As if the post playoff final fallout was hard enough to delve through, this last week has been nothing short of a toxic.
Staggering reports of Keith Wyness being suspended came and went. Missed tax payments were followed up by reports of alleged dealings with potentially interested outsiders, in what some people would refer to as a coup. Then came the substance in that HRMC were involved and even a winding up order was mooted.
In recent days the news hasn’t been much better for Aston Villa fans. The extent of the financial situation seemingly an awful lot worse than many of us would have feared as the full time whistle went at Wembley just a few weeks ago.
Chairman, Dr Tony Xia supposedly finding it hard to move money, questions as to the money even available in the first place and talk of an outside investor to help save or at least alleviate the situation have also come to light.
The point of all this reviewing? The fact that I for one am not surprised in the slightest.
Without turning this post into a witch hunt and complete negativity I have to state that the views are my own but I feel this is a huge crossroads not just for ourselves right now but for the future generations in regards to how our club moves on and what it does.
If you believe the reports of various journalists, tomorrow is the day that crunch meetings will go ahead between Xia, Steve Bruce et al.
Amongst the alarming issues and decisions to be made, some of which will be hard to take, the one thing that we all deserve and request is some clarity.
Firstly, the financial situation bluntly needs to be put forward as it is. No more cryptic tweets, no more hints and hashtags. Anyone that says we aren’t the major investors in the club need to think carefully, maybe not on the face of things, but as season ticket holders year after year, whole families going to games week in week out, collectively we deserve more respect. The fact so many have either renewed or purchased new season tickets for next season is just a small sign of how much we put into supporting the club through thick and thin.
Secondly, this ‘potential’ investor. Who are they? What do they stand for? Because right now I don’t think anyone can categorically answer the same questions for Tony Xia right now. We all knew promotion was essential but it’s clearly meant a lot more than we thought off the pitch and we have haemorrhaged money left, right and centre.
Fans have turned on one another and suggestions from Stan Collymore regarding fan ownership and a collective voice were slammed by many but too many people need to wake up quickly and be alert to the situation.
I’ve heard all the Leeds United and Nottingham Forest comparisons. Undoubtedly disgusting situations in which fans had no consultation or input and the wounds to their clubs are still etched upon them today. The difference is the money and the level of finance both in the Premier League and beyond. Parachute payments are there to support such a huge financial drop but when you throw that money at it and fail, it means we are arguably in a far worse situation.
Paul McGrath, God himself, spoke this morning too. Stating that things need to be done in a way that the fans are informed.
As the saying goes, “You’re nothing without your fans.”
I suspect with the silence over the last week or two and the statements that have tiptoed around exactly what is going on, that tomorrow will be something similar. Neither a confirmation or a denial but more a “pull together and keep a stiff upper lip” sort of comment will follow. Clarity is both deserved and expected.
If the scenario is as bad as feared, the youth will inevitably get their chance. This is the positive I want to end on. We have a rich, successful youth team with some exciting players who have been mentioned throughout this season. I fully expect to see the likes of Hepburn-Murphy, O’Hare, Doyle-Hayes, Davis and the likes all getting more game time. I just hope they are dealt with professionally and openly to give them a maximum and positive opportunity. Clarity is both deserved and expected by them too.
Tomorrow could very well be a massive day in the future direction of our beloved club.