Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday December 30 2005
Well, I'd expected an announcement to the City this week, but I didn't realise it would be this type! It is basically a 'holding' announcement to announce nothing.
The consortium headed by Michael Neville and backed mainly - but not exclusively I understand - by the Comer Homes group, have formed a company called Aston Villa Investments Limited (Avil). I believe Doug has one called Ellis Vanity Isn't Limited (Evil), although I could be wrong!
The announcement says that talks are ongoing and that due diligence is still in place. However, despite claims by Doug Ellis at the AGM that the deal should be sorted within a month, it looks they are no closer to actually deciding whether to actually bid at all.
The statement to the Stock Exchange read:
'Discussions are ongoing with Aston Villa PLC's advisors. Due diligence is progressing and Avil is focused on settling its financing arrangements. Avil also wishes to make it clear that it is committed to concluding a transaction on terms acceptable to the major shareholders of Aston Villa and to enable the club to prosper in the future.'
Adding, most worryingly:
'For the avoidance of doubt there can be no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which an offer might be made nor as to the timing of any offer.'
So, what does that mean for the club? Limbo unfortunately. The status quo with Ellis in charge remains, the fact we have no Financial Director or Chief Executive will continue and the lack of funds for the manager to spend on some desperately needed re-enforcements, especially in defence, will remain non-forthcoming. In actual fact, Doug Ellis has the perfect excuse to let the club drift without much criticism.
And who cops out the most? The fans and shareholders. Oh, and the rumour mill will be able to keep ticking along with people suggesting the Avil Group aren't the only ones looking.
Still, at least it isn't an announcement saying that they have withdrawn their interest.
Interesting times? Maybe. Or in other words? Status Quo rules at Villa. Happy New Year! Why not join in our latest poll asking if you think the takeover will ever happen.
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Go on, get vitalled!
Date:Friday December 30 2005
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