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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Villa Boss On The Villa Tribe

Wow, the Villa Chairman and Club owner Randy Lerner has today spoken.

Well, he speaks everyday otherwise how would his good lady know what he wants for tea, but he doesn't usually speak publicly on Villa, or on what he wants for tea for that matter.

The head honcho said:

'I don't believe I belong in the media and I fundamentally do not believe that owning a team is a media platform. That's not why I'm here. Why did I come here? I had been interested in and eager to be involved with the Premier League over the last five years. The basis for that interest is probably simply a combination of having some background in England. Secondly I am a very, very big fan of English football. I thought it was the right time for me, in terms of where I am in my career.'

'Then there's the chance element to this. A set of circumstances converged and it seemed to make sense. It wasn't a burning need, it wasn't a long protracted acquisition, it wasn't a deeply complex set of financial gymnastics. It was available and I thought it was the right time. I wanted to do it and felt we had done our research. I felt I knew what I was getting myself into and I called up Mr Ellis.'

On the future he said: 'I'm not sure I can answer what I plan to do with the club. I think there are plans that have been out there for a long time and there are people who have far more insight and clarity and history with this club that will guide the progression of initiatives. What I plan to do is react to those and try and participate and make those things happen. Things like the Holte Hotel and the training ground are good examples of this.'

'I philosophically believe that ownership is most akin to governance. Ownership is more a noun than a verb - you don't go around 'owning' all day.'

Christ on a bike, I had flash backs to Mrs Dawson trying to teach me English then, shudder........!

'Instead you have very serious responsibilities - full-time responsibilities to direct on strategic initiatives. We have a professional team that's driven by a very specific philosophy as well. We have some top people: People like Martin O'Neill, Richard FitzGerald and Bob Kain. I feel it's important that if you ask them to come to the club, you have to give them real jobs and let them do what they're paid to do.'

And on the Premiership Randy added: 'My overwhelming sense of my time here so far is of the intensity of the games - just the sheer energy and non-stop pace, almost on a tribal level.

'The games are presented differently, the stadiums are different, the pace of the games are different. I've certainly learned a lot. I wasn't entirely foreign to the game, but it's been a learning curve - definitely.'

Totally agree about it being tribal, the game is a madness but once it gets you, you can't escape! Great to hear a few quotes, hopefully the press will be happy, if not at least the fans will be!




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 8 2007

Time: 12:43PM

Your Comments

Great stuff. An enthusiastic, literate, self-effacing chairman, who's committed to restoring our beloved AVFC. I can now go off and die a happy man!
pongogidman
I'm more than happy to hear from Mr Lerner every now and again. Lets do the talking on the pitch and off it by developing us into a massive club. We don't need a big headed, I'm going to do this, this and this type of owner. Lets hear from Mr Learner again after the August transfer window when we have some new stars!!!
Quania
The man is a Villa legend, thank you Randy, thank you so so sooooooooooooo much.
Stig
common sense statements......sound business platforms......a love of the game......a love of Aston Villa......onwards and upwards......KEEP THE FAITH
imavillan
I think Mr Lerner is starting to understand that he is appreciated. If the upward curve continues I can see Villa fans really starting to turn out in force, and the need for the North stand to be redeveloped sooner rather than later. Keep up the good work Mr Lerner. There is so much more to be done but you have certainly made an excellent start to your time at the Worlds greatest football club.
voiceoftheholte
I wonder if there is a chance that Mr Lerner may sell the Cleveland Browns, as they were bought by his late father, if they continue to play poorly and the Villa become successful? Only problem is that the Browns are worth $1bn and what would we do with the money!
Quania
Lerner Out!
The Fear
Thank you very much for Randy Lerner, thank you very very very much! Thank god we got Randy and not Gillett (or anyone else for that matter). I wonder if excited Liverpool fans are aware of Gillett's interest into buying The Villa last summer and what they would think once they read this article : http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/0200sport/globalsport/tm_headline=ellis--i-ve-left-villa-in-good-hands&method=full&objectid=18144617&siteid=50002-name_page.html Forget your Roman's, forget your Glazer's and Gillett's. We've got the best chairman in the land and thanks to him we have the best manager too!
bazzah
Lerner out?
Christo
HEY - don't you go touching my Browns! Keep your mitts off them! One of the previous owners (Modell) attempted to move them to another city (Baltimore). The City of Cleveland took legal action to keep the team - they couldn't stop him from taking the players, the coaches and the equipment, but we stopped him from taking the name, the history, the colors (as ugly as they may be). This was the first time that a city was successful in keeping their team's history intact following a move like this. ...now if we could just win more than a few games a season, I'd be a lot happier... I really hope Randy doesn't sell the team - I don't think he will, but it's very tough to rebuild teams in the NFL with all the salary restrictions and free agent movings and all...
mikeinsb
Refereshing, positive, reassuring comments from Mr Lerner. I become more and more convinced that he and AVFC are a match made in heaven. He's bringing in top notch business executives (something this club has sadly lacked previously) to fill key positions within the club, and obviously with their appointments they get the authority and full approval to run their particular sphere of the operation exactly as they see fit. All working towards one goal, with no interference from Randy. What a refreshing change, with the club quite obviously set to benefit 'big-time' from such an approach. Long may he remain at the helm.
glensider
Must also add that RL certainly isn't failing to give his full attention and valuable time to his 'investment'. He's seemingly over here a lot, and that, particularly in the early months of this new era is a big plus.
glensider
 

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