Date:Tuesday August 21 2007
Many of you will know of my post on here two days ago – 'Black Monday or Good Friday'. (Click Here) To summarise I set out an opinion, having read Gareth Barry had recently received a pay rise taking him up to £45k per week. I detailed factual financial information that showed how we lagged almost 50% behind the “Top Clubs” under HDE and argued on this evidence together with the recent exodus of players that the current wages bill has gone down significantly under Randy Lerner and the cost of “player-trading” (net transfer costs – “ins” minus “outs”) is negligible.
Because of this conclusion, I went on to state that I further believed that GB’s pay would be the limit on wages for future player acquisitions. In consequence, there was very little prospect of Aston Villa being able to attract any “top-signings” as previously predicted by the Chief Executive Officer, Richard Fitzgerald, Furthermore, with such a financial barrier to future acquisitions, there was virtually no prospect of the Club ever competing in Europe.
I concluded by asking Randy Lerner - “to either repudiate my assertions that our pay structure is a barrier to attracting “top-class” signings of International calibre. Alternatively and better still, prove my assertions unfounded by ensuring that at least one such “top-class” signing is made within the next two weeks”.
Today, I received the following response from General Krulak – “Krulak here. Not even sure how to respond to this post...a post without any intellectual rigor or basis behind it. A post that regurgitates Richard Fitzgerald's comment that has been discussed by myself no less than 20 times...a comment that was NOT the Club's position and NOT one that even falls within his remit. A post that presupposes that Randy Lerner has put a 'cap' on expenses for players and for the Club. If you are looking for a COMPLETE denial, you have got it!! Randy will support MON...simple as that. Let's face it; MON is in the best position to know what he needs for his Squad (now and for the future). He has scouts that also know what he wants and are out there doing their jobs. He knows he has an owner that will support him. Neither Randy, MON nor I have ever said that one year after taking over the Club we would be challenging ManU day in and day out. We are not there yet...BUT, that IS the goal and we WILL get there! BUT, we will get there in a timeframe that makes sense...and that will be lasting”.
Signed : Semper Fidelis, General Krulak
I have replied – “General Krulak - That is exactly the response that I wanted. But please try not to subjugate my argument as having no intellectual rigour. Any opinions or assumptions, I qualified as such and if not apparent to the reader, I apologise. However, the financial data contrasting Aston Villa's football staff spend -v- other Prem clubs was on public record until Randy Lerner's acquisition last year. Current comparisons therefore have to be conjectural; there is no alternative. We now never hear or see anything officially from the Club about any finances (which is your prerogative). I am surprised to hear that Richard's comments were outside his remit. Perhaps it would have been wise to correct or qualify them immediately they became news instead of allowing the cynics to turn them back on the Club, as they have in the last month or so. As Chief Executive Officer, what else is outside Richard's remit?
Incidentally MON stated last season (I believe it was on the AVFC website) 'I expect to be challenging for European football next season (or something similar, meaning Prem. League, Top6 or 7). So how does this 'sit' with your time frame of expectations? I felt at the time, that it was perhaps a little cavalier, if not foolish. I don't think any sensible fan has ever expected to see European football at Villa Park for at least 3, possibly 4 or 5 seasons. It must take time, as you have said. More important it must be enduring, not just a 'flash-in-the pan'. And to now have your denial that there is no 'cap' on wages and Martin has got the Board's 100% backing on any acquisitions he may need - that is good enough for me. Thank you General. UP THE VILLA”
So all now rests on MON’s shoulders – I hope they’re paying him what this HUGE responsibility deserves.
Date:Tuesday August 21 2007
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