Writer: Jake Findlay
Date:Friday July 27 2007
This summer is yet another example of AVFC missing critical opportunities in her recent history. I am sorry to say that the board and management have failed to understand the genuine sensitivity and fragility of Villa supporters. We have stood by this club despite being treated with contempt for the best part of twenty five years.
After the fantastic finale to the season and that glorious European cup celebration the board should have seized the opportunity and moved heaven and earth to secure the world class signings we craved - and were promised. This would have created such euphoria that I believe we would have hit 30 to 35K season ticket sales.
Clearly the policy is now to find 'value for money' signings. Unfortunately increased TV money and the influx of billionaire owners has ensured that we are suffering inflated transfer prices. Therefore real value for money will not be possible in the next few seasons.
I fear that value for money is now another phrase for cheap gambles. I wish Harewood well but he is not someone the big four or even WHAM, Spurs or now Man City would ever have considered. Can you imagine Ferguson beaming alongside Harewood?
I have seen these missed opportunities so many times. After winning the European cup we failed to invest and we flopped.
When GT left us in second place we got a cheap manager and made one signing - the next season we collapsed.
When Big Ron got us to runners up Ellis closed the purse strings, we made no significant moves in the transfer market and the rot set in.
When Little won the league cup and achieved an FA cup semi and 4th in the premiership we followed it up with a meagre two signings and the slide began.
Even when DOL got us to 6th we signed Carthorse Cole on loan and an unknown French midfielder!
I hate being cynical but we must not have a realistic budget in the hideously inflated 2007 summer market. I believe we budgeted to spend based on the 06 market and have been caught cold by the amount of money other clubs are prepared to invest. We cannot, or will not, match them. Did you ever imagine we would have been outspent by Fulham, Man City, West Ham, Portsmouth, Spurs and soon Blues - when they sign Mido - never mind the big four? It is now embarrassing.
I cannot understand how the men at the top of the club have allowed this situation to occur
We are now relying on MON's considerable motivational skills - and hoping this will match the spending of other clubs. I fear this will not be enough.
I have bought my season tickets but the euphoria I felt at the end of the season has been replaced by the feeling I always have after a season of hope at VP - disappointment after a summer of missed opportunities and restricted signings.
JF:(temporary problem with images, but better to put up the content now I think!)
Date:Friday July 27 2007
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