At risk of derailing the thread I think the comparisons to Lambert are valid up to a point. Lambert came up with Norwich on a smallish budget and had them playing fast-flowing, attacking football, and he seemed like a brilliant appointment at the time. Remember how Villa fans sang his name as Norwich buried us in the last game of the season? And we were just coming off an utterly depressing season of turgid football from a manager who also, it seems, mistakenly everyone thought we hated because he had managed Blues. There are some pretty clear parallels and I can understand why some people are wary of history repeating itself.
I think looking back on it though many can see that Lambert was actually a pretty decent manager who pretty much had the rug pulled from under him by a club where the owner had pretty much given up and the decisions were being made by executives with zero football experience. Any hopes and dreams of playing vibrant and attacking football were drained away by the painful realities of "we go again" football.
So I think this is where the difference might be for Smith. The new owners appear to be setting up a footballing structure rather than a business structure. Hopefully they will be backing Smith with the resources he needs (rather than just money) to re-create and re-brand Villa as a football club rather than a franchise. So even when/if the money dries up for a bit under FFP the structure remains as the backbone of the club and we don't disappear into a Leeds-shaped hole.