Founded in 1874, Aston Villa is a football club with a fantastic history – it’s the claret and blue of Birmingham. With the Premier League rewarding clubs with ever greater sums of money, it seemed like common sense that Randy Lerner would find a good manager and then spend a healthy sum of money to help take Aston Villa into this new Premier League age.
I’m a believer that Lerner purchased Aston Villa thinking he could quickly get the club into the Champions League. It was an investment opportunity for him. Once in the Champions League, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he’d quickly sold the club for a handsome profit.
Everything seemed to go wrong when Martin O’Neill left the club. At that point in time, it was easy for fans to criticise O’Neill for his action. Since then, we’ve become far wiser after seeing just how Lerner operates. Lerner missed the Champions League dream and wasn’t willing to risk any extra expenditure; he wanted his money back. That, in my belief, is why we’ve slipped ever since.
With poor decision making a common trend, it’s no wonder that we are bottom of the table. Bringing in Tim Sherwood was more than just a risk when trusting how he’d operate within the transfer market – an area that Sherwood was untested in. He was a total gamble. I don’t blame Sherwood either: he gave it a go and helped to get us to last year’s FA Cup final. He did the best job he possibly could. Trusting him with a transfer budget was definitely not a wise move.
Then came Rémi Garde, probably because he was once the manager of Lyon. Presumably the thinking was that he would surely know how to utilise all of the French players Sherwood purchased. Again, it would be totally unfair to point the finger at Garde. What we really needed was a Sam Allardyce, if only as a temporary solution. After all, who would be better placed to get the most out of a mediocre set of players?
The club is extremely unsettled at the top and this has trickled down to all levels. Lerner appears to be naive and really has made a complete mistake when using our football club as an investment. He was the wrong man. Whilst Doug Ellis was criticised for keeping things tight and conservative, at least he kept things under control and he really cared about the club.
Simply put, just as a politician can ruin a country, the same might be said for the owner of a football club. That’s because it really does matter what decisions are made by the person sitting at the top of the tree. Sadly, the latest news is that Elaine Rose, a match day hospitality hostess, has recently quit after revealing that she’s had enough of how the club is managed, which was another uninspiring piece of news.
Just seeing where we are positioned leaves a nasty and bitter taste in my mouth. Aston Villa Football Club really is heading in the wrong direction. Although we could blame the manager or players, the real blame should surely lie at the feet of Randy Lerner.
Quite honestly, I feel as though the best option available for Villa fans is to try to force Lerner to sell. Let’s put the pressure on at every level. After all, we need someone who is decisive, makes the right decisions and has the investment to provide what is needed. Either this, or Lerner needs to radically change his attitude towards our amazing club.
These are just my views. How do you feel about Lerner? Do you think he should go? Do you blame him for our demise? Feel free to leave your comments below.