Date: 18th November 2006 at 4:05pm
Written by:

After reading much of the debate regarding the past under Doug Ellis and the future under Randy Lerner, I cannot help but be reminded of the political situation in Britain in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Doug Ellis should be thought of as Neville Chamberlain. He found himself in a position of power and the view of many is that he didn’t help the country at all.

Chamberlain, a Brummie himself, could be considered to be someone who nearly destroyed the country through his actions – or inaction – but others would claim that the time from Munich to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Appeasement Era, ensured the nation was at least in a position to defend itself.

But, and it is a big but, he stayed on for far too long. Once he realised he had made too many mistakes, Chamberlain should have stood down, but the former Lord Mayor of Birmingham didn’t.

So, a man who had spent a lifetime serving the public became vilified by his peers, by members of the House of Commons and by the wider public. It took the debacle of the Norwegian campaign, the invasion of France and the Low Countries, and a vote of no confidence in Parliament to get rid of him.

One of the most powerful speeches of the No Confidence debate was from Leo Amery MP. He used the same words that Oliver Cromwell had used to the Long Parliament: ‘You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.’

Perhaps this could be compared to the last days of David O’Leary, perhaps not.

However, despite all his failings, the country was still in a good enough condition, with improved defences and the like, for Winston Churchill (half-American, with a father, son and great-grandson all named Randolph) to come in and face Nazi tyranny across the Channel and, eventually, emerge victorious.

Neville Chamberlain could not have won the war, but without his work could Churchill have won it?

So I put it that, despite all of his faults, Ellis should be remembered as a man who at least kept the club in one piece, making in possible for Randy to eventually come alone and save the day, as it were.

And as a footnote – what became of Neville Chamberlain after he gave up power? He died within six months of leaving office…

Article sent in by johnnyrotterdam

 

9 Replies to “Doug Ellis & Neville Chamberlain”

  • Why give this man any more attention, Lets put him behind us rename that stand and pretend it was just a bad dream.

  • Johnny there wouldn’t have been a Rotterdam in your user name if that parasite had been in control in our most successful period since the eighteen hundreds.

  • i think its an absolute valid point that because we were run as a business by Ellis, like it or like it not, that we were an attractive proposition for any potential buyers and we are where we are now because of that.

  • The consortium that Ellis was involved with in 1968, saved the Villa from possible extinction. The work that went in over the next few years eventually led to that great night in Rotterdam. Although Ellis was not in situ for our greatest years (and didn’t

  • From studying history at Alevel, i would say you have missed the other side of the argument that what other options did chamberlain have but to take appeasement, the economy was at a low, public didnt want a war, army wasnt ready a knock on affect from t

  • This on-going chat about Doug is the ‘bad dream’ – NOT his last 24 years! Those that lived through the last years of the 60s will know what a ‘bad dream’ was – 1982 to 2006 was not that bad (well, 1988 to 2000 anyway), and nowhere near the state of affair

  • think the Doug argument will rumble on for a while more yet because whether we liked him or not he is a massive part of our history now. Happily the word HISTORY is the main part. I don’t think the argument washes that he had us in a good position for a

  • Jonathan – when is this going to stop? What might have been is what it is – what MIGHT have been. Of course he made mistakes, but the point really is that he’s been a main part of the last 37 years, not just the past “few”, and in most of those 37 years w

  • Not quite sure that Neville Chamberlain deserves the comparison, but….point definitely taken.

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