in Parliament to get rid of him.

One of the most powerful speeches of the No Confidence debate was from Leo Amery MP. He used the same words that Oliver Cromwell had used to the Long Parliament: 'You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.'

Perhaps this could be compared to the last days of David O'Leary, perhaps not.

However, despite all his failings, the country was still in a good enough condition, with improved defences and the like, for Winston Churchill (half-American, with a father, son and great-grandson all named Randolph) to come in and face Nazi tyranny across the Channel and, eventually, emerge victorious.

Neville Chamberlain could not have won the war, but without his work could Churchill have won it?

So I put it that, despite all of his faults, Ellis should be remembered as a man who at least kept the club in one piece, making in possible for Randy to eventually come alone and save the day, as it were.

And as a footnote - what became of Neville Chamberlain after he gave up power? He died within six months of leaving office...

Article sent in by johnnyrotterdam




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 18 2006

Time: 4:04PM

Your Comments

Why give this man any more attention, Lets put him behind us rename that stand and pretend it was just a bad dream.
silkie villain
Johnny there wouldn't have been a Rotterdam in your user name if that parasite had been in control in our most successful period since the eighteen hundreds.
chris the villan
i think its an absolute valid point that because we were run as a business by Ellis, like it or like it not, that we were an attractive proposition for any potential buyers and we are where we are now because of that.
themightyatom
The consortium that Ellis was involved with in 1968, saved the Villa from possible extinction. The work that went in over the next few years eventually led to that great night in Rotterdam. Although Ellis was not in situ for our greatest years (and didn't he make us suffer for it??), it would be unfair to discredit his role in the previous years. However he should never have come back in 1982. The last 24 years, with exceptions, have been a bad dream. The youth set up, is in no small part, something of which Ellis can be proud. But other than that he should be ashamed of what he did to our (not his ... our) club. As the General has said, "you do not steer a ship by its wake". So no looking back. Ellis, like it not is part of our history. Only time will tell, how history views the Lerner era.
utv-sotc
From studying history at Alevel, i would say you have missed the other side of the argument that what other options did chamberlain have but to take appeasement, the economy was at a low, public didnt want a war, army wasnt ready a knock on affect from the economy and chamberlain wasnt a believer of war, from this I say doug would have his views and arguments, i do agree with what is sais but there is two sides to every argument! any way why am we still talkin about ellis? Randy is now what we should be focusing on.
meakers
This on-going chat about Doug is the 'bad dream' - NOT his last 24 years! Those that lived through the last years of the 60s will know what a 'bad dream' was - 1982 to 2006 was not that bad (well, 1988 to 2000 anyway), and nowhere near the state of affairs as in the late 60s. And now linking Neville Chamberlain - basically a decent feller - with Doug as well? I don't beleeeeve it!
the_lergy
think the Doug argument will rumble on for a while more yet because whether we liked him or not he is a massive part of our history now. Happily the word HISTORY is the main part. I don't think the argument washes that he had us in a good position for a takeover, he has left us 10 years behind the likes of Arsenal, Man Utd etc and could have got the same sort of result sale wise at least 10 years ago but certainly 5-6 years ago when VFC started saying he should put it in the hands of a merchant bank. If you took the time to read the accounts of the last few years, you'd see the mess we were getting into. Ho hum, the wicked witch is dead, lets see what the next chapter at Villa brings us.
The Fear
Jonathan - when is this going to stop? What might have been is what it is - what MIGHT have been. Of course he made mistakes, but the point really is that he's been a main part of the last 37 years, not just the past "few", and in most of those 37 years whilst he was around Villa were mostly not doing too badly - a BIG difference over pre-68, and the best since probably before WW1!!!!! OK, I know he was not at Villa in '80-82, but his "massive part of our history" has been reasonable good. The events of the past few years (5 or 6) are sad, correct, but you don't judge a man's entire career on those years, or a few personal traits and attitudes that some have taken exception to. I think Gneeral Kulak put it as it should be said.
the_lergy
Not quite sure that Neville Chamberlain deserves the comparison, but....point definitely taken.
glensider
 

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