Date: 30th May 2018 at 7:00pm
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I don’t think any fan is under any illusions that this summer will see significant upheaval at the club. The playing squad could look pretty unrecognisable by the start of next season.

Yet, one of the major challenges we will face over the coming weeks and months will be teams trying to sign some of our players on the cheap.

Everyone knows that the club will have to sell, and that is a major problem as we battle to balance the books. With it being public knowledge that we have a £40m shortfall to make up, clubs are not going to be offering sizeable fees for our players.

We may have to accept below market value in some cases, but the need to get players off the wage bill will be paramount, with the club’s average weekly wage at £30,000 a week.

There have been a number of players that have been on the periphery of Steve Bruce’s first team, essentially deadwood that we need get rid of:

Ross McCormack
Tommy Elphick
Scott Hogan
Micah Richards
Ritchie De Laet
Gary Gardner
Aaron Tshibola

A number of these will be on high salaries, and considering the amounts we paid for McCormack and Hogan in particular, we are in line to make some significant losses.

In many of these cases, it’s hard to see where the money would be coming from, such as with Tshibola, Gardener, and Elphick. With De Laet, there is at least a purchase clause in his loan deal with Antwerp.

Still, we are left with a significant group of players, that have contracts at least until 2019, who are not going to get us close to meeting Financial Fair Play targets.

It’s one of the reasons why speculation around Jack Grealish is so high. Selling one of the club’s star players is an incredibly hard decision to make, but their hand may be forced by circumstances that are now beyond their control.


3 Replies to “Villa Can’t Make The Numbers Add Up Any Other Way”

  • One reason why Grealish sale offers the greatest opportunity to ease the FFP pressure, apart from his higher re-sale value, lies with the fact he has come through the academy.

    As I understand it, his whole fee would go against our deficit, whilst a ‘bought in’ player would have a reduction made based on his original purchase price divided by the number of years of his contact. So, if someone was signed for, say, £8M over a 4 year deal, £2M would be taken off his sale price for FFP purposes.

    If we need to claw back something between £30-40M, selling Jack for £20M would make a big dent into that. If Kodjia was sold for, say £7M, we would only benefit as follows:

    Original purchase price: £11M over 4 years.

    £7M – £11M/4 = £4.25M

    With this in mind, I think Jack’s departure looks highly likely, unfortunately.

    The only other option is to shift on Adomah, Chester, Kodjia & Hogan. Although, many want McCormack and Richards gone, I doubt their re-sale values will help much for FFP purposes, apart from salary savings. We would probably benefit more selling Green or Davis, but they hopefully represent our future.

  • Thanks for that explanation Tony J… might actually publish that so others see it. Fascinating.

  • I have learnt a bit more from around the web and need to clarify the calculation more. The deduction is based on the length AND the remaining years left on the contract.

    The purchase fee is divided equally by the number of years of tbe deal. So a player signed on a 4 year deal for £10M and then:

    * sold after 2 years – will have an amortization expense of £5M (£10M x 2/4). This will leave a remaining FFP value of £5M (the balance)

    * sold after 1 year – the amortization expense is £10M x 1/4 = £2.5M, so his FFP value is calculated as £7.5M (£10M – £2.5M)

    Sorry for the inaccuracy in my first post, but it only further highlights the FFP value of Grealish coming through from the junior ranks. Perhaps only Davis and Green sit in the same category, amongst those with notable first team experience. It might also explain why Baker was readily sold last year to balance up the books.

    Most of the signings we might move on have only been bought over the past couple of seasons, so their deductions under FFP might not be that great. However, Noel Whelan is an example of a player on a shorter deal (2 years), who is already half way through his stint. So, if he was brought in for £1.25-£1.5M, the saving on selling him would only be half that figure plus his wages.

    It get a bit complicated, eh?

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