Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday January 22 2006
The news that the club have finally announced that merchant bank Rothschild has been hired to sort out the future of Aston Villa PLC has been welcomed by the Aston Villa Shareholders Association (AVSA) and Villa Fans Combined (VFC).
They have issued a statement which said:
'We are delighted the board have finally put the club in the hands of a merchant bank to seek out the best investors to take this fantastic club forward.
Right from the inception of the protest group VFC, the main thrust was for Mr Ellis to put the club in the hands of a merchant bank who could actively seek new investment for Aston Villa.
Unfortunately Mr Ellis didn't take the hint from the numerous protests and meetings!
It has been clear for years that the platform has been built at Aston Villa. The main failing of the current board has been the inability to push on from that base.
Friday's announcement should remedy that situation and we congratulate the board and Mr Ellis for finally doing what was required.
This now means that interested parties can approach and talk with Rothschild as opposed to trying to negotiate directly with Mr Ellis, who does have a reputation for not listening to advice and being 'difficult'.
Rothschild are highly respected and have obvious skills in this area and we believe their appointment will be welcomed by shareholders and fans alike. This news comes as a huge relief.
Our hope is that it will now bring forward the right purchasers for the club, not the right approaches for the major shareholder.
Who knows, we might actually attract a real sheikh as opposed to a 'fake Sheikh'. Sven-Goran Eriksson might have been indiscreet, but he was totally right when he told the undercover reporter that Aston Villa would be a great club to acquire.'
Some reports quote 'a source close to Michael Neville', who is fronting the proposed bid by Aston Villa Investment Ltd (AVIL) as saying they are still forging ahead with the deal.
'As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed. We are still pursuing the same course of action and remain optimistic we can soon do a deal with Aston Villa.'
Peter Vidmar, a Norwegian businessman, has also been linked in a report in the Sunday Mirror.
Date:Sunday January 22 2006
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