“My football team is currently complete and utter dross. We have an owner that doesn’t seem to care any more. A Chief executive that’s half soaked. A tactically inept manager. Lazy players, who also happen to be dreadful bar 1 or 2.” That was a text I sent after the loss to Sheffield United last week.
That text, I’m sure, sums up how many Villa fans are feeling towards our club right now. Something has to change – and fast. The question is: what is it that needs changing?
In my opinion, the whole set-up that we currently have in place at our club needs changing, starting from right at the very top. A fish rots from the head down and all I can see at the moment is this great club rotting under the ownership of Randy Lerner.
I’m sure many of you will have seen the Cleveland Browns’ fan’s ‘The Factory Of Sadness’ video doing the rounds among Villa fans on social networking sites lately. The thing that worries me most about this video is that the Browns’ fan is saying exactly the same thing that so many of us Villa fans are saying at the moment.
This got me thinking that there’s quite clearly a common denominator between the two – the former owner of the Browns and the current owner of Aston Villa. I went on to look into Lerner’s tenure with the Cleveland Browns and some of the similarities between the Browns and Villa are frightening.
Yes, the Browns had never been to a Super Bowl but when Randy took the reigns of the NFL franchise from his father, he promised them success. It’s safe to say this promise was broken. When he first took charge, the Browns’ fans were optimistic, positive and generally liked Lerner (much like Villa fans did). After years of failure and embarrassment, they turned (as Villa fans are doing now).
From 2002 to 2012, the Cleveland Browns saw many changes to its management – four head coaches, four general managers and four team presidents. During that time, there was only one owner, Randy Lerner. For those ten years the Browns didn’t achieve anything and the team did not improve on the field. Their performances were labelled as ’embarrassing’ and ‘a joke’ by fans.
During Romeo Crennel’s time as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, he stated in many press conferences that what he was doing was a ‘work in progress’, that ‘it would take time’ and that there wouldn’t be a ‘quick fix’. These are all phrases we have heard Lambert use during his spell as manager. Crennel also had a particularly young squad at his disposal, just like Paul Lambert currently does.
This is all sounding too familiar for me. From the end of the 2009-10 season we have had four managers and performances on the pitch have gotten worse over that time. For me, it’s time we stopped changing manager so frequently. Maybe it is also time for a change of owner. Lerner has to invest during this transfer window to show he still cares about the club and wants to see us succeed otherwise there is no point in him holding on to the club.
The worry for me is if Randy Lerner were to sell, it could be to the wrong owner. The last thing we need is a Hull/Cardiff situation.
Please either invest or sell, Randy.