Date: 1st June 2018 at 2:40pm
Written by:

By StennyVilla

“We are Aston Villa, We are going up, We are going up”.

I’m gutted we just missed out on promotion, but now I see hope again. Yes, we nearly did it, but ultimately trying to buy our way back up with big players by Championship standards, whether bought or on loan, was always a gamble. Now we must face the consequences of taking a risk that didn’t quite come off.

All this means is that we now must do what we should always have done in the first place. With our money, our crowd, our facilities, there was no need to gamble. A more balanced approach, spending less, and blooding one or two more of our own talented youngsters might even have got us straight up. No one knows, because we didn’t try it. But even presuming it would have failed, it would have left us now with a bit more money left in the coffers, and the likes of O Hare, Bree, Davies, and to some greater extent Doyle-Hayes, RHM, Lyden and Clark, all with more games under their belt, and better prepared for the season after.

We now have to start that more realistic approach. Whether it leads to promotion next season or not, I know we will get there in the end – because we are Aston Villa. If we budget sensibly, play tactically aware football, and have the right management and coaching team in place to bring the best out of our younger players – then all the other inherent advantages of being Aston Villa, will win through in the end.

So, here we go. We need £40million I hear, and a fire-sale, asking only for some of our money back on most of the players, but not accepting silly bids. There is no need to. Ok, it may not be easy to deliver – but even at much reduced prices for the likes of Kodja (£8m), Hogan (£8m) and McCormack (£3m), along with nearly everybody Bruce bought bar Bree, £40million seems very achievable.

I’ll not flatter or insult the rest with possible transfer fees, but if we got £19m for our attacking threesome, along with already £3.5m for Gollini for starters, that would leave £17.5m to raise from Elmohamedy, Taylor, De Laet, Elphick, Whelan, Jedinak, Hourihane, Lansbury, Tshibola, Bjarnason, Adomah – just do your own maths – it seems do-able to me – and along with savings in wages (even if we have to continue to pay huge chunks as part of any deals), it soon mounts up.

Of course, not all will choose to go, instead choosing to do a Micah Richards. Not all will be easy to sell. Not all will we even get half price for. But some we will get decent money back.

There is no other option for me. We simply have too many players on too much money. Just cashing in on the likes of Grealish (even for £50 million), and Chester, is the exact opposite of what we need to do. It is not just about raising money. It is about keeping our very best players (who will remain financial assets in the longer term anyway), getting a less bloated squad, and building a team for promotion and for the future, with an increased emphasis on a much better balance of experience and youth.

So who would that leave us with? Steer or Bunn, Bree, Chester, Clark, and offer Hutton a new contract. Midfield – Lyden, Doyle-Hayes, Grealish, O Hare. Up front Davies, RHM. I can hear some screaming now, that lot is a recipe for disaster. Where is the experience? We would get out of the Championship, but the wrong way, and do a Sunderland!

But look again. That is a decent Championship defence, perhaps with one addition or maybe keep Elphick. I have every confidence despite its youthfulness, that the midfield would be an improvement on this year’s. And up front, there is potential. Yes, it would be a gamble – but a gamble on youth, rather than a gamble with money we do not have and cannot afford. And this would only be for starters. Maybe one of Hourihan or Adomah would not need to be sold. And we would still be Aston Villa, and we could then add a couple of quality experienced loan signings to replace a couple of the ones lost – players that would still be much more readily attracted to Aston Villa than almost any other Championship club.

All in all, I am confident this set of players properly motivated, coached, and managed, could compete in the middle of the Championship. Also they would, like Fulham, get better as the season progressed. We would be building for our promotion, whether next year or after. We would entertain our fans, who will back a young footballing team. And sooner, rather than later …. we are going up, we are going up!

Now all we need is the right manager to set that in motion?



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17 Replies to “Cashing In On Grealish And Chester Is The Exact Opposite Of What We Need To Do”

  • Interesting thoughts. Another option I have not seen anywhere else, is the possibility of mortgaging of Villa Park! Highly risky I grant you. But in the general leisure industry the mortgaging of the core building is becoming standard practice. Many hotels are actually owned by banks and trade as the name of the operating company. Why not mortgage the ground and raise finance that way? Of course any surplus funds would need to be kept away from any future spending mad manager, but it saves the prospect of losing many of this year’s team. It is possible that the ground has already been used to back existing borrowings and overdrafts, we don’t know. But there is an option there somewhere! Preferable to the other rumour of selling off the training ground! Am I alone in wishing that the club would make a statement to inform us of the new direction for the club?

    • mortgaging villa park is not a solution. The problem isn’t a lack of cash, its a lack of profitability and how this plays into the financial fair play rules. Raising finance through debt does not boost profit, that’s not how accountancy or profit/loss works, and the increased expenditure due to the interest repayments would only have a negative impact in the future

  • I half agree.. but would try and keep spine.. Chester, Jedinak at central defence, either Whelan or Bjarnson at central midfield, Jack as playmaker and Kodjia as goal threat.. any of the rest of squad for sale … Would at least give us a proven spine and the kids can fill in around them…just another option of how to approach next season

    • jedi would need to play at cb only in emergency/cover,, he might need to be rested at times
      in midfield we can rotate the three depending on the opposition keeping them fresh and maby start to blood lyden
      433 would work,,, the front 3 being grealish kodja and abert,, with green possibly coming in allowing grealish to drop back and rhm for albert,,, or grealish too
      if we play 4141 we still have grealish bennyb hourihane albert with jedi covering and kodja up front
      i like the thought of 433 with grealish and albert and kodja chopping and changing,,,,
      new manager needed,,,, maby,,,

    • i see jedi as the covering defender,, rotating with whelan bennyb and blooding lyden
      we still dont know whats happening with richards,,, and if we cant get hogan of the books we must look
      to find someone who can find his runs,,,, or bring in a coach to improve the bad parts of our attacking play
      would like hutton back as he is a two position player and a left back if taylor can be moved on,,
      from the current side we need to get more from hogan kodja and hourihane and taylor if any of them stay

  • Mortgaging off VP is a recipe!! They way lies madness or worse ground sharing with the scum! I do however agree that we need to know what direction the club s taking. Stenny, I agree entirely. But can’t see Bruce promoting the younger players unless he is told he has to. What ever happened to Steve Rounds “Villa way” We see it in the academy and u23s but not in the 1st team!! Although I’m not happy with Bruce and cant see anything changing under him, I’m reluctant to call for his sacking as I can’t see anything better that would come to VP at the moment, unless it’s Olof!!!

  • surely the wage bill will come down if we get rid of certain players,,, we have lost gabby terry hutton samba grabban johnstone onoma tunzebe ,,, gollini gil and elphick soon to go bringing in 5 mill

    then we can look to move on some of the underperformers or unused,,
    gardner tisibola lansbury taylor delaet richards mccormack,, and maby bree or davis,,,

    that still leaves a very decent side with only a left back, center back and maby bring in hernandez and nick powell,, and if we have any spare cash a keeper and hutton if cheep enough

    even with all that lot gone we can put out steer,,, elmo chester new new
    bennyb jedi hourihane
    grealish kodja albert
    with rhm green ohare lyden davis whelan on bench
    all who can come in and do a job over the season,,
    i think if we can get enough players out then we need a fast cb,, fast lb,, and hernandez and powell if possible
    i dislike bruce but realise there is still a mess to be sorted and now is the time to get us lean and let our kids
    step up

  • Johnathan Fear,please read on web: My old man said, “ AV Flawed and Wasteful Championship Strategy
    Analysed by a lady called Shelly. Hope Dr T Xia finally wakes up to who needs their p45asap.This delay
    by Wyness is shockingly revealing that Bruce is not dis missed. Your article is right , but you for got who’s
    responsible for the mess,

  • As good as Jack has been this season we aren’t useless without him, we still managed to get into the play off spots before he returned from injury. If someone offered us £25M+ I’d snap their hand off. That fee together with the savings in wages from the departing players and Recons new sponsorship of the training ground would make a massive dent in the deficit. We narrowly missed out on promotion and have a great team spirit within the squad so ripping it all up seems like madness to me. We definitely need to try and bring some of the U23’s into the team but realistically not all of them are going to make it, throwing too many in at once could be a disaster.

  • My 2p worth
    I think between the dead wood and the out on loans we could raise 15 to 16 million-thats 2 million a person. With the savings on JT and Gabbys wage add other 8 million we could be half way there to plugging the “hole” if there is one-i dont believe there is one
    We have a lot of very good younger players coming through and if we-read Bruce here-are smart blending them in game by game we will be ok A side that has Steer/Sarkic: Elmo/Bree: Chester/Elphink-i hope he stays-/Axel/ Borg/Clark: Taylor/Suliman/Hutton a mid field of Jedi/Wheelan/Lyden/Borg/ Hourihan/Lansbury/Doyle-Hayes/Green/Adomah/O Hare and Jack in any combination would be effective
    A strike force of Kodja RHM Davis and McKirdy would be enough to win the championship
    I would sell Hogan and give away McCormack I think we can go up this year
    Its not blind faith-they were a great band- If you had seen any of the youngsters play you know that most of them are ready for the big time
    I want to point out Wolves and Fulham didnt have huge outlays but built a good side

  • Interesting article in the DM asking what is the point of FFP – I always thought it was so the glory hunter clubs could stay top – just like the CL but I digress. Sadler asks some cogent questions – we aren’t about to go bust so why are rules supposed to stop us going bust more likely to make us go bust.

    Couldn’t agree more that we must keep Grealish & Chester, couldn’t agree more that we should ditch almost all of the dross bought under both Matteo, Bruce and before.

    Can’t believe there are people who want Bruce to stay on for ‘stability’. ‘We only just missed promotion’ ignores so many ineptitudes, failures, bad decisions, lack of decisions…… He could neither organize nor motivate nor inspire nor advize his own picks. Appalling in the transfer market, rubbish in the loan market with few exceptions, tactically infantile and so. bloody. infuriating. and. boring. Brilliant kids wasted while dinosaurs amble sideways, sideways back to extinction.

    BTW if we fail to comply or only partially comply – what can they do to us?

    • If FFP is really an issue and i dont believe it is it will be suicide to can Bruce that would cost us about 4/5 million
      I think we should keep him and lets see him finish Remember we finished 13th in the first chapter 4th in the second chapter(if only we had 2 more wins) and based on the graph we will win the championship this year
      you say Bruces loans were tactically infantile and so. bloody. infuriating. and. boring SO i take it you mean JT Snoddy and Johnson
      You question BTW if we fail to comply or only partially comply – what can they do to us?
      its a fine and/or a points deduction

  • Hoping Leeds come in for Bruce and we can get rid at nil cost.

    We then need to bring in a coach who can manage on a lesser budget, motivate, integrate kids and is tactically aware. Dean Smith for me. And please bring Mark Woods with him!!!

    Birkir/Lyden, with Jedi in reserve for physical games/CB cover, alongside Woods with Jack in front would be excellent. Get O’Hare in the squad as Jack’s cover/an option off the bench. Sell Hourihane – Brighton wanted him last summer and will see that he has scored goals (but hopefully not notice that he has done bugger all else) – there could be £10m there with current pricing. Lansbury would have value as well. Whelan could go and take a further chunk off the wage bill.

    Steer is a decent keeper.

    A back 4 of Bree/Elmo; Chester + Elphick/Axel with Sulliman/Bedeau stepping into the squad; and De Laet (played there for Boro when they got promoted)/Clark with Taylor, Hutton, Samba sold/released and more significant wages off the bill.

    On the wings, Albert and Andre could start with JK and Grealish offering cover. I would like a young loan signing to give us another option if possible.

    We have loads of options at 9 with Davis, JK, Hogan (who might look decent with Dean Smith coaching him – he got a tune out of him before) and RHM.

    Gollini and Gill will bring in £5m as well. Smith might be able to utilise Tshibola’s strength.

    God knows what we can do with Richards or McCormack but I would get them out – even if it made a small contribution to their stupid wages.

  • My post-script is that with each passing 24 hours, and no news on the managerial front, my hope takes a step back. SB is not the man. He may galvanise unity and spirit in the players he picks, because he is a good guy. We need a lot more than that.

  • The problem is shifting players on when they have wages which don’t reflect their ability. We have a host of players earning £2m a year which in the championship is big money, several of those players have been huge flops, and it’s not just a question of how much we can get for them, but can we get rid of them at all?

    I can’t imagine any club would offer £3m for McCormack – his wages are too high, he is old and has poor off the field discipline. £8m for Hogan is wishful thinking, a striker with 7 goals in 51 league games isn’t going to attract a top dollar and certainly not with the contract he is on (reported £35k p/w to 2021)

    To make things worse – if we sell players too cheaply it could be classed as a loss on player trading and make the short term situation worse for FFP!

  • Agree, we may have to pay a chunk of their wages, to make some sales do-able. Re our strikers – fees are based on past performances and potential, not just recent form. Stick on Hogan’s Brentford record, and recognising many of his Villa appearances were off the bench, then for a player who cost £12m, £8m does not seem unrealistic. Ditto £3m for McCormack, who banged in goals in Australia most recently and for Fulham, Leeds etc before. Add on Kodja – after his 19 goals last season was seen as worth £20m, and getting less than that for all three of them does not seem too wide of the mark to me.

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