Despite the recent downturn in form, the majority of Villa fans will still be hoping that we are able to achieve promotion come to the end of the season but what happens if we don’t? Who will be in the departure lounge come the summer?
As much as we would all like to be positive there are always two sides to every story and Villa must seriously explore the other side of the story. Promotion and the sky is the limit if you believe Dr Tony Xia and his plans but if we fail to get the promotion, where does that leave Aston Villa financially?
The departure of Alan Hutton hangs in the balance. The Scottish full-back has impressed with his never say die attitude and has become a fan favourite with them referring to him as the Scottish Cafu. The problem Hutton has is he turns 34 in November and with his reported £35k a week contract coming to an end, manager Steve Bruce has already stated he won’t be able to renew his deal if Villa fails to gain promotion.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Chris Samba and Mark Bunn look almost certain to join Hutton in the departure lounge. All three have failed to get regular football at the club this season and just like Hutton, their contract will come to an end come the summer which will save a reported £130k a week in wages for the club.
A decision still needs to be made on the future of John Terry. He has always stated he wouldn’t discuss it until the summer and amid recent rumours that the former Chelsea defender will stay regardless of our future next season, can we afford his £60k a week contract?
Those three are the easy departure’s but some have asked if Villa will have to make major cutbacks with Keith Wyness already stating that the club has planned if the worst scenario happens.
In an ideal world, we would be able to add the likes of Micah Richards and Ross McCormack to the departure list. Which would equate to a further reported 95k a week in wages bringing the sum up to an estimated £260k a week (a little over £13.5 million a year.) Neither has set the world alight during their time at B6 so I doubt either party would be to upset if we were to part ways.
The latest accounts showed a loss for the financial year of £14.5m. This compares to £80.7m from the year before. During that 12 month period, the club did have the £33m in parachute payments and £26.6m from player sales.
The third and final year of the parachute payment would see the club only receive £15m which is less than half of what we received this year.
Should we have to make further cutbacks then surely it would mean we would have to look once again at adding to that departure list without weakening the squad too much.
FURTHER PLAYER SALES
The obvious player sales would be the six players currently out on loan at present.
Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta) and Carles Gil (Deportivo) have both made no secret that they would like returns to their homeland. The question is if the loan clubs would like to make the deals permanent. Gollini has made just two appearances this season while Gil is yet to feature in Spain. I wouldn’t be confident in either joining the clubs they are currently on loan with but stranger things have happened.
Aaron Tshibola has impressed since joining Kilmarnock in January and the midfield has made no secret about extending his stay in Scotland. Could a deal be done? He reportedly cost Villa around £5million and they will no doubt want to recoup as much of that as possible but Scottish clubs don’t have the finances available to most English clubs.
Gary Gardner will no doubt join the departure list also. He is on loan at Barnsley and appears to be enjoying his football. The midfielder has failed to live up to early potential, partly down to injuries but he is 25 now and would surely like to settle somewhere now.
The future’s of Tommy Elphick (Reading) and Ritchie De Laet (Royal Antwerp) will also have to be decided.
In the perfect world we would get promoted but if we don’t, I just hope that we are able to offload those that no longer want to be at the club or are unfavoured. The last thing this club needs right now is for the squad to be ripped apart once again.