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Time to say Goodbye

It's very typically Aston Villa that after a report in a certain tabloid newspaper that Randy Lerner was looking for a buyer, it wasn't long until Paul Faulkner had quashed them.

Why? Well it seems every time we've had an opportunity to get excited about something over the past four or five years - it's been blown away by either the truth or a big turd sandwich is forced back into your face.

Some of it was unfortunate. Such as making a club record purchase who couldn't stop scoring goals. And then having the manager who brought him then become seriously ill. And then some of it wasn't. Like then deciding to keep said striker, but sell his supply line without replacement.

In fact, the only thing that that came as a surprise to me that the rumours of a sale were not true is that we actually got to hear from our Dear Leader, Mr Lerner at all.

It's the first time I can remember Lerner has commenting on anything Aston Villa since the summer O'Neill left.

It's a shame it's got like this. But as each month goes on, the team continues to struggle and the club continues to act in a way which you do not expect a Premier League team to do it's quite clear that the owner has lost interest in his rather expensive mid-life crisis purchase.

Shortly after the purchase of the club I was lucky enough to be contacted by Paul Faulkner who spoke with enthusiasm about Randy Lerner's plans. Emphasis on fun, on becoming competitive and mending the relationship between fans and club which perhaps had become strained.

We sit here now with an under-funded team, often dull football with very little chance of any kind of success and the club banning people from the director's lounge for talking about where the owner may or not be and appointing managers who have just relegated the local rivals. In short - no money, no excitement and no understanding of the fans.

And that's why I'm disappointed the story was denied. Because we are now no different to the latter days of Ellis. Sure the sums of money floating around are larger - but that's just football these days compared to back then.

Back in 2006, Lerner told us: 'If I can't make it work, I will do what the others did, move on and let someone else try.'

It's that time, Randy.

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The Journalist

Writer: CustardCream Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 2 2014

Time: 8:50PM

Your Comments

Absolutely agree. I bet 90% of Villa fans agree too.
Agree with sentiments. It's a shame really. His tenure promised so much at the beginning, but has delivered.......................well, nothing really. Randy, you tried(for a couple of years at least), you failed. Time to keep your word now, we'll never improve under your disinterested ownership.
NI Villan
agreed, time to move on. pathetic owner
Ali Arab
Definitely time to go....ASAP, for the sake of Aston Villa!
Pride of Lions
Because changing to a new owner who promises big things works out really well doesn't it? Ask fans of Hull, Cardiff, Leeds, Portsmouth and dare I mention the word, Blues! We could gamble for a new owner and end up a top 4 contender but more than likely we would end up ruined like so many others. If Randy is happy to stay then stop forcing him out and trust the manager and staff to build a team and squad over a couple of years that is progressing. Follow the Everton model, it's working for them
Taxi for Lerner?
Carl Arrowsmith
A couple of years !!! It's been nearly 4 years since MON left, enoughs enough. ***** off Lerner , I said it 4 years ago when MON left, that something stinks, and % said I was talking *********! seems I wasn't.
I agree a change of owner will not produce an instant change in fortune @ Villa , but sticking with the current plan might just produce long term success . As for Randy being pathetic well perhaps those suggesting that , look @ the donation he made to Acorns on his last visit to Brum in December . All that is said about Randy suggests that he is a very private sort of guy so what right have supporters to demand that he is @ their beck & call ? So what the plan for success under MON failed , we now have a new plan & manager .And maybe some fans don't think the squad is good enough or the results improoving fast enough , but it's early days & the squad young but the plan is proven so maybe a little more time is needed . After all many said Villa would be relegated last season & here they are in 10th place with a little less than half the season left . The doom & gloom merchants are of course predicting failure yet again , but the squad is stronger than last season , so what is to stop them following last seasons route & finishing even higher !
Oh dear here we go again. I'm sorry but like many other fans I think you miss the point. Randy tried the money route and discovered that without massive unsupported investment, in todays fair play world, The problem with Villa is the fans. Not their personal views or belief but the wealth of the core supporter group. Even during the heady investment days, we got circa 42,000 fans paying some of the lowest prices in the country. Arsenal are now a self supporting club with high fan numbers and high prices from stock brokers and bankers et al. So are Manure. We are a million miles away. Talk of a new owner and fans' eyes glaze over thinking of Sultans. Unless we are extremely lucky and then live in fear of them leaving quickly. We have seen the spending and now have the reality phase. If I had the choice, I'd stick with Lerner as I think we will see steady progress, not a leap, but progress.
Sorry - in today;s fair play world, throwing moner is NOT the solution.
Let's just say; be careful what you wish for. What we do have is an owner who likes the club and really has tried to do the right thing.
I like Randy Lerner and think he should have another go at getting us into the CL - but with a class European manager. The improvements facilities wise under his ownership have been excellent. His support for local charities excellent, he isnt a bad owner - its just that he has been advised poorly. He needs to sit down with Steve Stride and GT and ask what do we do to take Villa into the big time. The decisions from manager to player transfers needs to be smart and Lerner could then take us places. His reliant upon MON was awful but the willingness to invest and try - his heart was in the right place..If he does this again but correctly he could turn Villa into a top European club.
Green Tea
Things are as bad now if not worse than under Ellis!! He needs to walk like he said he would!! The relationship between club & fans is disintegrating fast.
what has lerners philanthropy got to do with villa???? can people please stop comparing us to clubs like hull, cardiff, swansea etc. we are aston villa. we are completely different to those clubs, we have a name and a history, hence we not starting from scratch. we are a brand. lerner is clueless in both football and business.
Ali Arab
I blame Mr Lerner for what we have become but would rather he stayed and fixed it rather than walk away! He has been wonderfull for us off the football side of things with facility improvements and charity's! He is a none interfering owner who leaves football to the people he trusts etc and loves the club! But he needs to employ a man to run his interest ,who knows the game inside and out from players to fees ,to wage structures to sports journos! Somebody to go to games on his behalf who understands the fans,the team etc! To me he had the man in a Mr houllier but again his lack of in site into the sport cost him again! Do you think houllier would of allowed Mccleish's name to even be mentioned? No way! Would he of persuaded the at the time wanted choice before Lambert Ole gunner to come,yes! Would he have found us quality targets through his net work,yes! Mr Faulkner should be running the outside things of villa like sponserships,investments and a football man should be doing the inside work! Yes he got hurt under o'neil but again that was through being a novice ,yes he has a plan but football is out of his comfort zone,get somebody. In that can help you! I hope he stays as football clubs are being killed by idiot attention seeking owners! We do have a good guy in charge but he is being pigheaded towards us fans,his silence towards us is like your dad giving you the cold shoulder,painfull and worrying! A football man Randy to run it for you and a few decent quality players and the love fest you crave will be back from both sides! You don't need to go m8 or come to agame every week,remember bright future was your slogan!!!
brisbane lion
I like RL. His always supported us in the transfer windows. His made bad appointments, bad mistakes but overall you got to give the guy credit. Once he sold Milner he blew all chance of success with us. That was imo opinion his downfall. Imagine we had a owner like West brom, Birmingham.... suicidal. Yes we're Aston Villa but when have we ever been competing for the league prior RLs appointment. We expect to much in a small space of time. What RL and PL are doing now is good for business. We're only missing like 4 good players then we can be challenging for Europa again.
Another untruthful opinionated load of tosh. You were contacted by Paul Faulkner shortly after the purchase of the club ??? he wasn't employed by Villa till May 2010 ? nearly 4 years after Learner bought the club you ITK Inside Source know it all ........... you have no idea on football, how a football club works and how to manage a multi multi million pound business ........ do yourself a favour and support the lads wearing claret and blue and stop trying tp be a football club CEO, Manager or owner. UTV VTID
Yes Europa, the cash spent for top 4 is ridicules and I hope they all go bank rupt.
Agree with Gordon. The moaners just do mot understand the context we are operating in. The game has moved in. The chairman who bank rolled the dream that left us in a mess is still criticised for refusing to bank roll the dream that he is now prevented by financial changes from, er, bankrolling. How many times does it need to be explained? Move on for pity's sake. Mirror reporting he's considering selling. stadium renaming rights to generate cash and that he had no intention of selling Good. More stability.
And please stop with your 'facts,' fellow posters. 90% of the fans in your imagination obviously hold your views but not 90% of real, fans who you have never met and never polled. Own your own opinion
Sorry astonmilan, being picky if you want to be with other claims, get your own right. PF came in with Randy, he didn't however become CEO for a number of years and he actually did the job for a while before he got the title. He and Randy go back to MBNA days, so no, he wasn't employed until four years after...

And again Grizz, just because people disagree with you doesn't mean they are inventing their own facts anymore than the happy facts - so much gets bogged down in standpoints - be nice if people could see the middle.
I'm.sorry Mike but there's huge statistical inventions on this site. By all means, have an opinion and disagree, post good arguments - just don't make your opinion it into everyone else's opinion.
I meant to say huge statistican inventions by some posters.
Yeh Brisbane Lion I agree with your thinking on moving Faulkner sideways and getting someone who knows the industry guiding the direction of the club. Problem is Lerner doesn't do himself (or his investment) any good by his lack of communication with the fans. I think it is too early to throw the baby out with the bath water as a new owner as we all know could be an even worse option. So let's gets some more football heads in the club who can go into bat for Lambert and get more funds when he needs it. Faulkner seems too much of a number crunching 'yes' man.
marlin magic
Selling naming rights and not club it seems so don't panic boys. Those wanting change are never going to be happy whatever, those looking to wait and see are more realistic and in touch with today's financial game. I agree we need someone better advising Randy who has a footballing brain and leave other business activities to PF. That would be great for us but unlikely to happen unless we can get to the General again and voice our concerns, gone quiet on that front hasn't it. As a team we are ok but no setting the league alight just yet. For me it is the next two years that will see us either stand still or climb up the table with steady investment each Summer. Not an instant fix that some would like. Please stay Randy and communicate more please. UTV
holte ender 1969
It seems after each loss we get this Lerner out call to arms. We did buy players in the summer unfortunatley we lost one of the main stays due to injury. Charles has been out for what seems like years thats about 20 mil worth of talent missing from the squad week in week out and we are still 11th. Just as we were coming good Gabby gets injured. I know this is an opinion based site so there are going to be extremes but come on. When we beat WB every thing was roses 3 days later we lose narrowly to Everton and it's all gloom and doom. I suppose thats why I constantly read this site :).
Lerner is a great business man but knows nothing about football, no body in a position of power on the board does either, that's a huge problem. I'd like him to sell and trust him to (for once) make the right appointment.
Mike Field ... Ok, he was appointed CEO in May 2010, but he still didn't join the club with the takeover, he was consultant to Lerner but still worked in the City consulting for MBNA, Fitzgerald Group and came on board to work for Villa in mid 2008 still 2 years after the purchase. Sorry for nit picking the BS. UTV VTID
I don't believe he contacted custard cream about anything, sorry.
Having an owner who's not a football man and who's interests are elsewhere does not bother me so much as long as: He pumps money into the club (which Randy has, not at Man City levels, but he's not in that league) He appoints a CEO who can run a football club and a Manager who can run a football team. I'd be happy if the CEO / Manager were changed to be honest, as back in THE MON days it was pretty clear he ran more than just the 1st team down at B6. And before anybody says it; no I don't want MON back!
Randy has done nothing wrong at all. He has invested millions and millions into the club and is one of the best owners we could have. All owners like Abromivich want is to commercialise their club, but there is no long term plan in place. What happens when he leaves Chelsea. I will also say this: our squad is the youngest in th league by a long way and I buy into the 'vision' and I believe that we can make steady progress year on year. The way I see it though, we are probably the only club in the league with a true long term plan. All the teams in the bottom half are just fighting to stay in the league this season only to do exactly the same next year. I do not want our club to buy success quite frankly.
95.6734522 % of statistics are made up on the spot
Agree with Gordon & Tekkers, careful what you wish for. He seems a decent guy that yes has made mistakes but has but money into the club and runs it with a level of stability a lot of club could only wish for. Yes I wish we had more football people in the club to help Paul Faulkner etc but I know the type owners out there and most we do not want. Have a read about the new guy at Leeds. We have no idea who actually owns blues etc etc etc.
randy bought one of the biggest clubs in the world cheap, him spending money is a thing of the past. his new regime aint about spending money. if he sells he will be in equity, for all parties concerned it is the right time to sell.
Ali Arab
going to put it in perspective for you, he was useless while spending money on villa, him not spending money is a complete disaster waiting to happen.
Ali Arab
Can see why this subjects raises the hackles so much,both views have a lot of merit. Being an avid reader of Grizzlys match reports I would say Grizz that if legal loopholes needed to be found to spend money then Lerner could find them e.g, naming rights for the stadium (man city got a reported 400 mill ?) but would also agree there are a lot more sharks out there than whales in football owner terms. Its hard watching Villa scraping around the one to three mill footballers with the odd 7 mill man thrown in as our seasons best buy when you see the vast sums being spent by others. Dont pretend to know Randy Lerners mind but would love to see him regain his enthusiasm for Villa sadly abscence speaks louder than words. The guy needed a football man on his board more than most and right now we need a general (in midfield) more than he did on the board.
Ali Arab ........... I've been standing on the terraces and sitting in the stands at Villa park since 1978. I've seen the highs, seen the lows ... stood there in Division Two in 87 when the Blues beat us at home 2-0, watched us nearly win the first PL season ... the Littles, Gregory's, O'Leary's debacle, the MON ups and the Mcleish downs ......... but if you seriously think Lerner bought one of the biggest clubs in the world you are deluded mate. We have and income of around 80m a year and haven't filled Villa Park for decades unless plastic Mancs or Londeners buy home tickets. We are who we are, a famous old club with a lovely history. The biigest clubs in the world are who they have always been and sell millions of replica shirts and have massive fan bases and revenues and stadia. We aren't in that bracket, if you can't support and love AVFC for what it is then go find a 'Winning' club like Citeh or Chelski who bend the rules to get round the FFP ruling and have owners who can actually afford to lose a billion pounds from their vast wealth. We have to be sustainable and live within our means just like any other sensible and sustainable entity on this god forsaken planet. People like you and your spend spend spend is what has destroyed football for the masses, its the only sport in the world that is biased on wealth. AVFC and the other 95% of the football clubs in England and Europe have to deal with it, instead of trying to run the club, try and support the players on the pitch and have a great day out at a game and sing your heart out for the boys on the field.
Talking of Man City - how many interviews has Sheikh Mansour done? None. He refuses. How many times is he seen at the Etihad? Rarely. How many interviews has Abramovich done? None. He refuses. Why? Because the British media/press are known throughout the world as being dirty and their only expertise is in taking someone's words, twisting them, and spewing utter garbage in order to get people to react negatively and sell papers. How many times have the Spanish press uncovered a "scandal" on the eve of a major tournament? They don't, because they're more interested in seeing their team win. I can't remember a major international tournament in my lifetime where the media hasn't come up with some ridiculous "crisis" or "scandal" that undermines the team/players/manager. I don't blame RL one bit for staying in the background. Oh, and just as an aside, Man City's CEO has how much "football background?" You don't want to be compared to Cardiff or Blues? Ok, then let's compare ourselves to Leeds, Nottingham Forest, and Glasgow Rangers - clubs who've had similar (or better) fan bases than us and success in Europe. Why oh why do we have a group of fans who just cannot let go of the past and seem to think we have the divine right to be competing for the premier league title every year while playing gung-ho "attacking football" and spanking everyone 6-0.... Look at the names of the clubs who are now plying their trade in League 1, League 2 and even the non-league, who within the last 30 years have been in the top tier of English football. It is a MUCH bigger list than those who have sustained their place in the premier league since it's inception in 1992..... I was in Rotterdam in 1982 and would love to get back there again, but there is no magic formula and NO owner (including Sheikh Mansour) can wave a magic wand to achieve it. We won the European Cup after a manager had built a team over EIGHT years, starting in 1974, and had many ups and downs along the way. Most of his signings (Chelsea reject Swain, over-the-hill Withe, Arsenal reserve Rimmer, "Donkey" McNaught, Coventry reject Mortimer etc etc.) were criticized at the time. He was HAMMERED by fans and media alike for selling Andy Gray and John Gidman..... Ok I'll stop now....
Bloody hell gmvillan you have just single handedly rallied me and got me totally amazed by your post, i never knew about where our team of legends was built from, i was born in 80 so i have learnt a bit here, great post dude got me thinking tbh
Yep gmvillan I was one of the ones who complained about him breaking up that team of youngsters at the time thought the football that team played was the best I have seen at Villa park in 50 years watching them. Then the guy went and bought a team of seasoned pros and won the league etc playing less attractive results based football. the key is a team of seasoned pros with a sprinkling of youth the opposite of the Villa team today,who have the youth but not the ability of those youngsters.
gmvillan .......... they don't seem to get football and why we turn up game after game nowadays, all about money money money and xbox football manager and experts on everything from the stats to the finances and where the owner eats his lunch. Yes I want some good times back, but we have a limited squad and at Everton, they only had two days to recuperate and that aint enough to go gung ho without risking injuries to the players as we saw with Vlaar, no time to train and recondition and we weren't really battered by them to be fair. The next games are very important old fashioned six pointers and we will be fresh and ready for them I'm sure. UTV
Ali Arab, I have missed 6 games home and away in 22 yrs, shove your deloitte top 20 where the sun doesn't shine mate .... clueless xbox football manager fans aren't what we need. People like you come on here spouting without any logical input, its a game and others play the game too ..... such as Spurs who spent close on 100m this year and are how close to the title and the Champions League ??? Newcastle and their big spending of experienced players and very fancy squad are only 10 points ahead of us. We sell 16,000 replica shirts to 16,000 fanatical supporters ... Man Utd sell over 850,000 to plastic fans who couldn't find Old Trafford with a Sat Nav. I love my club, come rain or shine and don't want it ruined with debt. If Lerner and Faulkner can pull in extra funds, they will be spent but no one in their right mind is gonna spend 120m a year and get back 80m a year for long. We have a 122m deficit as it is, more than it took to break Rangers, Leeds Utd and Portsmouth etc .... this time next year we will be more competitive and more settled and you and you boo boys will be silent. UTV
RANDY HAS LENT US THE MONEY for the millionth time. He will walk away from us one day with a profit regardless of what anyone thinks. He may be a ******** **** for all we know as no-one has heard him speak and he's so reclusive. I'm sure he's not but I'm also sure he's not some pro-charity nice guy that half the people think that he is. The answer is somewhere in between. Foreign owners are ruining/have ruined the game. They don't understand it and they care more about money than the beautiful game. We may aswell have Joe Bloggs in charge if he isn't going to spend any of his fortune on us.
Most people agree ?? what 20 moaners on an internet site, probably half don't even go to games, just stream on their PS4's or Xboxes ? lmao .... and I take it you aren't an accountant pmsl ... do you think the players are little plastic figures they take out the box on a Saturday too ? .... you're one of those upper trinity moaners who sit grumblin into their pukka pie aint ya ..
villan444, nothing wrong with foreign owners that wanna pump there own money into the game. sheikh mansour and abramovich have done great things for the premier league, its the other foreign owners like lerner and the liverpool owners who pretend they are in it for the game, when in reality its just about the profit.
Ali Arab
I'm disgusted with the way some of you attack other fans on here! Don't we all support the same club?? People have differnt opinions that's what makes us all human isn't it?? Everyone on here wants the best for the club wether their pro or anti Lerner?? I've only been up twice this season does that make me less of a fan than a season ticket holder?? Does the fact I can't make every weekend due to work & young kids mean my opinion doesn't count?? We all just want the best for this mighty club surely everyone must agree the last few years as a villa fan have been *****!!
Yep time to go Mr Lerner , loan signings from Wigan shows just how interested he is in funding us . Lets just pray we stay up
The point seems to be missed somewhere Man. City ,Chelsea even Man Utd. never used to fill their stadiums untill new owners put large investment into the teams, the success of those teams encouraged larger attendance and interest around the world as they competed in european competition they did not become global brands overnight. Does no good quoting figures today if the owner of Man. City had bought Villa instead we would be in the same position they are. Unfortunaly success in football is all about the mighty buck and how much an owner is willing to invest. Villa are no bigger or smaller than these clubs just not had the luck of getting an owner willing to throw his money away on football. For me I will never accept that Villa cannot be as big as any other club given an even playing field. The new rules brought in actually favour the current BIG clubs by preventing others following the same route to success they did in other words the rules are unfair and way to late .
spot on merlin, the only club that you could kinda say built it without major bucks is arsenal. man utd have terrible owners also though
Ali Arab
Fun... yes, I forgot it used to be that. Good article, it is dull, it has been a long long time and it looks again like us v them which is a great shame. Thought those days were at least suspended if not gone!
The Fear
Ffp has so many loopholes that it will not work. It means that the rich will keep getting richer and the poor have to stay poor anyway. Another great cock up from sepp and co. And yes Ali, you forgot to mention the Glazers and how much money they're taking out of Manure for doing nothing. Georgie and Wenger deserve so much credit for making their respective clubs so well off.
I'm not sure that misnamimg other supporters is appropriate, especially the choice of the only town/ city name in the UK that contains a swear word - I'm talking of the renaming of Aston Milan as Scunthorpe Milan. Do we really want this studpidity on the site?
References to Scunthorpe removed. Feel free to debate and disagree, but let's not turn this I to a playground. I agree gdav. Must admit I'm getting sick of it.
The Fear
Please continue to use the alert for such things btw. Shame as some of the rest of the points were decent.

Aston. You don't have to take my word for it,don't think you know me in the real world, hopefully you do know I'm not a bs type, don't do the itk shock jock stuff etc. Paul was heavily involved from the start, I met several times as the takeover was happening. He definitely did meet, call, talk with a good few fans, they were at the time soaking up opinion and looking to get improvements done. Can't reveal the name of custard cream as he has chosen to have an alias, however I do know he did talk with Paul. Not a big issue, not that bothered if you take that on board or not, but it isn't really a big boast to claim this contact, as said, they were rightly talking with as many fans, website owners, etc etc as possible, makes sense really. Wish they talked more still.
The Fear
My god apologize, did not see the word in that town. I just choose any lower league team. To bring my point forward that Mr Milan sees villa diiferent in terms of status to me.
Ali Arab

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