I’ve had plenty of digs at Dr Tony Xia myself over his running of the club and the eggs in one basket approach to promotion that we took, for what I find to be absolutely obvious reasons now, given our meltdown over the summer.
I’ve even criticised his apparent rediscovery of social media after a win, but his ‘lost my phone’ approach to communicating with fans when we lose.
After another period of silence, our minority owner found his voice as Villa appointed Head Coach Dean Smith, Assistant John Terry and Sporting Director Jesus Garcia Pitarch, but he only referenced the return of Terry.
I believe JT has everything to ‘grow ‘ to be a great manager one day. Get the unfinished business done! #UTV
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) October 11, 2018
With a core of fans loving the Dr (for some reason) on social media, they welcomed the message in a way I can only presume means they are oblivious still to what happened – but each to their own eh. For others, however, they carried on where they left off in his last message.
There was even a Wolves fan who appears to be on our side here – but quite why they were viewing is beyond me!
I think you’ll find Dean Smith’s the manager. Clown!
— Sean Collins (@SeanCollins0) 11 October 2018
— Jess (@jhavfc) 11 October 2018
Welcome to our new boss Dean Smith!
— Leamington Wolves (@LeamWolves) 11 October 2018
Change your Bio, Tony. You're nothing anymore
— Adam (@AdLovesCurry) 11 October 2018
This is strange, no ‘welcome Dean’ (our actual manager) or good luck to the new team? Just JT will grow? ????????♀️
— Elaine ???? (@MsGilbert1805) 11 October 2018
You do know we got a new manager aswell? My worry is that Smith constantly has to look over his shoulder at Terry, who is supposed to his ally, but in reality is a candidate to take his job if the going gets tough.
— Chrsmo (@Chrsmo) 11 October 2018
He won't sleep with you Tone!
— Kate Wright (@Wrightgal80) 11 October 2018
Did they mention Dean Smith to you in the memo Dr?
— Villa Fan (@VillaFan1975) 11 October 2018
You’re not a real Doctor, are you?
— Tom (@3PMSaturday) 11 October 2018
smith is our manager not JT – no wonder you nearly bankrupt us you cannot even get basic comms right #avfc
— VillaRealist (@avillarealist) 11 October 2018
He's not the manager at the moment mate. Maybe you should show Dean Smith more respect. And is this the same JT who said he'd never play for Villa against Chelsea? What will he do if you get them in the Cup? Refuse to take part in any tactical planning?
— Colin Peppiatt (@ColinPep1) 11 October 2018
Villa are rotten to the core and that comes from the top. The comms from Xia today are an embarrassment and instantly undermine Smith. If he goes through a tricky spell there will instantly be calls for Terry who is clearly preferences by Xia with the weight of FFP round his neck
— Nick Edwards (@nickedwards23) 11 October 2018
— Ian Perry (@IanPerry87) 11 October 2018
— Gary Swain (@gazswain) 11 October 2018
I'd keep the bedsheets on hold Dr..????????
— Sid (@Shaun21979330) 11 October 2018
I’m guessing that’s enough to prove the reception point here…so brace yourselves…
Not everything said above is accurate based on what we know about Xia’s running of the club, but it’s hard to argue against the thrust of those thoughts. I do, however, think it’s a harsh response to this in isolation.
Xia is now the minority owner, not involved in the decisions and even as a named Board member, he has no active role. I can fully believe the first he heard of this came 10 minutes before he Tweeted, so his Tweet is a reaction of support to Terry having met him last season.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I doubt he even knows who Dean Smith is any more than the majority of fans know who Jesus Garcia Pitrach is.
The problem Tone has, is that fans now presume he’s still 100% up to date on things and on message, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
Think about it for a second, if you were a part owner of a business but not involved in decisions, and you woke up and heard someone you were at least acquainted with had just taken an important role within that business, you’d likely Tweet out in support, wouldn’t you. Would you name everyone else appointed that day or just the one you’d met on a few occasions?
He’d actually do himself a favour now and change the fawning Villa related Twitter page and then his comments would be taken for what they are more than anything, personal interactions designed for those who like him, rather than qualified ‘owner’ comments for everyone.
It would certainly help cut down on some of the more extreme reactions when he does have something to say, as some of the comments I’ve seen in his direction leave me shuddering and I’m far from a fan of his and it’s not deserved or justified.