Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday January 19 2006
Well, according to Setanta Sports the brothers behind the proposed takeover of Aston Villa have pulled the plug on the move.
The report says that Brian and Luke Comer, thought to be the major investors for Aston Villa Investment Ltd (AVIL) have decided against following up their interest as they can't come to an agreement on how much the club is worth. Reports all along have suggested the valuation was set at around £64 million and some have suggested that on closer inspection the sums don't add up.
Add to this the strong rumours that Aston Villa chairman is asking for anything up to 10% savings in all departments at Villa and the return of Eirik Bakke to Leeds United against the managers wishes, you have to start asking what is going on!?
IF the takeover was still in the process, surely Doug wouldn't have to be asking for further cut backs at Villa? Have Villa lost their overdraft facility from the bank? There certainly appears to be no funds and if so, where has the money gone?
Quotes from the press association by me today:
Aston Villa fans and shareholders are “baffled” by the club’s failure to retain the services of midfielder Eirik Bakke for the remainder of the season.
Manager David O’Leary already has one of the smallest squads in the Premiership and Villa Shareholders Association chairman Jonathan Fear is concerned the team could be sucked into a relegation battle if they pick up more injuries.
Fear, who is also the spokesman for Villa Fans Combined, said: “It is baffling what is going on. Many fans are not particularly upset about the fact that Bakke has gone.
“But it is not about the quality of the player. It is the principle of the matter in that David O’Leary has made it clear he wants a player and the chairman (Doug Ellis) is doing the opposite.
“If we are in such a poor state financially it does beg the question: ’Where has the money gone?’ or he (Ellis) doesn’t trust David O’Leary to spend it. Does it mean we are going to sell the players who want to leave? The club are saying there are no funds to buy anyone so where have they gone?'
“We are only just above the relegation zone and if we get another injury or two, there is plenty of the season left for Villa to get sucked back into the relegation battle.”
Fear is also calling for “clarity” over the proposed takeover involving the Comer Brothers and Michael Neville, with a concrete offer still to be made.
There is strong speculation that some of Villa’s leading shareholders will call for an extraordinary general meeting if yet another takeover bid fails to materialise.
Fear said: “If Doug is cost-cutting, does that mean he knows the takeover is not going to happen?
'All people want is a bit of clarity over the position.
“No-one can unravel what is happening at Villa. The two sides hide behind the fact they have to show ‘due diligence’ because it involves the Stock Exchange but that does not mean there has to be total silence.
“There should be better communication.”
Date:Thursday January 19 2006
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