Aston Villa’s freshly installed Chief Executive Officer Christian Purslow was alongside new head coach Dean Smith yesterday as he met with the media for the first time and gave his first proper interviews since replacing Steve Bruce in our hot seat a few days back.
With Smith saying all the right things, talking about a greater intensity to our play, obviously attacking overtones and rightly pointing out we are unbalanced at the back when it comes to defence, Purslow also had good news of his own as he addressed what the media had made the Elephant in the room over the summer, the three dreaded and confusing words ‘Financial Fair Play’.
You can watch for yourself if you want.
Addressing those concerns, his response was emphatic and unequivocal – we’ll spend if we want to.
“Absolutely. We made a critical third appointment and that was the new sporting director, Jesus Garcia Pitarch. Jesus has enormous experience in two major Spanish clubs, Valencia and Atletico Madrid in a sporting director capacity. I expect Dean, Jesus, myself in the next four-to-eight weeks to listen to Dean’s initial assessment of the squad, to talk to Jesus and to build a plan for the season and for the future. If that includes players leaving and joining in January, then that will be absolutely fine.”
Questioned specifically about compliance, he also said.
“I’m not just confident, I’m highly respectful. We’re highly respectful of them and of course are navigating within those rules. It changes nothing – we are determined to back our new management team in improving this squad.”
Whilst some fans have naturally got a little bit carried away, I think the actual emphasis should be on ‘if that includes players leaving’ rather than we have suddenly dodged an FFP bullet or Profit and Sustainability blah.
It’s definitely good to see some strong confidence coming out though given the wringer that fans went through last summer, but Smith has hardly ever been a big spending really, so I don’t see that immediately changing.
If we do bring anyone in it’ll be sensible deals to balance probably as opposed to more big-name players really. We tried that route and consistency failed, so let’s bring in people who will add to the group, regardless of what they are called and are arriving for the right reason.
That way our actions will see us improve, rather than empty words about how we deserve anything.