Aston Villa Football Club is one of the greatest sporting institutes in this country. Even as a fan of another Premier League team, their fall from grace has been a real shame, and it’s hard not to sympathise with the Villa Park faithful – unless you follow Birmingham, West Brom or Wolves. On behalf of everyone, I’d like to invite Randy Lerner to kindly fuck off!
We’ve all seen Premier League sides fall away from the top flight, which is something I certainly know as a West Ham fan. But the problems both on the pitch and behind the scenes suggests that it could be a long time before the Villans return. Quite frankly, we could have another Leeds on our hands, which would be a terrible shame.
Villa Park is one of the iconic grounds in English football. We all have memories like Ryan Giggs’s FA Cup semi-final strike tattooed on our brains while seeing the Birmingham club in the top flight is something we’ve always taken for granted. I’m sure their fans have had squeaky bums over the past six years of relegation battles, but the neutrals never thought they’d be the ones to go. This season, though, they’ve sunk like a lead balloon; Mr Lerner has to take the flack.
The owner has made no secret about his desire to sell. However, he’s had more trouble shaking the asset than we have after pulling a 2/10 rotter after a night of five too many Jager bombs. But that’s no excuse to treat such a great club with such disdain. Besides, it’ll all come back to haunt him once the club valuation halves once relegation is mathematically confirmed.
In fairness to Lerner, he has sanctioned the recruitment of several big money transfers. Even this summer, the bulk of money gained from the sales of Fabian Delph and Gabriel Agbonlahor were reinvested. Sadly, those funds were invested in players that look more Sunday League than Premier League. If some of those flops are worth the five-figure weekly salaries they get paid, then I might have to start lacing up my old Adidas Predators once again.
Tom Fox, Tim Sherwood and a whole host of others will have fingers pointed at them. But the buck has to stop with Lerner; the American owner is a clown. Last night’s sacking of Remi Garde hardly comes as a surprise, but I’m not exactly sure what the was supposed to do. The Frenchman simply became the perfect white flag bearer.
Like most neutrals, I’m hardly losing sleep over Villa’s relegation. But their club deserves better than Lerner. Foreign investment can be great, but it can all go tits up once the billionaires grow tired of their toys. This is another classic case of just that.
What a wanker.