Date: 10th July 2018 at 8:00am
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Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce broke his silence for the first time this summer as he continues preparations with the first team group out at our pre-season training camp in Portugal.

With Villa’s mess extremely well known as our owner gambled on promotion and lost, Bruce’s full interview covered a variety of topics as you’d imagine and our gaffer spoke with a refreshing honesty – once that confirmed our fail-safe out of the mess included sales that nobody wanted to make.

For those who don’t want to watch the video, Sky Sports have a transcript of at least the main points.

Addressing our financial issues Bruce admitted it was ‘very difficult’ but ultimately we just have to deal with it and take the hurt.

“Of course, then it unravels, all of the problems the club has got itself into. And the first thing before we go into anything is that we have to address is Financial Fair Play. We’re up against it, let’s be open and honest, we might have to make decisions that might not be easy, we have to generate some money. Inevitably that is going to be player sales. There are going to be people that I do not want to sell – and the obvious one is Jack Grealish – but people will know that we have got financial problems and they’ll sit and wait, and wait, till Deadline Day possibly. I hope that doesn’t happen but we’ve got to baton down the hatches and wait for it.”

With Bruce admitting the kind of blow it was to his preparations, and let’s not forget he wanted to build the side around Jack, he knows a second blow will be because football is ‘brutal’ and whatever valuation we have on Jack, and others, clubs know our position to will take full advantage of that.

Having admitted that Jack is off, he knows James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia is particular could also not be with us come kick-off against Hull City.

“I think we have got to be truthful to the supporters – that could happen. That is the inevitability. I didn’t like to hear that and maybe the easier thing for me to do is say ‘I don’t like that’ and then walking away from that. After thinking about it I thought the club is in trouble and if ever it needs me, with my experience to beg steal and borrow, then now is the time.”

Bruce adds that it’s time to ‘baton down the hatches’, get through the mess and ensure we come out the other side so we can look to move forward once again.

What Bruce has to remember, and he also addressed it, is it’s one thing to beg, steal and borrow and simply train players up and tolerate their mistakes for another clubs’ benefit, but we have to take care of our own and he’s looking for youngsters to step up even more this season as presumably, he has even less choice when it comes to relying on them this year.

It’s fair to say a number of fans have reacted with horror to his interview, seeing it as nothing more than a ‘come and bid’ routine that further weakens our negotiating standpoint, but our Board’s mess is clear and obvious to all, Bruce hasn’t said something we didn’t already know so he’s not going to have changed anything here.

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9 Replies to “The Summer Unravels For Bruce But You Have To Admire His Honesty – It Makes A Nice Change”

  • The proof of the interview see no apology for the total ……S UP THEVE CREATED.

    • It might well be, but you best tell Sky Sports, it’s not for me to correct spelling in quotes.

  • Oh dear. What is it about this forum that appears to attract retired school teachers, who have a penchant for naming themselves after comedies and cartoons from yesteryear?

    Yes, it is okay to critique other people’s errors in vocabulary, but why not be creative and write something insightful yourself?

    Anyway, getting back to Mike’s article, I agree with your views regarding the manager’s honesty. I think it is very important now that he acts as the key communicator with the public. He is in a position where he is a little distanced from Dr T and can be a bit more candid. He is quite effective in this role.

    I don’t think it washes that the manager is spilling the beans by being honest either. Other clubs know Villa’s position well and will have already considered their tactics, should any of our players be of interest to them.

    The real danger lies in losing too much strength from specific areas of the squad. Last season saw an upturn in goals scored, but much of that success came from midfield. Snodgrass has already gone, so the potential loss of Adomah would severely reduce our goal scoring capacity in this area. Andre Green has promise, but is still, well, green (pun intended). Like many other young players of his type, his final ball needs improvement.

    All signs suggest Bruce is done with McCormack, but his removal will offer little financial benefit, apart from a saving on his wages. We will take a massive loss on him if we can secure a sale somewhere. Perhaps we might muster £4M. To my mind, Bruce should persevere with with the Scot, but that looks unlikely.

    If Kodjia does depart, we will look very thin up front. For all the potential we see in Hepburn-Murphy and in the effective hold up play displayed by Davis, goals look to be in scant supply.

    • We welcome everyone Tony! I’ll come back to the post when I’ve a little more time but by and large, yes agree. We’ll have to see if omitting McCormack is an error that bites down the line – hopefully not.

  • I believe that Steve has been selected by Xia as the only candidate with any credibility left to front a charm offensive on the Villa faithful. I thought he did a good job but be under no illusion, like Xia’s letter, this is a part of a well orchestrated campaign to set expectation and get the fans on side, nothing else. It’s a shame they didn’t apply this level of diligence to player acquisition/ the financial management of the club when they took it over.

  • All of this has had me pondering for a short while…

    If we have a fire-sale to comply with FFP, acknowledging that all other Clubs will take advantage of our position meaning we receive reduced returns on players – we would likely be selling: Grealish, Kodjia, Chester, Bjarnasson, Hogan, Adomah (assuming that covers it). We could then get in some experienced loans or cheap signings to plug the significant gaps.

    Alternatively, we could sensibly trim the squad without going overboard: Lansbury, Jedinak, Taylor, Elmohamady, Kodjia, McCormak. Whilst this probably wouldn’t make us compliant this might make the gap around £10-15m. This would likely result in a small fine (the owner can put in up to £8m to cover this) – meaning a fine of 100% being £8m – relatively minor. We may also receive a points deduction – with such a minor breach i wouldn’t expect it to be too big – but lets assume the worst and say 12 points.

    Under which scenario would you prefer us to be in. The version with a small points deduction, but all of our best players to enable a fresh start – or ell them all and keep our fingers crossed that loans and kids can improve.

    We are definitely in the division for another season – id rather take the view of keeping the better players and trying our best to get to the playoffs, than trying to fight relegation with the bare bones left.


    • The alternative sale outlined would be more appealing, but will there be sufficient interest over a matter of a few weeks for this to come to fruition?

  • Good man I say. He admits he could’ve walked and probably nobody would blame him. Instead he’s taking the attitude that the club needs him. Well done SB. If only Mr Martin O’Neil had taken the same stance.

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