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The Sleepwalking Giant

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Aston Villa don't look like a club on life support, they look like the walking dead.

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

It's Monday Night Football. Primetime. These weekday match-ups are usually exciting and full of (on-field) talking points. Well, that is IF you're talking about the overseas version, where stadiums are packed to the rafters with rabid fans regardless of how the team is performing. Monday Night Football in England is played to 25,000 people in a half-empty stadium. The lights are on, yes, but is anyone home?

Now, obviously winning and performing well = ticket sales in the Premier League, but I do feel as if there are ways around that. West Ham managed to do it quite well a few years back, where they basically put it on the community to come and support them, I think they still managed to get relegated, but that didn't matter - they where in dire straits and managed to get the fans in.

Now, six games into Aston Vila's season and we sit at 12/20 in the average home attendance table. Monday's numbers are worrying, considering it was the only game being played in the Premier League, but put into perspective and the club seems to be doing, well, just as fine as you would expect a club that has had lacklustre match after lacklustre match to be.

The main problem is likely not with the attendance, but with the off-field matters at Villa Park. Randy Lerner is again, absent. Tom Fox likely won't have an impact until the season finishes. Paul Lambert attempts to balance on an earthquake with an axe hanging over his head. It's not the stability you want from a club that seems to be fine and dandy with achieving mediocrity and I'm not talking about the players.

Buying and maintaining a large football club isn't cheap and Randy Lerner must have one hell of an accountant, and I think he has latched onto an idea. If Villa can consistently finish above the relegation table, they can earn quite a fair bit of cash. Now, I'm no Donald Trump, but I can tell you that seventy three million pounds is a hell of a lot of money, even for a football team. That money limits Lerner's spending and keeps them in the Premier League. Win/Win, I guess.

Until Villa are bought by an owner who wants to drop more dimes on performing well, nothing will happen. Performing at this level has now become 'good enough' for those in charge and until they are willing to speak out on the matter and tell me different, that is how I will think. The club is silent off the pitch and dead on it. If I wanted to see zombies, I'd watch the Walking Dead, not my favourite football team.