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Randy Lerner Ready To Sell Up?

There have been submissions tonight on both the front end article comments and on our forum, that have suggested owner Randy Lerner may be ready to sell his stake in Aston Villa.

For some who appreciate after previous excesses we had to reign in our spending and get our year on year losses under control, especially in light of the European wide Financial Fair Play regulations, let alone the Premierships own newly formulated financial regulations that Villa actually as a club was in a minority for as we voted against them, this news may cause some concern.

Especially as obviously we can look at other 'owners' within football that rightly give rise to a sense of tentative is a better the devil you know situation.

We don't have to look far recently, Cardiff City, Hull City, even on deadline day Leeds United given the problems they have had over a number of years that saw them successfully relegated following impressive European campaigns. We can also look at Portsmouth's fall...some fans will clearly have reticence at this news should it prove to be true.

But a belief of better the devil you know, doesn't instantly equate to a real belief of fear as we move on as a club.

I'm tagged permanently as a pro Randy supporter given what he put into the club, and despite joining us saying we would never actually do a mini Chelsea, he always wanted us to be self sustaining, and operate on an even keel where his wealth would be a bonus at key points in a transfer window as opposed to something we should naturally rely on, that vision was lost sight of when we did get so close in Martin O'Neill's second season and we did spend beyond our means in the hope of attaining the Champions League.

And we continued spending beyond our means in subsequent seasons to try and bridge the gap that saw us lose fourth place and accept sixth as success, whilst we then didn't even treat Europe seriously - let alone the domestic cups that would've had a positive effect on our finances.

It brings us to the recent present and changes in football that we as a club didn't agree with and voted against, but have to abide by now.

I'm not going to turn this into whether Gerard Houllier should've spent better or done better, or even if he should've been moved upstairs to help Gary McAllister who did oversee a positive return in our results. I'm not even going to discuss his sacking based, from what I can tell, on a very well held fan anger over his Liverpool comments - because if that really played a part then why in the name of living God did we appoint a manager who saw protests outside of our gorgeous Villa Park gates?

That also allows me to skip Alex McLeish - ahhhh Macbeth I said it!!!!

I also won't turn this into my well stated views on Paul Lambert and whether he should've spent better and been able to get the team to pass the ball successfully over five yards in the previous now 19 months.

But it would be remiss of me to not reference fans who might be concerned about this news, and not also mention the fans who will be delighted.

On the other side of the equasion we have those fans who brought into 'actions speak louder than words' and for the first few seasons they did, even if the football wasn't particularly brilliant when we focused on results under O'Neill - we did obviously have the 6,6,6 achievement and history gets glossed by in the final season we actually took the cups seriously - even though not Europe.

Not taking Europe seriously or the domestic cups, especially given the entertainment value, many expressed concern.

But Lerner put money where his mouth was, and left the manager to it.

Since that period, as many fans don't give a flying FFP about off pitch matters, we have done nothing but go backwards since then. The owner may still be leaving the manager to it, but actions are definitely speaking louder than words at the moment.

Successive relegations battles, a lack of investment, game play under our new manager and his direction to buy young and hungry cheap players in the main, that still aren't the talents we should be looking for from levels, all come back to the aspirations and ambition of the board.

No fan should be berated for that belief that it's not a top down policy where survival as opposed to competitiveness is now the order of the day.

And no fan, should be berated for thinking and believing the club could be enthused by new ownership. We don't have to look at the scare stories to panic. There are plenty of success stories also.

What has dogged our tenure, under who I believe having never met the man, is a very genuine owner who wanted the best for us, is the fact that he is such a private man. Other private owners have a much better PR department to make up for that - and I've never hid my amazement at our long standing media relations (do I need to reference the recent hiccup?) - and especially for us following on from 'Mr Aston Villa' it's been a huge culture shock that worked when we were doing well, but categorically doesn't at times like this.

Whether this rumour as produced by The Sun turns out to be true or not, fans need something to believe in again.

Fans need to at least believe we aren't just going to aim for survival. We are better than that, and whilst we don't have any right to challenge the top spots - and I don't think many do - we damn well demand more than the crap we have seen in recent years.

That is not a sole owner issue, but Villa Park needs reinvigorating by something. I believe Randy was over for Arsenal, but he missed Prince William's visit, and if actions do speak louder than words - most fans couldn't care less about anything that goes on off the pitch - and it's on the pitch that actions count and we aren't talking.

The fact we have some, maybe jokingly, asking for Doug back because at least he attends is a damning indictment.

And it's something neither Lerner nor the club have ever learnt, despite being told.

As for the link, and yes it comes from The Sun so you can well just wrap your chips up in it or use as substitute toilet paper, they say we are now up for sale for 200million - which is at least in the ballpark figure of Lerner breaking even.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 2 2014

Time: 1:42AM

Your Comments

The thought of a new owner worries me to be honest. You never know what ********* is out there willing to buy a football club.
Would rather Lerner re-invested had another go.
For all we know we could be getting a carson yeung type guy. Over the past few seasons villa have been regarded as one of the most if not the financially stable clubs, (no doubt due to the selling of best players and the ever lowering wage system) But id rather be this Aston villa than a birmingham city
I wasn't scared when Doug left about new owners...I'm not going to be now because ultimately it will happen. And crap owners hit the headlines more than decent owners...why do we always have to think worst case scenario?

Sorry 'transfer news' no we haven't.
oh, its in the Sun, must be true then, let me check Facebook, as that's my backup source.
It's in the Sun? I've just read all that then you tell me it's from the Sun? FFS
this has been rumoured for years and years so dont get too chuffed. we will go down ecentually under this current regime so a new owner is essential
colavfc's true, good riddance
Ali Arab
Ok, it's from the Sun, but I for one live in hope they are right. It also depends who comes in for us of course, but, oh well, fingers crossed.
Pride of Lions
Best news ever if true This owner has failed on every level Why be scared, we get worse year on year You have to hope someone willing to purchase aston villa would have interest and input unlike lerner Yes the new owner may fail but the current one clearly has failed and has not shown anything to make us believe he can improve I hope he looses money on the sale after destroying our club
Kevin Starkey
We'll this is a 1st, but I couldn't agree more with Mikes comments they're spot on.
We'll this is a 1st, but I couldn't agree more with Mikes comments they're spot on.
We'll this is a 1st, but I couldn't agree more with Mikes comments they're spot on.
Like all newspaper stories we must assume it is a piece of journalist fiction until it is either confirmed or denied. Until then, all the fans can do is to offer their opinion on whether, true or false, it would be a good idea or not. I just hope not too many fans decide to reward News International by purchasing their rag, only to find the article is just a collection of coulds and maybes.
Can't help but think something may be in it as otherwise they wouldn't give a damn about us.
The Sun blows, but I really hope it's true. Yes there is a fear of a silly owner but sometimes you have to face your fears. It would make sense and explain what Lerner has done of late.
We could get a bored Billionaire or a crooked syndicate. There were rumours that Bill Gates wanted to buy into a premiership team. We'd all be celebrating if Gates bought us. With our look it'll be a consortium ran by Gareth Gates.
I'm not worried at all. We are heading for relegation with the current regime. They are spineless. The sooner they ship out the better. They cannot meet the standards of the club and are only dragging it down.
bikini inspector
Good article Mike. Fair,balanced, in fact, who has kidnapped MF ?
If Randy was thinking of selling, the Sun would be the last to know. The guy works in silence. Like every thing he does, the news will only be released when he wants it to be. I'd also trust him to check out the credentials of whoever he sells to. I recall the Browns sale was made to reputable people in a safety first way. Why would this be any different - if true.
How can a new oner be worse?
Would be great if Randy got his money back and left us in safe, enthusiastic, committed ( unlike his ) hands. Too good to be true?!?! Probably. Mike you used your name for this article and forgot to change it to the real author ;-)
Can not wait for Lerner to sod off, there is only one way this club will end up if Lerner didn't sell up and that is down, signing cheap wage players will get us relegated eventually, can't wait to celebrate him selling up woohoo!! UTV!
You can always tell a Mike Field penned article, it's like wading through treacle with both ankles tied and a sack of cement on your shoulders - hard going.
He will have to have his Aston Villa tattoo removed by laser!
i have an aston villa tattoo. does not say astion villa, but the colours chosen are claret and blue for the flowers:)
Ali Arab
I don't understand the commonly held belief that Lerner's absence amounts to a problem. I seem to remember that Villa's finest hour came when the then owner Ron Bendall was living on the Isle of Man. We then had a guy who was present every game and was criticised for always interfering.
it is a throwaway story and not really news. Every club has a price, every owner has a tipping point. This doesn't mean he actively needs to put for sale signs up, if a big investor is looking for a club, we along with the likes of Everton will all be on the radar.
The Fear
Please let it happen,saudi enquires welcome, No more poundlands ,man cityis the bench mark Randy show us you care sell to the arabs ,no one else.
Flo Moses
moses you called for an arab:)
Ali Arab
No, he definitely doesn't need to sell with his financial fortune but that's a very selfish POV for him. WE as a club and as fans NEED him to sell, invest or find some more investment by floating. None of this FFP rubbish. Everyone else has found a way around it. He is content not to as it means that he can afford not to bother getting his wallet out. And surely we'd rather have an owner that attends regularly and is kicking or heading every ball for the team than one that gets a tattoo and goes back to scrooge towers to wallow in his wealth and never be seen again Fred???
Season after season the only competition we enter is "the relegation battle", 29% possession yesterday, reflecting most games this season. Why should fans be expected to fork out hard earned money to watch this crap? We needed signings in this window - FIFTEEN being looked at AFTER we had already brought in 2 loan signings and we got nobody??? Yesterdays latest s**** that was served up was squarely on the shoulders of a lower league manager, but the last 5 seasons are completely the owners fault! I have no doubt that he has "some" love for the club, but he isn't the man to lead us. I do think though that if he does sell then I think he will only sell to someone who has "the best interests of Aston Villa" in mind Our future is in your hands Randy!
He needs to keep his promise now and do the right thing regarding the club. It is clear that he no longer has any interest in the villa, he hasn't been to a game since 2012 and that in itself speaks volumes for me. He has done a lot of good for the club in the begining, he is now doing damage with his pig headedness, we have been crying out for a person who has football knowledge to be involved for a few years now and this has been ignored. This is why IMO we are in the state we are now regarding managers and staff. Please Mr Lerner keep your promise.
I support Lerner, O'Neil overspent on average players on fees and wages, I will not commemt n the next 2 managers, most villa fans wanted lambert and now they turn on him, how fickle and stupid u r, I never wanted him, I knew his style and knew it would kill us, so stop moaning, u wanted lambert so put up with ur cock up
Tom Johnson
What's your excuse for Lerner then Tom?? I still support Lambert. He's doing better than Eck and Houllier with a much, much cheaper squad on a quarter the wages. Why only pick on 1 manager. Why don't you blame Lerner for consecutive pathetic atrocious choices of managers when he clearly doesn't know the difference between his arse and his elbow in football. You seem similar. How stupid you are....
He will want to much for villa, but we're perfect for investment! We can dream tho
Stop whinging10
Forgot to say maybe that's why he has been tight and trying to sort the finances out so he can sale with more appeal!
Stop whinging10
It's the Sun. Enough said.
I'd love it to be true... I'm afraid the club has become a joke!! I think what they've done to Howard Hodgson is horrendous!! Losing ur seat after stating on twitter the last time Lerner attended!!! Lerner & his chief clown Faulkner need to go ASAP
Need a new owner, but one that either understands sport (like that firm that owns the bin raiders), or one that invests in the entirety if the club, appoints a competent executive team, and doesn't change our name/colours. Can't be doing with being called the Birmingham Wildcats no matter how much cash is thrown our way. Will always appreciate Lerner's initial investment, don't want to the new owner's to be badly advised like he was. UTV.
Appears to be all tosh anyways with Lerner looking for a naming rights are we to see us rename Villa Park to something absurd just to get more money.
holte ender 1969
oh hum Faulkener already on record denying that Villa are up for sale. Some how cannnot see Randy doing his advertizing in the Sun,unless phone hacking is back bin it.

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