Things are starting to get real for Aston Villa fans. When the sale was announced I wrote that I was sceptical and nothing has really changed but in truth, I'm more sceptical than I was. It feels a little like Del Boy has bought Aston Villa. But maybe it just feels that way and I shouldn't be worried.
The first thing that worried me was the press release from the club. It just didn't read right. And when I went looking for a company website, I couldn't find one. The FT say there is one, but I still can't find it. Then there was the Doctor reference. And school at Harvard, MIT and Oxford. To do all of this and then employ 35,000 people .. it was like he could do three things at the same time.
And the reference that he was the owner, Chairman and CEO of his own company. Something about it didn't sit right. I'm not sure why. And then there was that bit about having 'the controlling interest in five publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges, employing 35,000 people in 75 countries'.
If that is true, why has it been changed on the Aston Villa website. It now reads 'the group holding company owns, directly and indirectly, the shares of several publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges and many other private companies employing 35,000 people in 75 countries'.
To me, that reads like he has a few shares in a few companies. So, for the record I own shares in several publicly listed companies in the UK, USA, Sweden and Norway. I'm also the part owner of a business in Sweden and one in the UK and South Africa. Of all the companies where I have a shareholding, there are over 1,000,000 employees in over 70 countries. And I have links to all of the websites. And like our new owner, I'm not found on any rich lists.
But it's not just what I've written above. I can't pinpoint why I'm still sceptical but I do think it's a bit of everything and mostly because I feel as if I've been lied to from the start. And when I wake up today to read that there are concerns around this deal happening from the Premier League and Football League, then it just further compounds my thinking.
Look, if it was Jack Ma, Ma Huateng or Robin Li coming over from China to buy the club I'd be over the moon and telling you the future is bright. But it's not them and it's someone that not many people had heard of before this week. And you know what, I think I could raise £60mn for Aston Villa - and that's the part that worries me - I think he's made an offer and he's found financing, because it's a lot less than the Football Club is worth.
But I'm getting older and grumpy and I only want what is best for Aston Villa and I don't want us to turn into Birmingham City or Blackburn Rovers.