Big time club, small time thinking?
Relegation in 2016 was disastrous for the club and over the past two decades, small-time thinking and false economy has seen us overtaken and left for dead by erstwhile contemporaries (which might actually be stretching the definition) such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.
Of course, multi-million-pound spending by the likes of Chelsea and City gave them a huge advantage, before their new-found success and position of influence was protected by the farcical introduction of FFP, a measure designed to pull up the drawbridge behind the big European clubs, rather than the ostensible reason of protecting clubs from owners with delusions of grandeur who might drop their plaything in the blink of an eye and leave clubs up the proverbial creek and potentially send once-great institutions into oblivion.
So in terms of our ability to think and spend big to underscore what a huge club we really are, our hands are tied by financial regulations and the fact that a number of years out of the top tier (and even longer away from milking the cash cow of European football) has left us light years behind our rivals and struggling to play catch up, however wealthy our owners and however much they are willing to throw at the club in the pursuit of titles, international exposure and the desire to ‘Make Villa Great Again!’
Few fans doubt our position in the pantheon of English football, but Overlooked Villan thinks we need to learn to walk again before we can run:
“We are a massive club, but results and performances in the past 7 years or so have not shown it. That’s ultimately what you’re judged on.
Let’s not kid ourselves though, it’s a different league than we left and the quality is extremely high, and before we really start throwing our weight around, we need to be finishing higher up the table so that we don’t risk the long-term future of this grand old club.”
Thomas Holte fully agrees that Villa need to think and act big time, and the ball is in NSWE’s court to elevate us to our former glories, rather than just hanging about to make up the numbers. “What a massive and grand old club we actually are. I sincerely hope the new owners see it that way as well and think big time and not just plod on.”