Date: 21st August 2007 at 6:08pm
Written by:

Many of you will know of my post on here two days ago – ‘Black Monday or Good Friday’. (Click Here) To summarise I set out an opinion, having read Gareth Barry had recently received a pay rise taking him up to £45k per week. I detailed factual financial information that showed how we lagged almost 50% behind the “Top Clubs” under HDE and argued on this evidence together with the recent exodus of players that the current wages bill has gone down significantly under Randy Lerner and the cost of “player-trading” (net transfer costs – “ins” minus “outs”) is negligible.

Because of this conclusion, I went on to state that I further believed that GB’s pay would be the limit on wages for future player acquisitions. In consequence, there was very little prospect of Aston Villa being able to attract any “top-signings” as previously predicted by the Chief Executive Officer, Richard Fitzgerald, Furthermore, with such a financial barrier to future acquisitions, there was virtually no prospect of the Club ever competing in Europe.

I concluded by asking Randy Lerner – “to either repudiate my assertions that our pay structure is a barrier to attracting “top-class” signings of International calibre. Alternatively and better still, prove my assertions unfounded by ensuring that at least one such “top-class” signing is made within the next two weeks”.

Today, I received the following response from General Krulak – “Krulak here. Not even sure how to respond to this post…a post without any intellectual rigor or basis behind it. A post that regurgitates Richard Fitzgerald’s comment that has been discussed by myself no less than 20 times…a comment that was NOT the Club’s position and NOT one that even falls within his remit. A post that presupposes that Randy Lerner has put a ‘cap’ on expenses for players and for the Club. If you are looking for a COMPLETE denial, you have got it!! Randy will support MON…simple as that. Let’s face it; MON is in the best position to know what he needs for his Squad (now and for the future). He has scouts that also know what he wants and are out there doing their jobs. He knows he has an owner that will support him. Neither Randy, MON nor I have ever said that one year after taking over the Club we would be challenging ManU day in and day out. We are not there yet…BUT, that IS the goal and we WILL get there! BUT, we will get there in a timeframe that makes sense…and that will be lasting”.

Signed : Semper Fidelis, General Krulak

I have replied – “General Krulak – That is exactly the response that I wanted. But please try not to subjugate my argument as having no intellectual rigour. Any opinions or assumptions, I qualified as such and if not apparent to the reader, I apologise. However, the financial data contrasting Aston Villa’s football staff spend -v- other Prem clubs was on public record until Randy Lerner’s acquisition last year. Current comparisons therefore have to be conjectural; there is no alternative. We now never hear or see anything officially from the Club about any finances (which is your prerogative). I am surprised to hear that Richard’s comments were outside his remit. Perhaps it would have been wise to correct or qualify them immediately they became news instead of allowing the cynics to turn them back on the Club, as they have in the last month or so. As Chief Executive Officer, what else is outside Richard’s remit?

Incidentally MON stated last season (I believe it was on the AVFC website) ‘I expect to be challenging for European football next season (or something similar, meaning Prem. League, Top6 or 7). So how does this ‘sit’ with your time frame of expectations? I felt at the time, that it was perhaps a little cavalier, if not foolish. I don’t think any sensible fan has ever expected to see European football at Villa Park for at least 3, possibly 4 or 5 seasons. It must take time, as you have said. More important it must be enduring, not just a ‘flash-in-the pan’. And to now have your denial that there is no ‘cap’ on wages and Martin has got the Board’s 100% backing on any acquisitions he may need – that is good enough for me. Thank you General. UP THE VILLA”

So all now rests on MON’s shoulders – I hope they’re paying him what this HUGE responsibility deserves.


20 Replies to “Good News – NO Wage Cap At Villa”

  • Good bit of work. Get the impression that our American friends are getting a bit fed up with us and perhaps have underestimated our passion, intrusiveness, and frustrations. Perception rules the world and it has been noises from VP that have fuelled our discontent. Did they not realise we would hang off every word?

  • It is understandably going to take time to get over Herb’s Regime and after all the talk and promises Villans are going to be impatient. ONLY TEN DAYS LEFT

  • What I find quite strange is that the club don’t seem to be making many statements of late. Since the infamous “top-signings” quote by our CEO, Fitzgerald hasn’t said much in the public domain, and although it isn’t his style, nor has Randy. Your guess is as good as mine to why this is, but it would be nice to hear on an occasional basis what has been going on at the club (i.e. acquiring “world class” partners) during the summer months away from the transfer scene. If the club has been working hard to raise the clubs profile off the field, if possible, why not broadcast this in the public domain? Surely this would be good PR for the club…. It’s just a shame that the euphoria that surrounded the acquisition of the club by Randy and the appointment of MON at the begining of last season, and hence the great start and early optimism, could not be replicated in some manner for the start of this season.

  • Perhaps a bit of an over reaction from the General but his message is welcome none the less. Now it is a question of “money and mouth”. Whatever he said the reality is that the team is not yet strong enough to comete for a whole season in the best league in the world. It may now be all on MON’s shoulders, but he has to produce 3 or 4 more players before the deadline if we are to have any chance of making any progress this season. I await developments with bated breath.

  • bazzah – It was easy to communicate in the early days. As you say, the fans were euphoric at having MON as manager, succeeding the unpopular DOL. Plus a personable and apparently humble billionaire owner, succeeding the cunning and stingy old “Deadly”. Then the ?Chat Forums?,,,,restoration the Holte Hotel…. completing Bodymoor Heath…. installing a new management team with lawyers, IT and marketing specialists …. etc etc. Never mind ?euphoric?, fans have been near “orgasmic”. Then we then heard from the CEO that “top-class” signings were coming and a record increase in season ticket sales was being targeted . wonderful!!! Now, General Krulak has distanced the Club from this statement by not only saying that Fitzgerald shouldn’t have said it but he had no right to say it. I must admit that?s the first time I?ve ever heard that excuse being played. But make your own mind up on the authenticity of that. The General is a very skilled publicist “hype” and “spin” to both him and Fitzgerald are their tools. When there is good news they’ll be all over us like a rash but when there is bad news to discuss, imo the silence will be deafening, which is presently the case.

  • When is the next SCG meeting? Should be an interesting one! Nicely put villacross, and although wrong statements may have been made, at least the current regime dont pump out the counteracting “spin” that was fed to us by HDE and his cronnies (- well I certainly hope this is the case!). Sure I’ll still keep the faith, and as it has been pointed out by Randy and his men, there will be tough times were things don’t go according to plan, but for a high profile CEO, who should know all there is to know about PR, to make a school-boy error statement like he may have done is quite simply shameful and embrassasing. I just hope the likes of baggie bill in the mail don’t see this as a field day come 1/9/07.

  • The same comments about our CEO were given by the General several days ago on the forum. So there is some consistancy there.

  • I’m not so sure that it was an over-reaction Obediah. I think possibly that The General, Mr Lerner, and the board are getting confused about the negativity, doom and gloom, that is filtering through to them from impatient and frustrated supporters. The club is moving forward, but not quickly enough for some supporters liking.

  • The fans have theirselves to blame for making a mountain out of a molehill. Top class players were mentioned and everybody thought Messi and Kaka were coming. A billionaire owner and everyone assumed he would blow £200m for glory’s sake. Top class means premiership quality players who can perform week in week out in the prem. Now let them get on with their job for god sake !!

  • I really do not have a problem with Martin O’Neill playing Russian Roulette with his career as a football manager, I do however have a problem with him playing “Dodge Relegation” with MY Football Club.

    If he fails the club fails and once again we stumble through another season of dispair. Please sort the player situation out and secure signings for the good of the Club, Supporters and of course your-self.

  • col8 you have echoed my sentiments absolutely. I have been a Villa supporter since the time that Joe Rutherford was in goal and George Cummins was playing Stanley Matthews off the park and, except for a short period when Ron Saunders was in charge, it has been mainly a time of hope over expectation (I was in Singapore when we won the Cup). For 25 of the last 26 years while HDE was in charge the experience has been dire, wondering if this is year we would be relegated. Things now appear to be looking up, but at the moment we have not got the squad members to ensure relegation will not be an issue this year. I am sure MON is working hard to bring in more players, at least I hope he is, because without them we have a problem and its MY Football Club, too, they are playing with.

  • I think the small squad is the kruks of the issue here as we are starting to see some injuries and have no cover. The difficulty is keeping everyone happy, any big player will want a 90% chance of regular first team football (the reason for Davis and Ridge going of course).

  • Slightly veering away from the most recent above comments if I may, where was it reported then that GB was now on £45k per week? I obviously missed that. I mean, is that comment accepted by all to be genuine, or was it just paper gossip?

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