While Aston Villa’s financial picture has looked a little more rosy after news of yesterday’s investment in the club - little has been said about the futures of Steve Bruce, Jack Grealish and James Chester among others. While Villa still have to contend with the constraints of financial fair play, they don’t have an immediate obligation to sell anyone (though they probably should as Villa’s wage bill is colossal). True enough, any business that needs to be done, only needs to be completed before March.
Villa have now confirmed (via BBC WM) that all outgoing transfers are currently on-hold. This includes the moves that will take Jack Grealish to Tottenham Hotspur and James Chester to Stoke City. Until Steve Bruce has talked to NSWE - the new group that owns Villa - no one will be allowed to leave. It was also confirmed that Villa’s negotiating position is now much strong, as no one will be leaving for cut-price fees.
STEVE BRUCE POST BURTON: ALL transfers on hold until he meets new owners on Tuesday. No one will go out on the cheap. He wants to carry on as manager and admitted 'everyone was for sale' until yesterday! #avfc pic.twitter.com/b7A6BHKqWf— BBC WM Sport 95.6 (@sportbbcwm) July 21, 2018
Bruce will meet with NSWE on Tuesday - which is when we can expect action. It’s assumed that Bruce will be kept on as manager until further notice, but there is still room for NSWE to make a change.
What’s more, it seemed as though VIlla would need a fire-sale to sort out their cash flow issues. That no longer seems to be an issue, however, Villa still need to contend with financial fair play.
Rumours of the FFP ‘black hole’ may be overestimating the issue - as high earners like John Terry and paid loanees are now off the books. This represents small savings for AVFC, but savings nonetheless. That being said, some changes will have to be made - but it may not be urgent, or as dire as previously thought. Villa have time on their hands now and that may be more valuable than anything else.
It looks like we’ll have to wait until Tuesday for some serious developments.