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Many An AVFC Owner I Have Known

Many an owner have I known

As someone who regularly visited Villa Park from the late 50's I've supported Villa under some real stars as owners and I've done my bit to complain about their short comings.

My first real experience of unrest was when I used to wait at the Beggars Bush or The Mount pub for my dad to finish work. Much was the disquiet from the common man that our owner, Smith had allowed a decent 57 Cup winning side, and the Mercer Minors to drift into near oblivion. Then later in life when I played in the Works Leagues, the talk was of how he was bankrupt and the club with him.

Of course eventually we really did go down, I was loosely involved in some fan pressure and was one of those who sat on the pitch and did the Conga around a very empty ground as the game dwindled away.

One thing for Smith he loved Aston Villa

He of course eventually sold out to Mr Douglas Ellis and he brought in one Tommy Docherty. What a change that was. How the belief came back, I helped paint the Holte end , but again Ellis too didn't have the finance needed, but he had contacts he had ideas and he did move things, but again Villa didn't quite get it right.

Past players were bought to the board, scrap metal dealers were co-opted on to and Villa suffered some years of infighting and relegation to Division 3. It wasn't all bad mind, we fans can tell tale after tales of
home and away games full of fun, we were a joke

End result Mr Bendall came to power. Only met him twice, arrogant bloke, I thought, I didn't like him one bit but he gave Saunders enough backing to produce the greatest moments of Villa's recent History.

Then back came Doug, evil, evil Doug. Funnily enough I never liked him either, in any of his times at Villa, I to this day believe he had only one thing under consideration, Doug Ellis. I liked him as a bloke, especially in later years but he missed so many opportunities to push Villa on. Selling off the Championship side so early was his first big mistake, but he made others, including some shocking managerial choices.

Trouble was no manager was ever allowed to get on with the job, even when funding became available at the eleventh hour when just that little bit more was needed he always failed. For me the biggest reason that Villa are not a top 4 club, they had the chance his stewardship blew it, but then hadn't all his predecessors in their own way too.

Yep they had, whether they loved the club like Smith, Parkes, or whether they were just in it for them,selves like Bendall and Ellis they all blew it.

Then of course along came this bloke from the Colonies, strange fella, because of friends who worked for him I know a little about the man and the way he operates. It is a little mind, but everything they suggested has over his 3 seasons of tenure come to pass, and verily I say they were 100% right. Well it looks like it from where I sit in my armchair looking towards my 60th birthday.

You know what, Randy Lerner has done in his term so far has for the first time in my 51 years of supporting the club, more to enable the club as a real power in Football than anyone. He's done it too at a time when football is at a peak in this country one its not seen the like of before.

That's a remarkable achievement in its own right. But what is bigger still, is that for the first time in those 51 years I feel happy Villa is in the right hands for the longer term.

He's not perfect, of course but he's still far ahead of any previous owner I've ever known and I've supported Villa under a few.

Thanks Randy Lerner, Merry Christmas to you and all yours, you really are the MAN




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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 8 2008

Time: 9:41AM

Your Comments

Good for you, villans. Dislodge those Gonners!
JT_daniel
Good stuff,People can moan aout our blips and slip ups but when you look at the big picture the progress since lerner and o`neill took over has been as big and fast as it can get,From bottom halfists and a has been club to champions league contenders in two and a half seasons,Amazing.Lerner and o`neill are exactly what we all wished for,for a long time.
lerneravfc
Hats off to AVFC48, who I have disagreed with on many occasions, but this time, I am in agreement 100%. Thanks - and a Happy Christmas to all fans of the Villa!
xfranc
"As someone who regularly visited Villa Park from the late 50's I've supported Villa under some real stars as owners and I've done my bit to complain about their short comings." ha ha that made me laugh, '48 I don't think you've ever moaned have you?
krisvilla
Me complain krisvilla, never, you won't find me manning protest walks or sitting on the centre spot in protests. Only evil or hugely misguided fans do that lol
avfc48
I remember when O'Neill came and there was talk of a 5 year plan to get into the champions league. I scoffed at the thought, and even did so before this season started...but somehow O'Neill is doing it, and ridiculously quickly, and i vehemently believe that we couldn't have a better manager and chairman for the task. I'm a very happy Villan...so much so that even the lowpoints of this season haven't knocked me.
AstonMartinOneill
The christmas spirit is just making me well up.
johnnyuk
A bit of credit to Randy Lerner, i think he is the real messiah not Martin O'Neill, MON is doing a decent job but without the support of the chairman he wouldnt have done so well. I really do wish MON would take the cups as seriously as he does the league, ah well i am happy, for now. Well Done Randy Lerner, our Messiah!!!
young_jonah
got it in one jonah ;) without Randy Mart would not be doing anything like as well and neither would the club as a whole.
avfc48
It's such a joy to be a Villa fan now :)
Poncho
It is two way street. Randy would not be getting the plaudits if we were struggling. M'ON wouldn't have the club in this position without the support of a great Chairman. If only we could support our club better by getting full houses and not moaning eerytime we go behind in a game, then who knows how far we could go?? As for the article . . . . good one 48.
voiceoftheholte
Well said VotH. If only we could support our wonderful chairman, our brillian team AND our management team, all at the same time. Just imagine what we might do ... :o)
BobTheBuilder
Looks like a thinly veiled attack at MON to me although agree with the sentiment that Randy is a God.
Villan444
Good article '48. Randy fully deserves the plaudits that come his way. What a refreshing change to have an owner/chairman who backs up his words with actions, yet who is happy and content to remain in the background. We struck lucky with this guy.
glensider
Never met old man Bendall, but interesting to read your observations. Did meet the son though, Donald, and he came across as a bit of an odd duck. Wonder if he still supports/follows the club?
glensider
 

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