Okay, so here’s the bad news: Aston Villa are well and truly f**ked.
You might have already come to this conclusion. Maybe it was after Randy Lerner made it clear that he didn’t care about the club any more. Or perhaps it was the thumping in the FA Cup final in the midst of another dismal season. Perhaps it was relegation, or firing our first Championship manager just twelve matches into his tenure.
You certainly could have felt that way when Villa put together a wonderful season this year to be entirely undone by a stretch in which they got four points from QPR, Bolton, Hull City, Leeds, and Norwich (or the opening run of one win in the first seven matches. Remember, seven more points would have secured automatic promotion). And certainly you had to start feeling the twinges of “oh god, we’re f**ked” when the season ended with an ugly 0-1 to Fulham at Wembley.
But if through all of that you were still feeling okay, the past week has certainly brought you over the line. Maybe it was the realization that this club would probably selling Jack Grealish to help FFP. And if it wasn’t that, it certainly happened today when we found out that Tony Xia may not have cash, the club can’t pay taxes, Keith Wyness has been suspended, vultures are circling, administration is being whispered, Keith Wyness may have been lining up a sale of the club, Steve Bruce has no idea what’s happening while he’s on vacation, and lovable Keith Wyness has brought the temple down around him.
We are, my friends, f*cked.
And sure, there’s probably a lot that we’ve heard today that isn’t as bad as it sounds. Maybe there’s a reason Villa couldn’t pay their taxes. They promise, they’ll have them next week. And anyways, the check is in the mail. It’s fine, we swear. Or maybe Wyness wasn’t setting up a backstabbing sale. Perhaps Tony Xia isn’t having his cash withheld by a Chinese government wary of foreign expenditures.
But even if 15% of what we’ve heard today is true, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this club is f*cked. And while it’s easy to say “if they’d just won the final, this all would have been fine,” there seems to be so much rot that any salvation from promotion might have been a brief façade of normality. Like mom and dad sitting down for dinner with the unknowing kids while four weeks into divorce proceedings.
It’s hard to imagine any way out that doesn’t involve at least half a decade. So buckle in. This isn’t going to be fun for anyone except Birmingham City and West Brom fans.
And if you needed any more proof, Villa making City and West Brom happy is all the sign you need to know that Villa are, well, fucked.