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Aston Villa Is A Business After All

Aston Villa Is A Business After All

Aston Villa is a Business after all

Remember Villa fans, Aston Villa is still a business, especially for Randolph Lerner

Yes Lerner has done a few things Doug Ellis wouldn't but he still sees Villa as a business and has done much to improve its value as a saleable item.

In fact it could be construed that cutting all the staff, including players, to the barest bones has been an astute management ploy, even the highly paid CEO has gone. He bought the club at a discount , immediately improved the training facilities, and has done all that is required to achieve stability on the field

This allied to better PR has improved Villa's 'image' which helps in improving the brand. His next step is to negotiate a better sponsorship deal, and while he waits he's sold enough of a dream, ably helped by Martin O'Neill's success, to improve gates beyond those of Ellis' wildest dreams.

In theory he's done all he needs for now until the sponsorship deal is finalised, he has no need to push the club on to Europe. He knows that a European League qualification will mean a much larger and sustained investment in players, more back room staff, bigger expenses, ie a huge increase in costs.

He's no fool and although he may proffer the image of loving England, football and everything Villa, in reality Villa remains a business, one where he knows already, if he sold it tomorrow, he'd get maybe 1.5-2 times what he paid for it and that in the next decade its hardly likely to lose much if any of its present value.

He's not under financial pressure from borrowings to maximise his investment, like some, all he needs is for a continued improvement with no major catastrophes

Remember Villa had under Ellis a reputation as a financially sound club just able to maintain their PL status, often flirting with Europe, never sustaining a top half finish.

Atkinson, Little,Gregory, even O'Leary flirted with Cup finishes, Europe etc, but were never able to achieve consistency, it was always boom or bust.

Lerner's only need is to produce a stable, viable club, and to do that a EL finish is too disrupting a factor,even a European qualification may just be too early as he sees it.

For now costs are under control and not excessive, gates are up, so accessory sales are up, the majority of fans are happy, the inherent value of his investment has increased, probably dramatically, so we have one happy owner and thank God for him.

Why risk it all by spending on higher value players, why stop players like Mellberg, Barry moving on to bigger more ambitious clubs, if retaining them moves the balance to a higher risk area.

What is the point especially in the January window of spending on high value players, unlike last season when there was a small risk of a relegation battle this year there is no need

Any finish above 10th will keep most happy.

It suits O'Neill, I fear he doesn't want the hassle yet, he's not prepared for it, he gives no impression of wanting bigger value players, especially International class potential stars, or even big name UK born players.

It most certainly suits Lerner, despite any protestations he or those associated to him might say to the contrary. Remember first and foremost Lerner is a businessman and Aston Villa is an investment.

I'm thankful he chose us, I wish him well, I admire his methods, but I appreciate his position too, although as a born and bred Villa fan I don't have to like it.


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Date:Tuesday February 5 2008
Time: 11:23AM


Wow, that's a scary article. Makes me feel like we're not destined for the success we crave? Maybe just the way I've read it.
05/02/2008 11:29:00
Agree it is a business. Best way to give the business top value is to get it competing at the top level. I understand the argument that top 10 is nice safe land to be in but I don't see Randy setting out a policy to do that. Only time will tell, my feeling is they want to return the club to where it once was and won't be happy until it is. If that isn't the case, I'll be deeply shocked and sadened but as long as the club is left in a better state than when it was bought, we will all still be winners I'd think?
The Fear
05/02/2008 11:32:00
Of course it's a business but any suggestion that Randy would tell MON not to finish top 6 is laughable in my humble opinion.
05/02/2008 11:37:00
There may be truth in that article but then again there may not be. I prefer to look from a 'glass half-full' perspective. Until we get concrete evidence that our ambition is top 10 only I will be happy for progress on and off the pitch each year. If Randy is such a hot-shot (and he could well be), he will know that qualification for the Champions League at Villa will send the club, its gates, turnover and profile into the stratosphere. With all due respect, we are not Pompey or Blackburn. We are a sleeping giant and the alarm may just about to go off!
05/02/2008 11:38:00
Your response to Malc's belicose epistle is closer to the mark, J. I do not have time for this crazy cynicism - it's neither accurate nor gaining Malc any friands. He must be getting desparate.
05/02/2008 11:38:00
I read the first two paragraphs of this article and knew instantly without scrolling down who wrote it.... I got that far and i've not bothered reading the rest... Totally smacks of finding fault just for the sake of it. You can't write an article based with no proof of your argument (ie...lerner has no interest in european football) and pass it off as fact. It's bull.
05/02/2008 11:45:00
It is a business and RL has already stated(on several occasions) that you do not make money from EPL teams. The only way would be to build slowly towards what Man U & Arsenal have. In the end sevaral clubs are throwing money at players and will in 3 years time be gone or fighting for mid-table finishes. These clubs do not have the foundation/capacity to keep paying the players wages in the long run. Villa are preparing to build a fan base/stadium which can and will forever be able to pay the wages - just like Man U. I think MON, RL and the other staff have far more experience - and i for one would prefer these guys over any other chairman/manager within the EPL.
05/02/2008 11:51:00
First defeat in a while, and this article was pretty predictable. Well written, some truth in it, but as usual totally negative. Having been at Fulham, I am not very happy either, but I prefer to look at the wider picture and be positive. I do think we may regret not getting one or two more players through the door in January though.
05/02/2008 11:52:00
Both Lerner and MON are highly competative and so Lerner wants to be seen and known as the best U.S. owner in the prem, and MON wants to be recognised as a great manager. They might have their own timescales but I believe they want to not just qualify for things but to win them. I think in their hearts they both see second place as second rate and that is what drives them. However what is right is that if you are going to succeed you have to have all of the non footballing things in place that a really big club in Europe needs.
05/02/2008 11:58:00
Why is it negative ? The General has said that the clubs finances have been set to mirror the expected finish of the club. if we were so keen as so many of you say to gain a top 4 finish, why did O'neill only spend when Cahill's money come in, why did he say what he did to the BBC about spending. Lergy, thanks for your destructive slag off, why not address the questions raised, why just write the suggestions down rather than dismiss anything I write Are you so afraid I might be right, you have to try and stop or discredit all I say, pathetic, Sarge, Lerner has already made money with the Villa and at no time did I suggest the long term plan is not to achieve a top 4 finish, just that for now a top 10 is what is expected.
05/02/2008 12:05:00
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