Aston Villa Football Club has remained a sleeping giant for a number of years – a prestigious club that has not quite hit the same heights during the last few seasons in the Premier League. Two consecutive relegation battles belie Villa’s proud history and stature in English football but all that could be about to change in 2014-2015.
The Villans have had an excellent start to the season on the pitch with a victory at Stoke, a hard-earned point against Newcastle and a well deserved victory over Hull at Villa Park. Off the pitch, things don’t seem too bad either.
Despite putting the club up for sale in May, Randy Lerner has pulled off what many believe to be a masterstroke by acquiring Tom Fox as the club’s new chief executive. The American replaces Paul Faulkner, who surprisingly left Aston Villa in July, with the chairman remaining pro-active in his desire to overcome past difficulties and debts to put the club in a strong position for the future.
Fox’s arrival may persuade Lerner to reconsider his decision to sell the club, which could provide Villa fans with even more hope and excitement that their club is heading in the right direction. It could be a great time to back Aston Villa to enjoy a better season, with plenty of options available for punters who believe a sleeping giant will finally awake from its slumber.
Who is Tom Fox?
Losing Paul Faulkner was considered a major blow by the club, even if fans where happy to see the back of him. Tom Fox’s appointment stands Aston Villa in great stead. Many fans may be unaware of Fox and his business portfolio but it does not take long to be impressed and excited by what the next chief executive will bring to Aston Villa.
Fox established a wonderful reputation for team building and negotiating multi-million dollar commercial deals during his time working for Nike and Gatorade as a marketing executive. He was brought onto the football scene by Arsenal, whose officials realised his undoubted potential and business acumen, in 2009 as their chief commercial officer.
During this time, Fox played an influential role in securing a shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines which, at the time, was the second biggest in football history, in addition to the £170 million kit deal agreed with Puma in 2013. The self-generated revenue created through Fox’s work has put Arsenal amongst the leading lights in world football and leaves the North London club in a strong financial position.
New chief executive
Approaching the chief commercial officer at Arsenal for the vacant chief executive role illustrates Lerner’s considerable ambition to put Aston Villa in a wonderful position to challenge the Premier League big guns – on and off the field.
Fox’s decision to accept the offer could well turn out to be Aston Villa’s biggest signing of the summer as he carries all the credentials to promote the club across the world.
It may be too much to expect Fox to replicate the enormity of the commercial and marketing deals agreed whilst working for Arsenal but generating a considerable increase in self-generated revenue and marketing exposure in all four corners of the world may transform Aston Villa into one of the leading lights in the Premier League.