Date: 30th May 2018 at 2:35pm
Written by:

As the dust continues to settle on Aston Villa defeat to Fulham in the Championship Play-Off Final, it’s not just emotions and disappointment fans have to deal with.

Debates about the future of Steve Bruce given the Board’s, and his, adamance that not getting promotion this year would be a failure, questions over the future of players – let alone the gaps left by those who we know will leave with deals and loan expiring, and of course the phrase we will all quickly begin to hate this summer ‘Financial Fair Play’.

With Play-Off promotion being worth £142million in total – rising to £174.8million over next season, that’s eyewatering enough but Villa do face a shortfall with falling Parachute Payments and FFP losses allowed.

The Swiss Ramble have laid this cost of failure out clearly for Villa.

The Birmingham Mail also claim that in very simple terms, Villa’s reward for a third straight Championship season means that we now have to find in the region of £40-45million worth of sales and wage cuts to remain within the confines of FFP.

We skirted the line in 2017/18, hence the loan moves and if that figure is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, fans can certainly look forward to some sales this summer and yes, sadly, that may include those on our books who can command the fees, so Jack Grealish et al quickly come into thought as they have done.

What these figures don’t include I believe, is the impact on that £40-45million that known departures will have. I guess they aren’t factored in.

The departures of Gabby Agbonlahor, John Terry, Chris Samba etc should dramatically knock into that from a wages point of view. Expected sales of Carles Gil and Ritchie de Laet will further help chip away at the sum, but even if the picture isn’t as bleak as we imagine, there is going to be a considerable sum that demands attention.

That will mean sales and Bruce is aware of that, even if he doesn’t yet know what he’ll have to play with to strengthen and plug gaps.

“Yes. This season has been difficult, financially. We understand, or I have understood, about Financial Fair Play. But the discussions will need to be held above me to say what we have or haven’t got.”

The Swiss Ramble’s thread might give fans a greater understanding of the decisions now facing our board.

It won’t stop fans from speculating, but this is Keith Wyness’ wheelhouse now and as he said previously, plans were in place for promotion and a failure to gain promotion and things like the sponsoring of Bodymoor Heath will come into play as well to one degree or another.

There are plenty of things left to tinker with, within the rules, to help take the edge off as well and I don’t doubt the Board are fully aware of them.

Unfortunately, we just have to sit here and see how it plays out now. With most fans accepting that, Dr Tony Xia’s tweet:

Was met with calls for clarification of the true picture when it comes to the situation we are now in and of course there is the usual social media barbing and second-guessing.