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Ellis Backs Appointment Of Lambert

Life President Douglas Ellis said he knew that Paul Lambert was the man for the job after seeing Norwich's performance against us on the final day of the season.

Speaking to the Official Site Ellis said he came up with a list of three replacements should Alex McLeish move on, and Paul Lambert was one of them:

'After the departure of Alex McLeish I came up with three names and one of the names was Paul Lambert. I was enthused about him after seeing Norwich play against Villa. Lambert's Norwich team thoroughly impressed me. I knew then that if Alex was to leave then Paul would be the ideal man for the job and I'm glad that Randy and Paul went for him.'

I think the best comment is the following though. Ellis stresses that manager stability is the key to moving forward and he does have some sympathy with the board because he says appointments are never easy:

'It's important that there is stability in the manager's chair if the club is to move forward. People will recall that I had 13 managers and that I sacked 11 of them, with Ron Saunders walking away to Birmingham and Graham Taylor asking for my permission to take the England job. People may think otherwise, but I understand the importance of managers having time.'

He continues:

'The most successful managers I picked tended to be the ones who stayed longest, the better they do the less need there is to remove them from office.'

I'm just going to quietly chuckle to myself at the idea that a manager has a need to be removed from office from day 1 and the longer they last the less need there is to do just that.

Ahhh memories.

Ellis rightly ends by saying that Lambert will need time to stamp his mark on the team:

'The new manager cannot be expected to do it overnight, he will need a season or two to make his mark and I am sure he will be given that and will do well.'

I never tire of the Paul Lambert Forum Thread.

Paul Lambert Profile.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 11 2012

Time: 3:38PM

Your Comments

Dear oh dear. Senility has set in. More contradictions than you can shake a stick at. Just over a month ago he was advising Randolph to stick with the previous manager. Talk to him tomorrow and he will not even remember the answers he gave today.
voiceoftheholte
There is not a lot anyone can teach Sir Doug Ellis about how to run a football club. The present owner will be doing well if he can come close to Doug's record of two trophies, two second-place finishes, an FA Cup runners-up and innumerable European qualifications. All he is saying is that changing the manager every year is not a good idea, while he also understands that managers have a finite shelf-life and that they have to be changed to freshen things up. He has a lot to be proud of and deserves far more respect than he generally gets. Lerner might have lots of his Dad's money but he could learn a thing or two from Doug.
Steve Wade
I have to agree with Steve, Ellis was the chairman as i was growing up and helped me whitness us win 2 trophies in the 90's european football like that great win over Inter Milan on pens Phil King smashing in the winner, Beating Man Utd 3-1 in the League Cup final when they had players like Cantona Ince Bruce Pallister Giggs etc we done em, so i like to remember and be thankful of the good times i had growing up with Villa owned by Ellis, we did have some great times, and he left us in great shape no debt for Randy to takeover remember,
CLIVETHEVILLAN
It's not like Randy has planned to sack the managers he's chosen after 1 season, he always said he wanted stability, we just had the wrong managers to provide it. Hopefully now we can settle down and start the next 3-5 year plan.
son_of_cher
Ellis left us with growing debt Clive. There's a difference between the PR of prudency and the facts of the accounts which showed we were losing money season on season and increasing our borrowings because in every business aspect when it came to revenue, brand growth and merchandising we were seriously substandard in.
mike_field
Interesting that Mike as i read in the media Ellis left us with no debt and a good solid basis to build upon? There is no question Paul Faulkner and Randy have done brill for Villa on the commercial and overall income to turnover ratio side of things no one could argue otherwise about that, but i thought Ellis said he agreed to sell Villa due to his ill health and the fact he could not keep up the demand of the costs but i never heard or read we were increasing borrowing under Ellis, Anyway hopefully now with Lambert as manager we can start to climb back upto where we belong so we can have success on the pitch in the near future im looking forward to the ride but i will not look back on the Ellis years as a total negative memory as i have some great memories thats all i know ;)
ClivetheVillan
You should know better than to trust the media mate. There was the whole leisure centre thing ticking over in the background that still hasn't been explained fully from back then. We were borrowing more each season as the accounts reflected. We weren't the bastion of financial stability that Ellis sold the press chap. You have to remember as well the 'ringfenced' Bodymoor money had also disappeared at that time aswell.

We were prime for a takeover because of the lack of investment and business planning given our fanbase, and the growth that could be achieved.

Ellis isn't all negative, even in my eyes, but I'll keep piping up when history is rewritten to make him sound like the saviour lol His best work was done first time round, in terms of finance and steadying the ship, but Ellis more than anybody held us back even in the good times second time around and he gets no credit from me due to his interference for the success managers had under him.
mike_field
Ignore what Randy has put in, and consider IF Ellis had put in what he actually had out of the club, the comparison would be we'd be the early Prem years Man City, and we really would've become the team SirAlex feared we would. But as ever, the manager usually took the axe when fans questionned Ellis' investment and support for on pitch matters.
mike_field
Oh and the final point, our big spending really came on the back of the fans' money when we floated. That was the big investment under Ellis, our money as shareholders and the institutional investors. It's still something I'd like to see Randy do even if it only equated to 10% of the club's ownership, let the fans have a real stake again not only as a quick boost for turnover, but also for what it means for a fan to have a stake in the club they love.
mike_field
and never trust a man who claims to have invented the bicycle kick!
Matt B
I was never anti Ellis because of the lack of spending but because he clad the back of the Holte in some kind of B&Q left over corragated iron, because he sent the side out in stripes and that weird green kit, because our marketing was inept, because he took the European Champions and got us relegated 4 seasons later, because he sacked Tony Barton, because he banned Dennis Mortimer from the ground, because he refused to have pictures of the European Cup around.......etc look I recognise he helped save us back in 68 and to be honest he seemed to get better as he aged but I think there were huge mistakes made during that period of the 80s,90s that held us back as a club hugely. IMHO
Matt B
You're just being picky Matt lol
mike_field
oh yeah Mike I forgot the float of the shares!! Didn't he get a load of shares to be flogged at £12 a pop and then bought them all back when the price crashed thus retaining most of his equity and making a cool few million on the back of it ?
Matt B
That would be plausible Matt, but I honestly don't know as I can't remember if his share ownership from roughly 33% ever fluctuated. I just know amongst his shares, the friendly institutionals and his families shares nobody could ever vote against him with a suspicion of winning the vote at AGM's. I will add also in business there's nowt wrong with doing that lol
mike_field
and while I'm ranting, did anyone think that the claret seemed to get more and more like a pink during those years or is it just me? I blamed Doung for that!!! It used to drive me nuts!
Matt B
Yep very true Mike but I never let facts get in the way of another reason for me to dislike the man!! I just seemed to recall the float price was way over the top and they dropped like a stone afterwards. (note from my legal team) I'm obviously not suggesting any inpropriety but it all seemed a bit strange at the time.
Matt B
On that one I think that's you PMSL And even if it did that's not something Dougie can be blamed for, that would be merch/comm dept and kit manufacturers.
mike_field
lol, I have to! Most shares are overvalued unfortunately, look at the recent facebook debacle. Very few football clubs have ever done well when shares were brought at floatation because a season is too volatile for any stability. Buying after it's bottomed out is a good investment like RBS and TSB will prove to be in the future.
mike_field
lol you're being far too easy on him Mike!!! Give me an hour and I'll find a way to link him to the Facebook share price debacle ;-) http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Aston_Villa/Aston_Villa.htm I know they're just mock ups but look at the Asics kit from 93 to 95 and the Diadora one from 2001-2 and tell me that's Claret and not some weird Pink!!!
Matt B
Poor old Doug. He is clearly deluded if he thinks he was in charge when Ron Saunders left. Everyone knows we went on to win the European Cup in 1982 after Saunders had gone and that Hubert was not chairman at the time.
sirdennis
I see what you mean Mike, i didn't know a lot of the stuff you just wrote, shows how much i know lol, shame we never kicked on and built on our earl 90's team unde Big Ron or later. I think the floating idea is a good one, Randy would gt a quivk boost as you say and we would all be happy unless Randy would rather keep say that 10% for when he sells up in the future i dunno im not a finance and stock expert as remember im a Yam Yam for gods sake we don't do stocks n financie's cos if we did you think this global economy crash is bad know? If a Yam Yam was in charge of the econimies we would make this crash look like a holiday ;)
ClivetheVillan
I see what you mean Mike, i didn't know a lot of the stuff you just wrote, shows how much i know lol, shame we never kicked on and built on our earl 90's team unde Big Ron or later. I think the floating idea is a good one, Randy would gt a quivk boost as you say and we would all be happy unless Randy would rather keep say that 10% for when he sells up in the future i dunno im not a finance and stock expert as remember im a Yam Yam for gods sake we don't do stocks n financie's cos if we did you think this global economy crash is bad know? If a Yam Yam was in charge of the econimies we would make this crash look like a holiday ;)
ClivetheVillan
The whole slagging-off Ellis thing is an essential part of the myth that Villa could have been a mega-club, if not for him. But take a look at the attendances during Villa's very best years, even before Ellis arrived, and you can see the truth. On the last home game of the season in which they were about to become champions against Middlesbrough, they only got 38 000. A week later 57 000 filled Highbury to see their team finish third. So even at their peak Villa were not well supported. Take a look at the attendances for Big Ron's brilliant team - they are very poor. Its taken Lerner a few years to reach the same conclusion, that the Villa brand is not amenable to serious expansion.
Steve Wade
Why work is done boys. Clive, yes, double whammy boost if there was a partial share issue again, not at stupid money, but sensible that all fans could take advantage of - even if heavily restricted to booking history and one per fan etc. More milleage in it than not in my view. Wouldn't create millions, but with the belief that the club is no longer ours, especially after the last few seasons, it would again be a good bridge repair even though it obviously wouldn't result in voting rights.

Sorry Steve, not into blaming the fans for Ellis' lack of business savvy to push us on and take advantage of the commercial opportunities available. We might not have turned out in the numbers like Arsenal, but commercial revenue especially since the inception of the Premiership should, if run right, always eclipse fan revenue - whether we like it or not, and I happen not to like it because the fans should always be the lifeblood of any club. And our brand clearly is, hence the tripling of turnover in so many short years.
mike_field
He let me sit in the driver's seat of his Roller when I was a kid, so he's all right by me!
Beovilla
Steve, 57000 filled Highbury to see the Champions of England being crowned which included an estimated 20,000 Villa. Arsenal averaged 32,000 that year. whereas Villa were facing Middlesbrough a relegation threatened club....check out the old MOTD coverage if you want to see the packed Boro end that day? Man U averaged 45K that season and Liverpool 37K. Yet we'd finished 7th the year before and didn't particularly look like going on to win the league the following year and averaged 34K. Clearly Liverpool and Man U have miles more support than we have and probably ever will but in those years the differences were not as stark. The Villa brand was amenable but I'm afraid we failed. Even before the Big Ron years don't forget attendances across the board plummeted in the 80s. We used to get 15K and Blues were down at 6000 or 7000. It was starting to recover. We had 28K average for Big Ron but again compare it to Newcastle at 33K or Everton 22K ??? It's not that different. Overall Villa have averaged at about the 8th best supported club in England I don't think it's beyond the pale to imagine that if Villa had maintained a level of success during the 80s and not had a period of appalling decline overseen by Ellis then the attendances could have been held at the 3rd or 4th best supported club in the country. The relative success we had in the 90s has helped to platform us at the mid 30s where we are now and Doug should take some credit for that but I equally he should still take some responsibility for the 80s decline and the damage that did to our supporter base.
Matt B
Bravo! Hear hear! Well said chap : )
Steff_the_Villan
You talk a lot of sense Matt, hell of a lot, well done.
Pride of Lions
Absolutely Matt, I was one of those 20,000 at Highbury so it is a bit disengenuous to compare the two attendances. Also attendances were geneerally then lower than they are now. Most people have said all that I want to say but it should also not be forgotten that Ellis opposed the appointment of Saunders and was constantly casuing peoblems behind the scenes when he was not Chairman and Saunders was manager. This was the manager who for me was the best Villa manager in my lifetime. Credit should also be given to Vic Crowe for the soild foundations he laid before Ron arrived. I can't criticise everything Herbert Douglas Ellis did; he made some good appointments along with some really poor ones but he never created environment that was conducive to managerial stability. He also has a propensity to rewrite history. Not only did he invent the bicycle kick he also discovered Dwight Yorke and pinned Graham Taylor down on the floor until Graham submitted and agreed to pay the £50k extra for David Platt.
Rowley Villa
Steve Wade - M'ONS first season and we had 26,000 season ticket holders and averaged over 40,000. It would have been much higher had the ground been bigger due to the amount of sell out games we had. And this for a team that was on it's backside. The support is there as long as we have direction and ownership that knows how to tap into the market. Matt B - you are spot on in your assesments of comparable crowds. I remember going to Spuds the game after we beat Tranmere (I think it was) I think we drew 1 -1 and Bosnich saved 2 penalties. The crowd at Spuds that night was 17,000. Teams attendances and support changes with club performance, TV, finance etc. We have the potential if only someone knows how to tap into it. As for Doug I also echo many of the sentiments made by Matt B and others. When he first came as part of the Harry Parkes consortium he helped the club in its darkest hours. That should never and will never be taken from our history and for that alone I have no issue in him being recognised as being a part (he wasn't even the biggest financial contributor to the consortium) of our history. However he never recovered from the fact he was ousted from the club and without him we went on to win the League and European Cup. He should never come back in 1982 and he then spent years scrimping and saving and taking the club from the best in Europe to relegation. That was the time when Aston Villa needed investment and leadership and were in a position to be as big a global brand as the like of Manure and Barcelona are now. The younger readers will never understand what opportunity we had and missed. The first season of the Premier League put the club in touching distance of greatness again and once more Ellis failed to invest at another crucial time in our history and once more the opportunity was lost. The manager that took us to 2nd and won us the League Cup in 1994 (Big Ron) was then sacked in the November of the following season after a few poor results. Very simply Ron was bigger than Doug and that couldn't be tolerated. So he sacked our most succesful manager since Ron Saunders after a run of 9 games without a win, but 6 weeks ago was advising Randolph to stick with the manager we had for last season. And don't get me started on naming a stand after himself and then feigning surprise that he knew nothing of it. I went to several shareholder meetings when the overwhelming vote was against him (Fear you remember those?) but he used his block vote to stay in power. Lets not re write the Ellis years with rose tinted glasses. We stayed relatively financially secure despite him, not because of him. The greatest opprtunity we ever had to build the Villa name around the world, was missed because he never knew how to move it on. Oh in terms of fairness Ellis's purchase of Bodymoor Heath was a masterstoke. Well done on that score.
voiceoftheholte
Matt B, voiceoftheholte, Mike and others; very accurately and eloquently stated. It sounds, that like me and many others, you have lived through it all.
Rowley Villa
Spot on Voice, never would, and never will take away the good that Ellis did do us and for that we should applaud and be grateful, but fair criticism also where it's due.
mike_field
If the fans want a clear view the predicament the Villa brand finds itself in these days, they need to forget all the stuff about what Ellis is supposed to have said or the motives people are so keen to impute, and just look at the facts. Sadly, either before Ellisís reign, during Ellisís reign and after Ellisís reign, there is no evidence that Villa ever had vast untapped potential. Villa had 9 seasons of success under Saunders/Barton and still the crowds were less than great. Only 30 000 turned up to watch Villa beat Barcelona in the Super Cup. When Graham Taylor finished second in the First Division, Villa had a crowd of 15 000 against Charlton and the mid-twenty-thousands was the norm. When BFR was challenging Man U for the first Premiership, Villa Park only attracted 17 000 for the second game of the season. The following season Villa Park had a crowd of 16 000 for a Premier League game. So if this was all Ellisís fault, what happened when he sold up? So let us whiz forward to 2006. Villa had just got themselves a sugar daddy billionaire and an exciting new manager: the sky was the limit. It was pre-financial crisis and the country was in the middle of a decade-long economic boom. What do we find? Villa attendances never crack 40k until Spurs turned up in November, and only 27k turned up to watch the Bolton game. Whiz forward to the opening of season 2009. The new owner had spent £45m the previous season on improving the team. Losses were around a million pounds a week. The fan-friendly PR had flattered the fans and offered them all sorts of inducements. Tickets are amongst the cheapest in the Prem. And after all this effort, only 35k turned up to see Villa play Wigan on the opening game of the season. Villa beat Liverpool 1-3 at Anfield and how many turned up to see them play Fulham at the next home game? 33 000! The Villa Park crowds never cracked 40 thousand until Dec 29th when Liverpool came to town. Flogging a dead horse? It certainly looks like it. No wonder Randy had a rethink.
Steve Wade
Doug could have learnt a fair bit from Lerner in my humble Steve, ie how to put money in, not take take take...! And agree with Matt B re the share prices and the total farce he presided over. Personally think he stopped Villa being the Liverpool of the 80's. Scrub that, I don't personally think it, I know the team of 82 think it, Alan Evans and Sir Dennis have both said it.
The Fear
If you know what I mean ... as he couldn't actually learn from him as he wasn't... no, I'll stop there, I've confused myself.
The Fear
My Dad still likes to abuse old Doug if he sees him filling up the Roller in Mere Green, and why not!? Wonder if Deadly thought PL was the man for the job after watching us tear Norwich apart at home?
onlyteaminthemids
Jonathan, Liverpool are probably within closer reach now than they were back then and operating under similar circumstances i.e being expected to operate with zero financial losses. So Randy gets his chance to succeed where Doug failed.
Steve Wade
 

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