Ciaran Clark, some bad ideas, a good idea and American owners

Nobody is really surprised at the result from the weekend and to try and move on from it as quickly as possible, I took down the man of the match vote as soon as Ciaran Clark had a lead that wasn't going to be caught. So, congratulations go to Ciaran Clark.

But, the manager doesn't seem to think the youngsters are good enough or that could just be me taking his comments out of context. Funny how so many managers don't think our youngsters are good enough.

Now, not many were really surprised by the result, but despite club statements, would any actually be surprised if our owner had discussed a Premier League with no relegation? Honestly, would you?

I wouldn't be and if anyone says they are, then it is a blinkered. All the club have done is throw down the gauntlet and said 'prove it' when all Bevan said yesterday was that some were talking about it. It is very easy to deny something was said.

We have to live in the real world though and I'm going to assume, despite what the club have said, it has been discussed (it must have been discussed now) and to some extent, this process of discussing all the stupid ideas is a good step. I'm not going to say there is no stupid idea, because there is. Sometimes however, from a stupid idea, comes a good idea - it is recognising where you are and what is coming - think of the 39th game.

The good ideas are here

The game is broken and the ideas we've had so far - no relegation and more money from the 39th game are all, fundamentally, ideas that will be okay with the top four or five clubs, mostly because it is either cash for them or not something that is going to impact what they are doing. However, they all know there is only one way of fixing the game and that does impact what they do, so it is going to take something radical for it to happen.

And they don't want that. Why would Sir Alex Ferguson want a proper and fair wage cap system where money he would be paying his star players was getting sent to grassroots football? He doesn't as he knows, in a season or two or three, teams would be catching up. His owners want it, but they maybe didn't understand how influential Sir Alex Ferguson is in Manchester and how when it comes to decisions that can in anyway impact his club, he has the final say.

Manchester City also don't want a proper and fair wage cap, not now anyway, however I suspect Chelsea would quite like it, as would Liverpool and Spurs. I don't think it effects Arsenal that much, but I think Wenger would have it, just for the sake of the game.

But there are other people living off the wealth of the Premier League and while they know it is what has to happen, they are going to milk it for all they can before having to make those changes. I just hope they don't leave it too long, because I think we could be very very close to tipping point.

Aston Villa news in 18 seconds

  • The manager is hopeful that Collins will be back for the match on Saturday. I don't think Dunne needs to be dropped, but the manager is the manager
  • Jermaine Jenas - paid £300,000 so far, will hopefully make an appearance this month, when that amount will be closer to £500,000
  • Barry Bannan got a day off the other day
  • We now have a Facebook page here. The group died, so I made this instead
  • Yes, I'm struggling, sorry. Well done to Ciaran Clark again. It will be sad to see you dropped when Collins is fit - but the manager knows best, doesn't he

I was going to start writing about how the Hillsborough files are going to be released, but I think I should leave it now. Time for change.


A couple of people have asked me what was said. Below is what Richard Bevan said and the statement from our club.

League Managers' Association CEO Richard Bevan
There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League. If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen. You'll find that with American owners and you'll find that with some of the Asian owners as well.

If you look at sport all around the world and you look at sport owners trying to work out how to invest and make money, you'll find that most of them like the idea of franchises. If you take, particularly, American owners, without doubt there have been a number of them looking at possibly having more of a franchise situation.

That would mean no promotion or relegation. That would obviously not be good news for English football. You need to make sure that the FA is strong enough to ensure that the principles on which our clubs are run, if I'm an owner coming in, I must recognise and embrace the history, the tradition, the supporters, the community, the philosophy of actually how this club should be operating and not deciding my club should be taken abroad or whatever.
Statement from the Aston Villa board
We were confused and surprised by Mr Bevan's remarks today stating that unnamed American and Asian owners have been talking about scrapping promotion and relegation to the Premier League.

If he intended this group to specifically include Aston Villa, as could be inferred by his comments, then we would ask him to confirm as much.

We might also add that the founding of the Football League in 1888 was led by a previous Chairman of Aston Villa, William McGregor.