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CRISIS At Villa?

CRISIS At Villa?

Eirik Bakke has been returned to Leeds United.

According to some reports just filtering through, Bakke has been returned early from his loan deal which wasn't due to expire until the end of January. Information is sketchy at the moment. I guess one explanation could be that the club found out the player - who hobbled off with another injury after just twelve minutes against West Ham - would be injured and not available for selection for the rest of his loan period?

Leeds are desperate to off load the midfielder to him off their wage bill. With his injury record, I bet they are desperate which leads to the question. Just why does David O'Leary want the player permanently? Or indeed, on an extended loan deal!?

Reports suggest he has been returned by chairman and ego maniac (!) Doug Ellis as a part of a cost cutting exercise. With quotes from De La Cruz, Mark Delaney, Lee Hendrie and Jlloyd Samuel all saying they may also have to leave, just who will be left to play? Does Doug intend to play mascots Bella and Hercules? Or is he going to retire from tennis and start playing football for Villa? Don't laugh, I'm not joking.

Anyway, reports today suggest that Middlesbrough are about to swoop for the 28 year old Norwegian international. Looks like the path will now be clear for them. On the positive side this would free up a loan place so O'Leary might be able to bring someone in to replace him. HOWEVER, if quotes from O'Leary are to be believed, he has already been told there will be no new arrivals during this transfer window.

Now, as one fan has already questioned online, just what is happening at Villa? Are we really that broke that we can't compete in the transfer market, or worse, are we bust? Or is this all to do with the proposed takeover? Is an announcement due? Does anyone care anymore?

Villa are seriously in limbo and fans will have to hope that if this takeover doesn't go through that some radical actions are taken by the board of Aston Villa to remove Doug Ellis from the helm. Either that, or shareholders HAVE to call for an EGM. Yes, the situation really is that serious.

Sky Sports are now also reporting the player HAS returned and you have to question whether this will force the hand of David O'Leary. He publicly said that he wanted the player to stay and that he thought the player wanted to stay. With O'Leary presiding over some awful performances this season and facing more and more flak from the fans, should he now not put the pressure fully on Ellis and walk? Is it not the case that if he walked he may well have some dignity in tact and also put himself nicely in line for another top job (like Newcastle) as and when Souness is forced out?

He isn't being backed, he says his hands have been tied and he isn't enjoying the best of relations with the fans, so how many options are left to him?

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday January 18 2006
Time: 12:21PM

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