At 7.30pm on Monday evening, Aston Villa Chief Executive Officer Christian Purslow held a bumper interview with Sky Sports where plenty of topics were discussed, not least our impressive transfer spend over the summer as we looked to rebuild the squad and replace those who left as free agents.
With a disappointing return to top flight action last Saturday against Tottenham Hotspur, there were certainly positives to take from the game, and there were more positives when you listen to what Purslow had to say.
Sky Sports round our summer spend to £144.5million with a number of players coming in to bolster the squad and Purslow reiterated that there was a clear plan behind our captures, and it simply wasn’t a ‘trolley dash’. He also corrected that figure to £127million, before add-ons and clauses were factored in.
“It is a lot of money, and I’m incredibly grateful to our owners, but a couple of important points. Firstly, at the end of last season we had 12 players leave Villa, so we would have been starting with 10 players had we not bought. With or without promotion, Dean Smith and Jesus Garcia Pitarch came to Aston Villa with the certain knowledge we would be rebuilding our club this summer. It’s essentially 12 out, 12 in. £127m is a huge amount, but it is about a year’s worth of television money. My board and I feel strongly that in the Premier League we have an obligation to be competitive, not to be promoted to the Premier League, spend no money, take some TV money, say thank you very much and go back down probably.”
Purslow also rightly spoke about the more youthful now given the vast majority of our captures are 24-year-old or under, so rather than big spending on players with little resale value, we’ve got our back covered this time around, so despite the sum spent, Purslow doesn’t see it as a ‘liability’ as their value will grow in time.
With the interview featuring the expected lazy Fulham comparison, Purslow also rightly pointed out that four of our signings were with us last season, and that three had previously played under head coach Dean Smith at Brentford, so again, there was a plan and continuity – and of course, most were signed early to aid their settling in periods.