A wake up call, not the new Doug Ellis and we shouldn't be surprised

A little warning today; this might turn into a long post and rather than an opinion on what happened last night, it's going to be more of a story. You see, we've come full circle now, from when I started blogging about Aston Villa to today.

I started blogging about Aston Villa when I was living in Cape Town many years ago. It started on my personal blog and when that started to get quite a bit of traffic, I bought my first domain name, astonvilla.biz and continued there.

The reason I started blogging was that I had time and a view that I wanted others to hear. I didn't for a moment think that I'd still be here ten years later. But I started blogging back then because of Graham Taylor, Mark Ansell and Doug Ellis and one of the first things I did was start a petition to get them all removed.

Online petitions wont have the same effect today as they did back then, but Ansell and Taylor were forced out and we all know what happened to Doug a few years later. But when things started to get serious about Doug and Villa Fans Combined got involved, I had to stand back.

Back then, I learnt that Doug was actively trying to sell the club and trying to find investors. The protests were not pointless, it raised awareness and it galvanised supporters, to an extent, but what they were trying to achieve was already happening. It turned out that Doug was trying to do the right thing for Aston Villa, before the protests began.

But that was back then. We should fast forward to last night and last night I felt exactly like I did when we lost to The Clowns in the 2002/03 season that ultimately started the blog and the petition.

We shouldn't be surprised

The reason why it feels like full circle is because none of us should be surprised about the result. I even had £100 on Millwall to win last night at 6/4 I was that confident we'd bottle it. I don't apologise for that, the price was just too good.

But this has been coming for a long time and I wrote about it last season, the season before that and even the very season Randy Lerner took over. Back then I got a lot of stick for questioning him and trying to point out that this was coming, but I think it is quite fair to say today that many now see what I was writing about.

Lerner was never here for Aston Villa, only what he could get out of it. Back then, when the PR machine was in full swing, people were buying into his love of the club, his tattoo, the five year plan, the new North Stand and the 'world class' players.

I'm sure many remember General Krulak. I could predict what his comments were going to say and I'm proud that we stood firm and never had him on this site.

I don't know if everyone knows this; but it wasn't even him posting on many occasions. It was just PR and so many lapped it up. And I will apologise for that, it was a swipe, but you should have listened because I didn't just write about it once or twice, I wrote about it regularly.

The wake up call

But for the very reason Randy Lerner is here, I also believe that last night would have alerted him to the very real possibility that if he doesn't do something, we could be relegated. However, I'm not sure that there is anyone at the club stressing this.

I'm fairly sure that Lerner is a smart enough man to see what relegation would mean to Aston Villa financially, but I'm not certain that there is anyone telling him that if we do go, we might not come back, even with a manager who has experience of the Championship.

And this isn't me saying that Lambert will get sacked. Sacking someone isn't easy and Lambert and Lerner have a relationship that will make it more difficult, even if Lambert probably wouldn't mind so much after he gets his contract paid off. But I guess this and what I've told you above does confirm one thing; Randy Lerner isn't actually the new Doug Ellis.

The truth is, even though I wrote that the manager should be sacked earlier this week, that if he isn't and if Lerner has identified him as the long term man for Aston Villa, then he has to support him financially. This is the Premier League, not a plaster - you can't do it too quickly in this game.

What I mean is what we've done this season should have been done over two or maybe even three and what Lerner has to do now is provide the funds so Lambert can get the quality in, until the end of the season, to help us stay up. Sadly, that is going to cost money and probably quite a lot of money, but put that in a column against the amount we could lose if we are relegated and it factor in the risks of spending it or not spending it and it will be a no brainer.

Lerner is here for the money. If he doesn't spend it there is a very real chance we will be relegated and if that happens, he stands the very real chance of losing an awful lot of cash and yes, I know that he didn't make any of this money himself, but you've got to assume that the very expensive education he received did teach him something.

What I'm trying to say is, is that I believe we will strengthen. And because Paul Lambert is, as I write this anyway, our manager, I have to believe that he knows who he needs to bring in. But just in case he is reading this; we need one or two defenders and one or two midfielders and when supporters look at them, in the full knowledge that they are only here until the end of the season, possibly for a final big pay day, we have to instinctively know that they are capable of doing the job. They quite literally have to be as close to 'world class' as 'world class' can be in your 30's.

No more yes man, man

So, to my post the other day about sacking Lambert and I stand by it. After the Bradford result, he should have been sacked, because that isn't good enough for Aston Villa and it just proved he was out of his depth.

But he wasn't sacked. He wasn't sacked after last night either and as I write this he is still in a job, so we have to accept that he might very well be here until the end of the season. And if he is, we have to support him, even if he is out of his depth.

You see, you either sink or swim when out of your depth and I think Lambert might be the type of person that will learn how to swim, but he needs his owner to throw him some help.

Without that help, it might take him longer and the club wont vanish, but relegation is an unthinkable option for Aston Villa and that is the part of this whole mess that I don't think Lerner is getting. You see, his yes man Paul Faulkner, appointed Alex McLeish and that should never have been allowed to happen, but I don't think he knows that and that is what makes me think he doesn't understand the importance of staying in this league and not just for the money.

But this isn't about Faulkner, even though it really should be, but we have to accept that he is the nodding dog that wags his tail. This is about Lambert and he has to call Lerner this morning and demand this money, not just accept what he has or hasn't. He has to stress the importance and if all else fails, he has to do what he has to do. For himself, more than anything.

Window open for a few more days

And you can call this next bit 'blind optimism' but until the window closes and nothing has changed, I'm going to believe it will. I'm going to believe that last night was a wake up call for Lerner. I'm going to believe that Lambert grew some last night and woke up this morning knowing his path.

I'm going to believe that Lerner will sanction the spending of £10mn between now and the end of the season on wages and if he does, I feel confident that we will stay up. And I really do believe that is what we have to spend to assure our survival. I also want to believe that there is a plan B and people have been working on it for a few weeks and we're ready to move.

I'm also going to apologise for the long post and if you've got this far I thank you, but I needed to get this all off my chest. If we are relegated we'll not vanish, as I wrote above, but these days it's harder to come back up and I fear that relegation could just be the beginning of the end for us and when I wrote last season that we were going to become the next mid table side with no aspirations other than staying in the league, if relegation, I fear we could become the next Nottingham Forest, Sheffield club or dare I even say it, Wolves.

If I lost the flow in this post, I apologise. If you're reading this, I thank you. My point is, there are a few days left and I think Lerner will do something, mostly for the reasons why he is here - money. I will be back in a couple of hours and I'll respond to comments.

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Comments (560)

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  • Windofchange
    That's a difficult one.:D:D

  • Guest - Rocco

    The knuckle draggers aren't very happy at the moment are they, just when we are staring at the championship with our owners unsure whether they want to dip their toes in it, those idiots really are fcucked everyone is for sale their owner is under house arrest and now the fans are boycotting the Evening Mail as they say its a pro villa or pro vile as they like to call us, c'mon every time it. Looks desperate for us it's 10 times worse for them

  • Guest - dubvilla

    poppycock

    There"s only a few teams in europe that can play the way we play..... what exactly that is at the min looks like just pass. iv seen enough the past 4 to 5 games to know this man is in over hes head. another few years with norwich finishing in the top half of the league he mighta been worth a go then.

  • Guest - PROUD HISTORY , SHIT FUTURE?

    yeh Blues are ****ed.

  • Guest - STEVEAVFC

    Yep, them blue nose nuckledraggers never lets us down.When our Villa world is in the chaos it is in and it all feels lost and pointless, you only have to look at that excuse of a football club that bear the name of the 2nd city and you know that you have to thank your god that you were not born to suppot such a shower of ****e
    VTID SOTC

  • Guest - jules

    have you seen the money in carson yeoung's wallet, he'd like to get it out and have a play
    and if you could lend him a fiver, the slantie eyed prick will suck your dick!
    Birmingham are you listening to the song we are singing!!!!!

  • Guest - PROUD HISTORY , SHIT FUTURE?

    would you like to see them go out of existence though?
    don't think i would

  • Guest - villa6002

    I understand why people dont like loan deals and im usually not a fan myself but for the life of me i cant understand why if we were not going to sign any players we didnt go for a few loans instead,,like everything else to do with Villa it makes no sense,,the funny thing is we all get upset about a club that cares little about us the fans,,,fed up with the whole lot of it,,, and it also baffles me why Randy released probably the worse club owner statement ive ever read,after fans waiting so long to hear from him why on earth did he release a statement that would obviously anger fans and make them hate him even more,,ahwell VTID and it might just kill me,,

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    I'm going to push the boat out and say a draw tomorrow . based on they are cr*p too:)

  • Guest - VillaJack

    Newcastle have invested, we havent!!!
    Afraid i have a feeling we will lose again tomorrow. Lambert cannot motivate this team, he states we have to pick ourselves up and go again, shoutling at the players does not achieve anything.
    The main problem we have is we have young inexperienced players who know that however **** they play, they will play the next game.
    Randy Lerner has said the players we were going for went to other teams, not great money to spend blah blah blah. If you want out Randy we have to stay in the Premier League as the club will be worth nothing in a lower division.
    Players will leave, gates will fall, tickets prices will have to drop. A lot to lose Randy!!!

  • Guest - VillaJack

    Even Lambert might leave if we got relegated and another team approached him to Mumble, sorry Manage them. Left his other clubs for similar reason, why not Villa.

  • Guest - ftkv

    **** off lerner is the only chant i will join in with tommorrow at Villa Park

  • Guest - PROUD HISTORY , SHIT FUTURE?

    Anyone know what % of Hutton's wages Mallorca will be paying?

  • Guest - villa6002

    Proud,,knowing our club,,fatty probably agreed they pay 1% with the option of them laughing at us at the end of the season,,,,,,,,

  • Guest - prh1968

    Amazing . STILL some people on here saying don't give Lamberk stick 2morrow cause it will effect the players Aaaaah What the Fcuk does it need to make some people angry about what's happening ..Give Randolph and Lamberk LOADS of ****e 2morrow.....it's impossible to make this side play worse
    Otherwise the idiots running our club wiill all think it's OK with the fans

    Poppycock n Jules Grow A Pair !!!

  • Guest - Rake

    This is all utter crap from a pair of complete arseholes!How the **** is there no money when Lerner has just made£650million!!!Where's that gone then???!!!What's the problem???!!!This stingy,evil **** has totally wrecked the club and doesn't give a toss!!!What the ****'s he on???!!!I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT'S GOING ON,WHAT A BUNCH OF MORONS,NO CLUE,I WOULD SAY,COULD THE LAST PERSON OUT OF VILLA PARK TURN THE LIGHT OFF,BUT THE BULB'S GONE,AND THE STINGY,GREEDY **** HASN'T REPLACED IT!!! I'M PUTTING MONEY ON THIS PILE OF **** FINISHING BOTTOM,AT LEAST I'LL HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO AT THE END OF THE SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest - villa6002

    If 99% of people on this blog and others ive read want Lerner,Lambert and Fatty gone,why the hell did Sky Sports news find 3 fans to interview that said the same thing,ie give Lambert time,Randy is great etc,and its not just SSN,most media write Lambert still has the fans on his side,,who are these fans cause ive seen very few who want this owner and manager to continue,,,,,

  • We should rename this site the AVFC Doom & Gloom blog. I remember the days when the poms couldn't beat Oz in a test match for all the eggs in China but look at them now. Look at Murray now a true Gland Slam champion. For me we hang in and fight for our very survival. It's hard to be constructive on here when people dump their insecurity on others big time. Will we go down yes that's a possibility. Will we stay up yes that's also is a possibility. My gut feeling is that we have Lambert and the current squad until summer so we should all make the best of a very precarious situation. Maybe a fit and hungry Dunne can add some bite and assist Viarr at the back. Can we get more consistency from N'Zozbia and Ireland in the middle? Will Bent step up and assist Benteke and Weimann up front. My point is we have to make do with the cards we have been dealt. I would rather support then bag the manager and players at every given moment.

  • Guest - villa6002

    "We should rename this site the AVFC Doom & Gloom blog",,stop talking crap Down Under,,this blog is doom and gloom because we have absolutely nothing to be cheerful about,if you want to make do with the cards we have been dealt your a fool,,this club is being destroyed slowly in front of us all so im sorry im gloomy about it,,,,,

  • Guest - Disillusioned Villan

    No doubt posted or talked about already but did anyone read the Wiki description on The Lerner fanily legacy with the Cleveland Browns?

    Your text to link

    Run for 10 years by Randy after dad died and not a decent season in the lot with regular manager changes (granted they did seem to have a lot of injuries)

    Now, I can't say I'm fully up to date with NFL records or difficulty but with 9 different winners in the 10 years Randy was in charge and they only reached the playoffs once might have showed me something.

    I think randy is waiting till after the Newcastle game to sack PL because even he knows its so important and just as coincidences would have it the new manager would come in after the Transfer window.

  • Guest - villa6002

    Disillusioned Villan,,i spoke to a browns fan awhile back and he told me he pitied Villa fans because atleast he knew no matter how bad they were under Randy they could not be relegated,,maybe no one has told Randy that we can be relegated,,

    And sorry Down Under i shouldnt have called you a fool as we are all Villa Fans,,

  • Guest - Ozzy

    Aston villa is simply another balance sheet to learner !! Tattoo or no tattoo . Why do people think he gives a Yankee Doodle dandy about our club or its future ! He f'd up with MON and is now cutting his losses at our clubs expense

  • I have to laugh a Paul Lambert statement on sky sports ""At this minute there's not much really happening. There's been guys we went for who have gone to other clubs."

    If we cast our minds back to the start of the transfer window, Paul Lambert explicitly stated that Aston Villa would not have any problems attracting players to this club. Yes money is always a factor but if you have got a team, any team in the Premier League willing to pay the same wages as Aston Villa they would rather go to them than us.

    After all the embarrassing defeats that we have suffered there is the answer why no players have signed up to Villa. One of the key factors why these players have not come to Villa is because they're too embarrassed to play for us.

  • Guest - villa6002

    Are you joking jonnah??,,embarrassed has nothing to do with it,,the only thing it has to do with is money,Remy joined QPR instead of Newcastle because of money not because he wanted to join the bottom team in the PL,,get real,it comes down to money and nothing else,,players dont want to join us because of the wages we are offering and nothing else,,

  • Guest - villa6002

    And i have to say im not laughing at lambert anymore,im starting to hate him,he is a liar who took the job knowing what the deal with wages and cuts were,even if he knew it would bring us down and knowing he would not be sacked even if he did,i believe he took the job to manage us in the championship not the pl because Randy wants championship wages and Lambert is the only manager who had no problem with Randy's low wage plan..

  • Villa6002

    People can use QPR as reference to higher wages because they are the exception at the bottom of the table.

    If we look to the Wigan's and Reading's of this world who we should be gauging our funds and player purchases against because as we know we have seldom funds available, then as said, in my previous, players would select Wigan or Reading over us any day of the week, purely down to the embarrassment factor of joining Villa.

  • Guest - windofchange

    It's easy to say players don't want to come as an excuse for no signings but that is how he has changed out club it's a disgrace.

  • Guest - truevillan

    If we cast our minds back to the start of the transfer window, Paul Lambert explicitly stated that Aston Villa would not have any problems attracting players to this club

    JONNAH

    BANG ON! except the statement said TOP players, it seems we cannot even get average players, and average is a step up from the crap we field at the moment, why didn't we go for Laudrup!

  • wind

    Beleive me I'm not making excuses for no signings but you have to agree a player will and would think twice about joining us in our present state.

  • Guest - Frodo Bannan

    This club can shove it for the moment.

    Nothing short of a farce what they are making the fans endure. There have been no efforts at all over the past couple of years to offload any of the players who are deemed surplus to requirements. Instead, signing Hutton and NZogbia who are complete crap.

    How come Collins was sold? Because he was actually pretty good........atleast far better than anything we have at present.

    Ciaran Clark as captain? Do me a favour.

    Bannan repeatedly used in midfield. Crazy

    Bent left rotting on the bench. Braindead

    Bennett brought in. He is useless as a LB. Maybe he could be used in the middle - if im being kind

    Lowton has looked worse as the season has gone on

    Ireland thinks its all a big joke

    KEA is not up to standard

    Curruthers, Burke, Drennan or Daniel Johnson could perform better than just about any of the new signings, bar Benteke.

    We are being prepared to go down guys, it is very much in the minds and calculations of Randy and PL, thats for certain.

    We wont have Vlaar, Bent, Benteke, Ireland, NZogbia, Dunne, Warnock, Hutton - ie Randy will save money. Thats why we are being sent down. Plus there is that nice parachute payment that one recieves too.

    Its a disgrace and to be honest im just about done with this club until Lerner ****s off. The only games ive been to have been away games sitting in the home section. I vowed never to spend any money on this club until Lerner does the right thing and admit he is wrong and he is inept as an owner.

    Sadly hes in this only for his 2mil that he pulls monthly or whatever as a management fee.

    I long for a Dave Whelan type at the club. Someone who bleeds Claret and Blue and has passion for it.

  • jonnah: my comments were not aimed at you they were more about the club, they are happy to have us believe wages are the problem when we all know its the general state of the club, the football we play, our uninspiring manager, poor players, its goes on and on but the last thing we get from this owner and manager is honesty, they take the fans as mugs, we will see who the mugs are soon when the revenues start to nosedive as it the only thing that matters to Randy - MONEY!!

  • no gonna bother with the match later,whats the point??!!! A 3-1 loss all day for me.Lets just hope we get relegated as quick as possible and its not a last day thing!! That would be cruel

  • Tonights game will be the final nail in the coffin.

  • Its awful but I just expect to lose now, low or no expectation its simply not what we are used to as Villa fans, this is a Randy Lerner thing - he is clearly a loser!

  • weve gone from expecting to beat teams like Chelsea and Spurs and getting something from Manure and Arsenal to expecting to lose every game we play in in the space of what? Villa are dead imo!!!

  • You can see it now"" Cabeye sends a corner over and cisse unmarked 3yds out heads home.

  • How long before opposing keepers fancy their chances of a goal and start coming up for corners against us?

  • I see now lambert is saying we hope to keep bentike and weinman? i am expecting bentike to go but i would be really upset if weinman is allowed to go.He is the best young player on our books.By all means get rid of gabby;bannan;clark;bennett but this would send out the wrong messages to the fans if this happens.

  • Guest - Frodo Bannan

    bobvillian

    there are no good messages being sent on any level at the club at the minute. Would it really surprise you if Wiemann left too? Like others have said, the only thing that would surprise me now, is if we were told the truth at Villa.

  • There was a time when a player could come to Villa knowing the move would enhance his reputation, sadly that is no longer the case.

  • Guest - DAVIDVILLA

    We have signed a player from abroad

  • DAVIDVILLA

    I can only find out that the Hutton and Warnock deals are expected go through today.

    Can't find anything on a new player....?? Come on then son, spill the beans ?

  • Guest - samja

    I fear tonight will be boiling point for the crowd. Can't see anything other than a convincing Newcastle win, just look at the MF, Sissoko up against Bannan. That just sums it up.
    I cannot believe a team in this position have failed to bring anyone in, even a couple of players on loan would give everyone a bit of a boost.
    As for Weimann's contract, it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't want to extend his deal with us. Why sign for a club with zero ambition, zero drive, zero leadership, zero service. I think when we go down the trio of Bent, Benteke and Weimann will all leave, whats the point sticking with a team that is only going to slide down the divisions

  • Guest - belcs

    Don't know why Hutton going is such great news, he is miles better than lowton, who is a weak, useless turd that gets beaten every single game. Then on the other side, we have Bennett, the worst player to ever grace the PL.
    Hutton and Warnock are not great players, but they are still much, much better than the current garbage in the team.
    Further evidence that lamberk is completely clueless. As for the wages being freed up, we all know Lerner doesn't want to spend as he is an unambitious loser, who revels in failure, so don't get your hopes up.
    Newcastle will destroy us tonight, they'll score 3 or 4 easy but the "in lamberk we trust" mob will still stick up for dour mumbling jock.

  • Perhaps any new player looking to join Villa checks out the fan sites to see what they're like. If you stumbled on this site, would you ever join....????? I would imagine you would not want to................
    This blog is starting to make most of it's contributors suicidal.................
    If there's no hope, what are we on here for.
    If Villa make a signing, most on here will feel that there's hope once again..... I dont think it's that easy.

  • Guest - xiaomogu

    I work at the Dog Track in Perry Barr and Lionel Messi just came in asking if we can do a private party for tonight as he had 'something exciting to celebrate'! He's obviously a long-time fan as he was wearing an old Villa shirt from the 1990s and he seems keen to settle in straight away as he was speaking with a very believable thick Brummie accent. He's also actually a lot taller in real life than he seems when I've watched him playing for Barca.
    At least I think it was him.

  • Guest - dapete smith

    dear villa you are going down. there is no power in the universe that can reverse this enevitability.
    when matrin o'neil left this was the coup de grat. he was a genuine person and lerner wouldn't put his hand in jis pocket to spend good money. football in not a business its a sport. you will never make aprofit in a football club. randy lerner as a businessman should sell the club to an arab. it will be good to spend a time in the **** champoinship. it will be a bitter pill to swollow but that life aint it.

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