I’ll be honest. I didn’t want to write another one of these collection of news reports from the day. It would have been great if the day was full of sunshine and lollipops. But this blog follows Aston Villa — and that is not how this goes.
First piece of businesses -- all reports agree that Aston Villa will pay the tax bill that they missed which began the cascade of worries. Sky News reports Aston Villa made a £500,000 on Wednesday. £700,000 will be paid before this weekend — followed by a solution to the liquidity issues and the remaining £1.2m will be paid quickly. So that means no winding up order or administration for now.
Let’s pull the band-aid and expose the massive leadership failure — the Mirror reports — and I’ll quote in full because it tells the story.
A few weeks [before the playoff final], Wyness, along with director of football Steve Round, had delivered a presentation to Xia at Bodymoor Heath, outlining the two courses of action that would be taken once Villa had qualified for the end-of-season lottery English football calls the play-offs.
One was promotion to the Premier League, the other staying right where Villa were, in the Championship.
Xia received the news. Didn’t blink. Didn’t move a muscle. Did not utter one single word.
The three-minute silence was eventually broken by Rongtien He, Xia’s eyes and ears at Villa Park.
The result of that meeting led Wyness to confess later to a high-level colleague: “Anything other than promotion is not an option.”
Three minutes of silence. Count to 180 in silence and then continue reading. I’ll wait.
No chance did you make it. If the mirror is accurate with their reporting — and that is very specific for something not accurate — than the owner of Aston Villa was doing a great cartoon ostrich impression. And here we are.
There is another side of this reporting. Birmingham Mail says the club is considering selling property to raise the cash. I mentioned ownership change in last night’s debrief — well the Mirror says even looking for investment means that Wyness is on the outs for good — “There is no way back for suspended CEO Wyness with Xia feeling betrayed that he went looking for serious investment from USA without permission.”
Quick note on blame. I know I’m just collecting reports into once place -- but this part is just me speaking. A plea to all Villa supporters — stop trying to defend or blame any one person while defending another. This is an epic failure of club management and that is on everyone. Xia refusing to act on plans for another season in the Championship is a failure. Wyness attempting to the sell the club from under Xia is a failure. Money is a funny thing — but one thing is true over the course of history — bills come due eventually. Don’t write checks your butt can’t cash. Villa did. And we are all watching the result.
Back to the reporting. No one seems to have what the Club’s actually solution is to being cash strapped. No report is saying things are solved and the money will flow from Dr. Tony Xia into the club. So in the end — the liquidity problem is solved in the very short-term only and the financial health of the club remains a massive doubt.
A few have been suggested. But none of them are good or with solid backing as likely prospects. The Labour deputy leader called on the government to block moves to force the club to go under. James broke down the call for fan ownership. There are even reports that Aston Villa continue to consider players to bring in — but those are a little hard to believe without any type of statement from the Club or Steve Bruce about who is going to be the manager going into the Fall.
Ownership rumors aren’t going to stop. Nor will transfers and rumors and leaks and reports. Aston Villa Football Club will eventually have to face the light of day and come clean. Until then — I’ll be ready to sum up the reports from the day.