After much speculation during the season, Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner announced his intention to sell the club just after season's end. Unfortunately, prospective bidders aren't exactly queuing up to buy the club. Paul's Lambert and Faulkner jetted to the United States this week to have talks with Lerner assumedly about what their future roles with the club may be when new ownership takes over.
Despite these off-field troubles, the club also have pressing issues with the squad. Frankly, the players (and manager) weren't good enough this year and the 15th place finish shows it. Two cupsets against lower-league opposition is embarrassing and is the rule rather than the exception lately. Taking just 38 points from 38 matches is always going to have you within worry of relegation. Long story short, Aston Villa need to spend money this summer. A considerable amount of money. And they have money available! After receiving £72 million this season, the cash is definitely there.
Look at what happened to Fulham last year. A new owner who was unwilling to spend ultimately paid the highest price at seasons end. Even Cardiff who finished lowest in the division earned £60m, and you have to believe that all the teams around Villa, plus the newly promoted teams will be willing to spend with the promise of incredible TV revenues coming in at the end of the campaign.
Setting a transfer budget of £35m would be appropriate. Surely in the squad there have to be some players who could be flogged off to make another five million, so that would be only £30m out of pocket. Getting older players off the books and amortising wages helped a lot this season and has put the club in a better position financially, but as long as Randy Lerner remains the owner of Aston Villa Football Club, it is his responsibility to do what is best for the club, which means spending money in the upcoming transfer window to make sure the club is not threatened by relegation in the future.