Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday February 8 2007
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!
Date:Thursday February 8 2007
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