Aston Villa - A Front Runner Named - NO ONE Will Know That Yet!
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A Front Runner Named - NO ONE Will Know That Yet!

The Independent have a 'source` who has named a potential suitor for Aston Villa.

They name Tevfik Arif as the suitor and call him a controversial Kazakhstan property mogul.

Now, ok, he has money... so that is a tick in the box. But how could they possibly know who is the front runner? Randy Lerner won`t have told them, you can be sure Merill Lynch won`t have, and I doubt the list (if there is a list and we all hope there is) has been completed and submitted to Randy and (if rumours are true that he is going to help again) to the person who helped broker the Villa deal for Randy, Keith Harris

So he might well have an interest, he might well have leaked it, but I can`t see the substance in the report to suggest how they really know who is the front runner at the moment.

They go on to explain that Arif is the founder of New York-based property firm Bayrock Group and also associates with US billionaire Donald Trump.

They also add "Arif was arrested and questioned in October 2010 in a high-profile raid by Turkish police over claims that he supplied Russian businessmen and officials with Eastern European prostitutes for up to $10,000 a night on the Savarona, a luxury yacht originally used by Turkey`s founder Mustafa Ataturk. He was acquitted of all charges in April 2011."

Interestingly (and hopefully) the Independent also say there are six to eight interested parties.

Merrill Lynch have refused to give a 'running commentary on the sale process` as one would certainly expect.

So, another name, I`m sure the ITK`s chasing hits and new members will have a few lies to add about this, in the meantime we will do the boring thing, not lie to you, we`ll just present the articles as they appear and only put them as facts when that is what they become.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 30 2014

Time: 9:39AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
exact kinda owner we want. queen of spades in the russian mafia house of cards. he will be laundering money around the world, and hopefully stacking all the cash in the form of assets, into villa. spending millions on players and making villa a brand.
Ali Arab
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30/05/2014 09:48:00

If Randy sticks to his moral guns and insists that Aston Villa are sold to a proper custodian then given Arif's history I couldn't see him agreeing to this sale.
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30/05/2014 09:52:00

I think it's more likely sources of the prospective purchaser themselves who would leak such information - these things can never entirely stay private with all the best will in the world. I see Randy as the type to renege on any deal for a public leak though.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 09:57:00

No moral decisions here. Don't trust Randy to appoint the right man. Eck, Faulkner, Houllier. He needs help from Deadly again.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 09:59:00

The bloke who did the report tweeted that no-one would confirm or deny the rumour, so I imagine if the leak was from the bidders end, they probably threw in "and we're the front runners"... Since no-one denied it, they ran with it. That's about as likely as any explanation anyway!
Sheriff Kimbo
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30/05/2014 10:00:00

Samcks of Gaydamak at Portsmouth to me.... no thnaks
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 10:09:00

As Borat would say: High-five!
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 10:13:00

King in the castle, king in the castle, I have an epl club. Go do this, go do that.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 10:25:00

No thanks, if he hasn't got at least a billion to waste then we aren't interested.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 10:25:00

You can bet your Burka , its on, morality goes out of the Window .200 mill, randy wants out . No soul in these people. Just profit . Lambert lerner, faulkner its over ,you failed.
Flo Moses
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30/05/2014 10:32:00

Front runner because it's the only 'name' out of these so called six or eight, the others are in the clouds. I tend to agree with Grizzly and fatloser. At the same time, how desperate is Lerner to sell?...
Pride of Lions
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30/05/2014 10:47:00

Two thoughts. 1. Is this linked to season ticket sales ending today? 2. Doug opened Villa up to getting this type of owner when he sold to Randy and pocketed the cash. I wish we could have a Kenwright, Coates (Stoke) type of owner again who uses his own money and cares. Sadly I thik we are at great risk of becoming another 'money bubble' club living for the day when the cash flow stops - a la Chelski, Citeh et al. Please don't kid yourselves that that is the way to go long term. Love my club, hate it becoming a play thing to be picked up and put down. If the 200m tag is true, what is that based on? Just because Randy wasted 2oom does not mean he should get it back. He tossed it away - tough luck. The club is worth what its worth and please lets hope realism gets involved here.
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30/05/2014 10:53:00
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30/05/2014 11:11:00

Make what u want of that. Sorry for posting link if we're not allowed. Arifs doyen group announcement about 200m investment.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 11:13:00

they can speculate but at least were starting to see movement on villa being sold, the longer this goes on, the more impact in will have on the new season, especially with new signing and possibly a new manager.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 11:50:00

It wouldn't be the first time a selling agent (Merrill Lynch) had leaked a story of a front runner in an attempt to encourage other bidders to sharpen their pencil/get a move on.
Tony Dunn
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30/05/2014 11:51:00

Reading the article this guys got money and it wouldnt suprise me if Donald Trump isn't involved somewhere down the line, i see this guy as one of the main player in buying villa, i give it till the middle of june but the party interested are starting to come forward.....!
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 12:00:00

Keith Harris? I'd rather have Orville!
chocolate teapot
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30/05/2014 12:02:00

What concerns me - with English football clubs being sold as investments to foreign tycoon*s who have no understanding or respect for the social, cultural history that football generates - is that we become 'Villa Eagles' sporting an orange and yellow polka dot strip, playing at the Oil Conglomerates Stadium.
William August
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30/05/2014 13:10:00

always a danger William, uncertain times now in football. Although they can't in the UK leagues change the name of teams to a sponsored name at least, so no Birmingham Red Bulls or whatever.
The Fear
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30/05/2014 14:39:00

Anyone know this guy's net worth?
Avfc94 we do
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30/05/2014 16:09:00

I dig it I really dig it.
Report Abuse
30/05/2014 16:32:00

Why would anyone change villas name?. People gotta understand that we are not Cardiff or Birmingham. We are a big club ready for the next stage. Our name is marketing gold. The coolest name in the world of football. As long as an owner spends his own money and does not laden us with debt, what is the exact problem. There is no reason why we should not be a top 4, anyone who thinks different from today should change their allegiance to small heath.
Ali Arab
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31/05/2014 10:54:00

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31/05/2014 13:07:00

well "sky sources" are now ruling this one out. Interesting while it lasted.
Report Abuse
31/05/2014 14:27:00

Unfortunately I think Lerner would happily sell to the devil himself if he came up with the right amount cash. He's desperate to unload Villa, moral scruples will not concern him in the slightest.
Report Abuse
31/05/2014 16:21:00

Sexy Times
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31/05/2014 18:36:00

ali arab you dont half talk some utter s---e,dont know whether your serious or not,you are aren't you!!!
Richard Cassidy
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31/05/2014 18:59:00

RL is probably not desperate to sell for the sake of it. As was said above, Villa is the coolest brand on the planet. He WILL do the right thing by us.
Report Abuse
31/05/2014 21:54:00

Moderator, so David Cassidy can say I am talking rubbish, but my comment gets taken off. He is the clown for getting personal. It's time society starts finding the initiators instead of blaming the terrorists!
Ali Arab
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01/06/2014 09:32:00

Ali, we have an alert system, use it and we remove, that is how the online law is now, ridiculous but if we openly moderate then we've taken a legal judgement not only on what has been said but what follows (yes, we are supposedly meant to be able to see into the future) and then we become legally liable for what is said, as opposed to the members being accountable for their own actions.

I dont' recall your comment but do agree Richard C, there is no place for that sort of comment, we can disagree (and do) but no need to dismiss other opinions in a playground manner. Ali, as said, use the alert and we'll deal with it. It isn't a conspiracy! ;O)
The Fear
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01/06/2014 10:08:00

Well said Fear. Bearing that in mind it is clear that you need to remove everyone else's posts other than mine. They obviously know **** nothing whereas as I know **** all!
chocolate teapot
Report Abuse
01/06/2014 11:13:00

oh indeed, in fact there is an argument to be had that we should filter out all posts other than yours and mine. It would be an ace site then! lol
The Fear
Report Abuse
01/06/2014 11:34:00


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