Around midday today the Birmingham Mail began laying bread crumbs about a potential takeover at Aston Villa.
The initial report contained very little of substance, it was the typical sort of ‘understands’ piece we are all accustomed to this summer but there were marked elements of difference from the previous coverage about bids being in.
It did state a group from the Middle East had come forward though and that they were in talks.
It also stated that talks about varying levels of control had been approached, which at least implied this potential group may have put more legwork into their proposal than previous ones which slipped by the wayside after being reportedly rejected.
Despite that, a number of fans were keeping their hopes in check because it’s not a surprise to see such talk in the press given Dr Tony Xia’s recent meeting in London and reports that we have to find £9million by Friday for our latest bills.
Within two hours, that had turned into an Exclusive for the Mail, and language changed to ‘locked in talks’ with a ‘preferred group’. It was a far stronger report even if it led with largely that same details, one difference was the claim that it was a ‘two-stage deal’ that would see the group come in as majority owner from the get-go but with the option for a full takeover further down the line.
Sadly the Mail is becoming known for simply repeating content, plenty have noticed and commented at that shift. I would humbly suggest the owners who gave the instruction for this to happen have misjudged the market whilst they look at impression levels as it’s not doing anything for their reputation and I do feel for the staff.
I instantly become sceptical because the two reports are almost 100% identical, short of (for a change) those couple of amendments to strengthen the ‘exclusive’ angle. With it not being a 100% rehash that gives hope, and despite the change of the Mail’s coverage, it has to be remembered they do have contacts, they are known, and they do get wind of things. The writers know their jobs, they are good at them and they are good eggs but they have to follow orders like all employees.
Let’s hope they are on the button with this one and over the weekend some real hope can be restored at the club, for all involved, as the big kick-off nears.