Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday February 11 2006
The Birmingham Mail demanded answers from the board of Aston Villa last week. The paper, it appears, all of a sudden wants to show the fans that they are behind them and will get us answers.
This is the same paper who refused to cover the march Villa Fans Combined organised and wouldn't report on over 3000 fans demanding the removal of Ellis. This is the same paper who have shown nothing but Ellis spin over the past three years and have repeatedly refused to sit down and talk with the fans in order to be able to get them to not only put the clubs point of view but also the fans.
Ellis Towers may now have lost some control as to what is said in the press, but the Mail seem to be the last to jump on the bandwagon, and this at a time where it seems fairly obvious that Ellis would sell given the right offer as the situation has been put in the hands of Rothschild, the investment specialists.
Anway, the club issued a statement following the Mail article and here it is, sourced from the official site:
Aston Villa is dismayed by comments, attributed to The Editor, in tonight's Evening Mail regarding the future of the club.
In simple terms, the front page editorial completely overlooks the fact that, as a PLC, Aston Villa is not at liberty to discuss any element of a potential takeover, without first making an announcement to the London Stock Exchange.
Furthermore, since the first indicative approach by Aston Villa Investment Ltd, the club has, in accordance with Stock Exchange regulations, made three statements regarding significant activity surrounding the approach. The position was re-iterated in the Chairman's statement when the company's interim results were announced on January 26th. This statement was made available to the media on the day of release.
Until such time as there is any further significant change to matters relating to the companies future, board members and staff are unable to comment freely as this could be considered price sensitive information.
The Birmingham Mail has repeatedly been made aware of this restriction as indeed have all other media organisations who have shown an interest in proceedings.
It is interesting to note that at no point immediately prior to publication of tonight's front page article, has the editor or any member of the newspaper's staff, sought clarification on any current issue relating to the future of the company.
A potential timescale for completion of any takeover negotiation has never been discussed by anyone connected with the company and Aston Villa wishes to clarify that suggestions of a Christmas conclusion were proclaimed by the Birmingham Mail's own staff with an erroneous headline and story on December, 23.
At all times, Aston Villa and its board of directors has acted properly and in accordance with the stringent rules governing Public Limited Companies. Stock Exchange announcements reflect the latest position relating to a company and if the situation regarding Aston Villa were to change an announcement would be made.
The Company and its board have made public statements on the future of the company when it has been possible to do so and will continue to adopt this policy when dealing with PLC business.
Date:Saturday February 11 2006
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