Is being old fashioned that bad after all?

As the window is closed and the volume of Villa related news is dwindling due to the Internationals this week I thought I’d cast my net a little wider in search of something to write about.

The headline dominating the football world this week is that Chelsea have been banned from registering a player until January 2011. While this news will come as a difficult cross to bear for those who regularly frequent Stamford Bridge and as a reason for celebration on the North side of London and further up in the North west, I don’t believe it will have any sort of impact for Villa or for Chelsea in the long run.


They have a massive squad full of quality and I believe they are more than capable of challenging this season and next with what they have.

The positive part and the Villa part for me is that it is an absolute cast iron certainty that our club would never be involved with anything as underhanded as what has occurred down in West London. Martin O’Neill is often criticised by fans and press alike for being ‘old fashioned’ and this is a point up for debate when it comes to the type of players he buys, the tactics he uses and his ways of operating in the transfer window.

It is in a situation like ‘Kakuta Gate’ however it can be counted as a massive plus that the club I love operate in a dignified albeit dated manner during the annual media blood lust that is the modern transfer window.

Money can be blamed for this state of affairs as much as any other aspect with the prospect of shirt sales or massive sell on fees for young players poached from other clubs. I remember the outrage in Barcelona when Arsenal signed a young player known only as ‘Cesc’ a few years ago due to a loophole in his youth contract and they have benefited hugely from it.

Our club is not concerned by this and I’m confident we will lead the way in the manner a football club should conduct itself in all aspects of business aside from that on the pitch. I find that stance admirable to say the least and team ‘Randy O’Neill' is already winning plaudits from all parts of the football world for the treatment of Villa’s fans, players and its respect for other clubs.

Nothing gave me more pride as a Villa fan this window than to see the press release that came out of Leeds during the protracted transfer of Fabian Delph.

Leeds United wishes to place on record our appreciations for the honorable manner in which Aston Villa have conducted their interest in the player. The club has resisted approaches from other FA Premier League clubs since agreeing terms with Aston Villa. Having given Villa our commitment to transfer the player, we had no intention of going back.

I also understand that some criticism was levelled at the club after the way we high-jacked the switch of Habib Beye to Hull, however I believe we showed an interest, were told the price after Hull had it agreed, made an offer and the player made his choice.

I know that many will criticise certain aspects of our club, but for me we are a long way from the Ellis years now and there is a fresh sweet smelling breeze blowing through Aston these days compared to the fetid stench of capitalism oozing from other major footballing Cities. There is more to football than success and money and it’s nice to know that our club has some of this in abundance. Honesty, integrity and dignity.