Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Hasn't Villa Been Just A Business Pawn To Its Overseas Owners?

We’ve got away from the main topic. Bruce is an area of discussion but that’s not where the real focus should be i.m.o.

No matter how Lerner or Xia have trumpeted their connection as fans to the club, they have both failed to understand that to be such a fan means more than treating the Club just as pure business.

Both owners seem to have singularly failed to make the connection as ‘real’ supporters. I cannot but refer back to Fred Rinder and how he would have gone about things. Rather differently, and rather better, I would think.

Yes, different times now to when he was around, but that’s part of the point. The basics now seem to have been dispensed with. And at what cost?

Now, with the added dimension of Keith Wyness having been slung out (apparently for the temerity to speak his mind), the club is in a right pickle. How Xia’s idea of an “investment” is to work is somewhat mind-boggling to me: who on Earth wants to invest £30m with no big say in how the club is run? Is Xia promising big financial returns? He must be, unless the investors are showing interest out of pure love.

Unless Wyness is replaced by someone equally as good – or better – and unless leadership at the club gets back to basics, the future of Aston Villa is now in jeopardy in my view. And allied to all the uncertainty is the threat that all the tradition that we have held dear (like the ground being called “Villa Park”) will go through the window. After all, it’s business … innit?

When that horrible guy (?) Doug Ellis and his cortege arrived in 1968, one of the first things they did was to officially make the name of the ground “Villa Park”. Since 1897 it had been registered as “Aston Villa Lower Grounds”, but the regime of 1968 wanted populism to ring out through the club.

That approach didn’t last too many years, of course, but at least there was some attempt and fans seemed to think they mattered at that time, and that they had a big right to have their say. The fact that Doug worked his bedsocks off to keep the fans in their place caused all kinds of sour reaction. Doug was (gladly) ousted, and now the fans have no real say at all. Except over relatively minor issues.

The club had its spots changed some time ago in reality. The Supporters Trust is a joke, really.

We – in reality – are not fans but ‘customers’ so far as the owner is concerned, despite his cosy chats. We haven’t mentally taken that in yet.

I watch developments in fear. But if Germany can get ousted from the World Cup so soon, perhaps anything is possible!

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