Villa Blog

Villa’s Finances Come To Light

Villa finances were revealed and it has shocked their fan base to the core. It’s believed Villa is close to going into administration. Millions have been wasted, yes, it’s hard to believe. Well, actually not really, this has been Aston Villa in recent years. It’s only been two years since the Premier League & EFL did there fit and proper tests on Dr Tony Xia. His board, which consisted of Chris Samuelson & Keith Wyness, amongst others. These stringent checks make sure funds are there to cover the Villa’s finances for the following two years.

Speculation & Reports

We all know the DR eventually got the green light. Yet here we are, two years on with HMRC on the verge of serving us a winding-up order. Keith Wyness has been suspended. We all know this is just terminology used in the corporate world. He’s on gardening leave, his dismissal will be a formality in due course.

Some reports suggest the Dr held talks with Keith Wyness on Tuesday, and that there was a difference of opinion. Apparently, Villa’s finances were so bad, Keith Wyness wanted to put us into administration. The club as wasted millions and cannot pay its bills. This is all speculation at the moment, but whatever came out during those talks prompted the Dr to suspend Keith Wyness. It’s must be said that its no coincidence that the HMRC news to break following that meeting.

Some outlets earlier in the month published Villa was in Financial trouble with FFP. This was before Dr Xia gave his official statement. Some media sources went a little further and mentioned there was a far greater problem facing the Villa Owner. China was preventing and restricting its Nationals from taking Money out of China. Since then Social media had been awash with us having to sell our crown jewels, Jack Grealish. And possibly other key team members, just to balance the books. Apparently, there is a £40 million deficit to meet ffp.

Reckless Leadership

This was all speculation, this was until the news broke yesterday about HMRC. No fans were expecting it.

Lets stop all the arse licking on social media, this is our club the fans. The Doctor is the current custodian of it. His leadership as been reckless, just as much as Randy Lerner ‘s was. And it’s cost the club millions. In fact, there are many similarities. Both became absent owners, and both were badly advised. They both hired the wrong people in key areas of the business. Which ended in them both putting austerity measures in place after initially investing.

Our wage bill was astronomical when we got relegated. Instead of addressing that issue, we added to it. For all the player comings & going since it’s not been reduced enough to fall in line with our current income.

Missing Millions In Revenues

Premier league tv money was around 60 plus million per year. Now its around 100 million. We really did get relegated at the wrong time. So out tv money was replaced by parachute money. Approx 45 million in our first year. Then 33 million in year two, and 13 million in year 3.

The reality is that even if all other club income streams stayed the same. Which we know as not been the case, we were still looking at Villa’s finances decreasing. The minimum decrease in annual income year one = 20 million The minimum decrease in annual income year two = 35 million. The minimum decrease in annual income year three = 52 million.

We had the perfect opportunity when relegation occurred to get our house in order. A chance to build a team filled with youth. Create a footballing ethos, a playing style to build on.

Loans And Purchases

Our new owner made claims about his wealth which to this day cannot be verified. He hired RDM and allowed him to spend approx 50 million. Recruiting Tommy Elphick, Pierluigi Gollini, Aaron Tshibola, James Chester. Ross McCormack, Ritchie De Laet, Mile Jedinak, Jonathan Kodjia and Albert Adomah, only to sack him after 11 games.

Did those signing increase or lower our wage bill given the players who had left?. Steve Bruce is then appointed, he was allowed to go on a spending spree in January 2017. He recruited Henri Lansbury, Conor Hourihane, James Bree, Birkir Bjarnason, Neil Taylor, Scott Hogan and Jacob Bedeau.

He loaned Sam Johnstone, did those signing and loans increase or lower our wage bill?. All told this took the Dr’s spending to approx 80 million. Discounting wage costs. Then last summer Bruce signed John Terry, Ahmed Elmohamady, Glenn Whelan, Chris Samba. He loaned Sam Johnstone Robert Snodgrass & Josh Onomah. Did those signings and loans increase or lower our wage bill?.

Unable To Balance The Books

Then in January 2018, he loaned Axel Tuanzebe and Lewis Grabban. It’s fair to say the Dr as backed and supported his Managers since his arrival. It’s also fair to say we sent 9 of our own players out on loan. But no way did the fees we received, or any saving made on there wages pay for the incomings. Not under RDM or Bruce’s tenures, so our wage bill as not been addressed to fall in line with our income.

This is why we’re facing FFP problems. We’re spending far more than we receive in annual income. The board’s strategy was one big gamble. Everything was geared and based on Steve Bruce winning us promotion. The team he never built to achieve this, is now being dismantled. The loan players we may have gone on to purchase, we can no longer afford. Players with contracts due to expire are free to leave the club as we are unable to offer them new terms.

The ironic thing about all this is, it could have been avoided. If only we had not thrown all our eggs in one basket. Now we’re going to be facing more austerity measures for god knows how long.

Something Of A Blessing In Disguise

Because Villa’s finances are a problem, it does means we will have to do things the right way. Will we do what we should have done in the beginning?. Integrate our youth into the first team, and play our way out of this division. Perhaps not, but we must start playing football and not hoof ball. Trouble is this cannot be achieved till after we employ a coach capable with the right skill set. No more quick fixes trying to buy our way out, this as only set us further back from our goal, time for a change.

Fans will need to allow this coach the time needed. That’s not easy to grant especially during difficult times. But it will be part of the growing process. Sometimes patience is needed, but at the same time, something as to be visible for it to be extended. If we want something that will be sustainable and have longevity, then there is no quick fix.

Rumours Of New Owners

If the rumours come to fruition and we do end up with new owners. It will not change our spending ability until we are out of the championship. The richest man in the world could own us and we would still be faced with trying to overcome ffp. The only way to increase your spending is to increase annual income. It took over two years for Lerner to sell us, these things if they happen, do not happen overnight.

Things are likely to get a lot worse before they get better. A lot of us were shot down for saying what failing to achieve promotion would mean. Just ask yourself this, what as Aston Villa built in the last two years?. In my world actions speak louder than tweets.

Do you really think Randy gives Villa a second thought?. Neither will the Dr if he sells us. It’s always the fans who are left to endure the pain caused by reckless Owners. Villa fans deserve answers, the spotlight is truly on us for all the wrong reasons.

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