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Blog. Is financial management higher on Villa strategy then football management


andykeenan
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Yet another good article


http://www.expressandstar.com/sport/aston-villa-fc/2014/02/27/blog-is-financial-management-higher-on-aston-villas-strategy-than-footballing-management/

 

After several weeks of poor results, Aston Villa are in need of improvement. Matt Turvey asks if lack of expenditure is the true reason behind the club’s poor football.
 
Villa Park
 
In a week where recently appointed coach Pepe Mel has been hitting the headlines as one of the favourites in the sack race, Aston Villa fans may well be pleased that the board are far more patient at Villa Park.
 
Well, that or they may well be wanting changes of their own.
 
Villa’s recent issues in terms of poor league placings are nothing new for fans of the club. Since the acrimonious exit of Martin O’Neill, Villa have struggled to reach previous heights with financial management seemingly higher on the club’s strategy than footballing management.
 
In some senses, the board were totally correct in their desire to rectify a wage bill that had blown up to unsustainable levels in the O’Neill era, though there has to be serious doubt as to whether the club’s current outlay - at a far more meagre level - is sufficient to achieve Villa’s goals.
 
It is no secret that most of the players signed in the Paul Lambert era have been paid £10-15k or less per week, a far cry from the almost standard £40k that was handed out when O’Neill was in charge.
 
Ask any fan whether Villa were overpaying the likes of Richard Dunne, Habib Beye, James Collins, or Curtis Davies, and most would agree. However, Villa’s problems are slightly different nowadays.
 
The main issue for Villa in February 2014 is that £10-15k a week only gets you so much. As a comparative, there are many teams in the Championship with higher wage policies than Villa, a statistic which some fans could well argue is the reason why the club is struggling at present - you can’t pay cheap wages and expected massive, or even moderate, success.
 
Villa, however, will have you believe that the often-mentioned “young and hungry” policy for the club is a positive thing, pointing as they do to the success of other teams that have rebuilt with youth as a key part of them - the early Premier League era Manchester United for instance, or Germany’s national team.
 
However, using such examples are a tad disingenuous. Whilst United were criticised on opening day by Alan Hansen with his famous “you’ll never win anything with kids” statement, the truth is that Alex Ferguson had a strong backbone of experience in that squad, coupled with a significantly higher quality level of young player.
 
After all, in the early Premier League era, United still had the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Gary Pallister, Dennis Irwin, Bryan Robson, and Bryan McClair. Yes, Villa have (comparatively) older players in the form of Ron Vlaar, Karim-El Ahmadi, and Brad Guzan, but the truth is that this is still a team lacking in real experience, as well as lacking in true quality.
 
As stated above, paying cheap wages can only take a club so far. Much anger is currently being directed at Lambert, though the truth is that he is merely the executioner of the board’s wishes, even going so far as to say that Alan Hutton was being frozen out simply because his wages were too high for Villa to afford, a logic that most certainly would also apply to both Shay Given and Darren Bent.
 
Now whilst, as a fan, I can wholly understand the need to save money - and to know that the likes of Hutton, Given and Bent are still costing the club money in wages - there has to be some balance struck. The TV revenue gained by the club this season has, according to the board, been sufficient to balance recent losses suffered. As a result, there has to be some argument to say that Villa could be spending more on players.
 
Which is why, in a sense, the summer is a key time for the club. Should Villa avoid the drop - and I still believe they will - money must be spent. The truth of the matter is that Villa are unlikely to develop much beyond mid-table with the level of player currently at the club. Yes, Villa needed to save money after years of over-spending, but the club can not afford to go too far in the opposite direction.
 
Should Villa fail to invest in the summer, the club will be left with a ticking time bomb meaning it will be a case of when, not if, relegation eventually catches up with the Midlands’ oldest and most successful team.
 
You can follow Matt Turvey’s regular opinions at his own site, Aston Villa Life at www.astonvillalife.com, via the site’s Twitter account @astonvillalife, or via his own Twitter account @mturvey_star.

 

 

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He's basically stated exactly what a lot of people on here think - the summer is crucial.

 

Obviously it's a short-term gamble on Premier League survival but, should the worst case scenario happen and we get relegated, we won't be stricken by the sudden wage:income ratio drop that relegated teams suffer.

 

If nothing happens in the summer, I'll be seriously worried.

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It's a multi million pound company run by two men, both with a financial CV. No football experience whatsoever, which has been regularly demonstrated by their almost comedic attempts to bring managers and players to AVFC.

 

No wonder they appear to be concentrating their latest efforts solely on getting the wage bill under control, this football lark's a bit of a head scratcher isn't it. "Let's leave all the rest of it to that nice Scotsman …. He tells me he knows what he's doing." 

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The truth of the matter is that Villa are unlikely to develop much beyond mid-table with the level of player currently at the club. 

That gives too much comfort to Lerner. If he thinks the current squad can keep us mid-table, surely he will be perfectly happy?

 

The reality is more likely another relegation squeeze next season if we keep the current level of player at the club.

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He's basically stated exactly what a lot of people on here think - the summer is crucial.

Obviously it's a short-term gamble on Premier League survival but, should the worst case scenario happen and we get relegated, we won't be stricken by the sudden wage:income ratio drop that relegated teams suffer.

If nothing happens in the summer, I'll be seriously worried.

This has been the line of thinking preceding the last few summers, that the deadwood is cleared and we will reinvest. I hope this is the summer where we finally do so.

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I honestly don't think we will until Randy has found a buyer for the club. Until that happens I think we'll just keep trying to avoid relegation on the cheap.

I think this "long term plan" is looking for a buyer to takeover the club.

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The answer to the title is yes.

 

Anyone with half a brain knows what is going on at the club.

 

Perhaps they could tell the people who run the club what's going on then.  The incompetents in charge don't have half a brain between them.

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One thing I don't agree with is that these guys are problematic because they aren't football men and just have financial cv's. I can imagine some football men not being any good either, I just don't think PF and RL are good running our club. I could imagine many financial cv people being really good at running our club. I think this thing about needing footballing men in the board room is rubbish, and brought about by ex footballers thinking the rest of us don't understand football when we have probably played more games ( all be it at a lower level) than them and probably have watched and analysed more games than them. What we need is the right people in the board room, whatever skill set they have..... Unfortunately under RL that isn't going to happen.

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Well... yeah.

 

I read as far as the often trotted out Alan Hansen quote... I can't believe journos are still dining off that to pen their lazy journalism. It was the best part of 20 years ago. The world of football has kind of moved on since then.

 

Snoooooze.

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