Well, it’s been an interesting week in the life of an Aston Villa fan, hasn’t it – the problem is the week isn’t over yet so Christ knows what will happen next.
I’m not even sure where to begin with all the speculation that’s flying around at the moment as it would largely be depressing to do a recap of any kind.
For those living under a bridge the last day or two though:
Talks Stall With Defender As Villa Planning Loses Us More Cash
Villa Fans Begin Losing The Will To Live After Latest Development – Or Is It Just Me
Villa Statement Doesn’t Calm Fans Concerns – More Questions Than Answers
There’s also JF’s piece from earlier this afternoon which makes a great read given the talk of potential administration, new owners and so on:
So that brings us nicely to developments today, well I say developments for many it’s simply further bad news that increases concerns about the club.
It seems suspended Chief Executive Officer Keith Wyness’s last words were more prophetic than anyone though.
Cheers. Need all the luck we can get!!
— keith wyness (@retsub12) May 26, 2018
A fire sale of the likes of Jack Grealish and James Chester continue to figure highly in the press today, but that news certainly isn’t new given our purported position under Financial Fair Play and those rumours were doing the rounds long before ‘cash flow’ and ‘winding up order’ became a hashtag.
Understand Dr Xia is looking for inward investment and is prepared to sell #avfc for right price. Talks with HMRC ongoing. Administration a real concern – mainly cash flow problems in China. Insiders fear fire sale of best players. Poss biggest crisis in club’s history.
— Rob Dorsett (@RobDorsettSky) June 6, 2018
The main takeover talk at the moment has a clear frontrunner. Peter B Freund, the principal owner of Trinity Sports Holdings and a rumoured £75million takeover. The Birmingham Mail state that he’s a minority shareholder in the New York Yankees, Minor League Baseball’s Memphis Redbirds, Charleston RiverDogs and Williamsport Crosscutters. With his love of baseball clear, his ‘soccer’ background extends to an expansion agreement to bring USL professional soccer to Memphis with the ultimate aim being an MLS team down the line.
Rarely is the first ‘guy’ mentioned the main player, and speculation says four potential interested parties are circling but are yet to bite. With names being pulled out of the hat though it means some are taking a full sale as a high possibility.
The Birmingham Mail are also saying that Wyness was suspended after a ‘huge bust-up’ with Dr Tony Xia about our current predicament. They further state that an investigation has been opened up to look at his conduct when discussing the possibility of administration, apparently behind the owners back as he looked at alternative ways of dealing with our financial problems given the claim that Xia ‘has not pumped money into the club for a matter of months’. The suggestion is whilst he had permission to approach minority investors, talk of a full sale may have taken place somewhere.
What this means for the futures of Steve Round and even Steve Bruce, at this moment in time, remains unclear.
With a points deduction punishment for administration, the Mail also state that we are considering selling the Brookvale site which serves as staff parking currently. The suggestion is that with planning permission, it could raise up to £4.5million for us.
That would surely be a sticking plaster and much like player sales at this moment in time, if it’s potentially worth around £4.5million, then nobody will pay that knowing the position we are in. That’s not how business works.
Whilst press talk and unnamed sources are confident of avoiding administration and getting the tax bill off our back this week – it still leaves a multitude of questions unanswered and whilst that continues to be the case few will be sitting easy.
‘Cash flow’ being the go to here, there’s also plenty of talk of China and their rules on taking money out of the country and how that’s impacting on us and could continue to do down the line.
Whatever our true financial position, what the Wyness investigation shows and where fans sit on that given the little we know so far, he was spot on with that tweet and we continue to ‘need all the luck we can get’ until minds are set to rest with some concrete details.