Almost certainly Di Matteo. And Villa to spearhead a footballing network.

Nigel Pearson has signed on for Derby then and that’s disappointing on my part as I was convinced he was the man that was needed for our current situation.
We all know there seems to have been a massive lack of discipline down the Villa for a while and my thinking is very much in line of lots of comments I’ve read in that we need a strict disciplinarian who will sort out the wasters.

Which is exactly the reason I don’t understand why it seems we’re going to run with Di Matteo.
He seems far too nice to me.
I’m also in agreement with the views that he’s never really rebuilt a team in the same way that we need rebuilding, whereas Pearson has.

So what can we take from things, if indeed we do appoint Di Matteo?

Well, it totally convinces me that Holis’ and Brian Little’s choice have been ignored.
Which can be taken as a plus point as surely it means that all parties involved on the Villa side must be convinced that Dr Xia will pass the required tests, no problem?

It also shows that Xia will be the one who firmly calls the shots. Or has this decision come from his advisors?
Either way, whether that’s a good thing, I’m not so sure.
It’s always struck me that if a club appoint a manager that’s frankly not wanted by the fans, it doesn’t bode well further down the line, just as we saw with McLeish.

While I love the things Xia is coming out with, so I also have to question how realistic they are.
Of course, anything’s realistic if you continually pump enough resources in and have enough patience.

But I wonder what the owner’s viewpoint will be if we fail to get promoted straight away?
Xia has admitted that buying the Villa is mostly business, something I have to confess worried me, but if it’s true that he’s already in the process of buying another club, it gives me hope that he’ll stand some loss in the earlier year(s).
And it would also convince me that he’s deadly serious, regardless of if the money’s his or China’s.
If, as he’s said, we’ll be the main club in any Manchester City type network (let’s face it, the Premier League is the big one, money-wise and will be for a while yet), then so much the better.

It’s all about Xia backing up the rhetoric now.
And while I think many of us fans think he will have made his first mistake in appointing Di Matteo, equally, massive investment might retrieve the situation in the winter window.

I predict a roller-coaster ride this season.


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  1. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm . Reply

    It seems that Villa are off to a good start , no player knows yet when to start training for our coming season, to me it showing lack of care from internal management.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 29, 2016 at 9:58 pm . Reply

      Bill – it’s old news rehashed to rebuild interest in a story (the Villa) fast losing interest other than with Villa fans. First they try and dig up dirt on Dr. T, then they throw concerns around about the make up of the Board and FPP rules and now they try and suggest the club are in complete disarray.

      It’s inevitable that uncertainty will exist mainly because of the PL / FL’s FPP charade which feeds their desire for authority and power but has proved to be completely ineffectual (Reading, Portsmouth, Blues, Blackburn, Leeds – need I go on!). It seems to me that Villa have set out a sensible course of action in the circumstances but then a headline to that effect doesn’t sell newspapers.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm . Reply

        Fit and proper test is simply Brown envelopes of cash doing the rounds

        1. Andrew
          Andrew May 30, 2016 at 3:41 am . Reply

          No… Oohah, just no… Fit and Proper Test is legit, and they’re making it harder to buy clubs because of the crap like Yeung and Venky’s. Not at all about cash doing the rounds.

    2. Andrew
      Andrew May 30, 2016 at 3:43 am . Reply

      There’s no one to tell them. Hollis is gone, we don’t have a new owner yet and clearly Lerner’s done with Villa. Unless Little’s in charge, no one is going to tell them when to come back. Much like the reason the manager hasn’t been brought in. No one too appoint him.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 May 30, 2016 at 7:48 am . Reply

        Andrew, Hollis and Eric Black are still Chairman and manager at least until the acquisition is confirmed or in the latter’s case a new manager appointed. Black has merely said that it’s pointless him setting out a schedule (for the players) as he won’t be the manager for much longer.

        Of greater concern is that the club has no CEO, no FD and no functioning Board with an owner who has turned his back and taken the mighty General with him. The PL and FL need to think carefully about the damage they are doing to the club by not quickly dealing with this discredited test.

        1. Andrew
          Andrew May 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm . Reply

          Figured Hollis was more or less gone. Won’t be surprised if he was.

          I don’t think they’re worried how long it takes. They’re solely looking at the owner and want to make sure they’re not made fools of like Yeung and Venky’s have done. Not much Villa can do anyways, bar appoint a few board members. My guess is Xia knows who he wants. Former Everton guy, someone has even said his wife could be on the board. He seems a pretty intelligent guy, I’m sure he’s working in the background while this goes on, especially if he said he’s not afraid of the test and that he’ll pass it.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 30, 2016 at 6:24 am . Reply

    Andrew, I don’t know what to think? Hitch might be right in saying paper making waves, so why no news when times ticking down , this arguably no good for us fans having seen the worst performance ever fron Aston Villa football club, surely they are not on a break still and not training are thy?. Disgusted.

    1. Andrew
      Andrew May 30, 2016 at 2:06 pm . Reply

      What can be said though? Xia isn’t going to know what the Premier League and Football League are talking about, no one at the club is. We have no board anymore bar Little, we have no manager and Lerner’s clearly nowhere to be found (which you can’t blame him for). Xia’s the only one who can talk and there’s nothing more he can really say until he’s given the green light to talk.

      Who’s going to train them? We have no manager. You want Black training them? And yes, they’re on break. They get those, it’s called vacation. No matter what, most employees get those at full time jobs, even after recent bad performances. In fact, they can be incredibly helpful. Some players are on International duty, some get to rest. Nothing disgusting about it.

  3. nath
    nath May 30, 2016 at 7:56 am . Reply

    they used to say the team winning the championship playoffs. has a massive disadvantage, they only know which division to prepare for weeks after the end of season. well we still don’t know who manager is or owner. so we are gonna struggle big time. no plans could have been drawn up for preseason. no transfer list could have been handed in. players scouted how could this happen with no transfer system installed.

    yeah i know they have too wait for the owner receiving the green light. but this seriously will hinder the start and maybe whole campaign. sort yourselves out,
    we are making the likes or leeds and big noses, look like fit and proper clubs in compared to us

    1. Andrew
      Andrew May 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm . Reply

      Speculation. Maybe Xia has his manager already? It’s very well possible he knows who the manager is targeting on transfers. We don’t know what his plans still are. He could be talking to his manager every day over transfers. But we have no one with the ability to appoint anyone.

  4. steve
    steve May 30, 2016 at 8:11 am . Reply

    if we are waiting for the fit and proper tests from the fa and the football league before we can move forward with any authority (or not) then that is just it.
    the Birmingham mail last Thursday said it would be about 10 days.
    we are just going to have to patient. annoying as it is.
    a new manager coming in surely would want to know who his boss is and what the club’s plans / ambitions are.
    players not knowing when they are coming back is rubbish. they always come back first week in July and you could say they did not come back at all last season.
    most transfers are done a couple of weeks before the deadline as clubs hold out for the best deals.
    if nothing has happened by this time next week then everything might be going pear shaped.

  5. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion May 31, 2016 at 1:03 am . Reply

    FPP is hopefully more onerous than it was. I think all we can reasonably deduce is that Xia has put the full purchase price into an Escrow account. I am still expecting the test to go either way.

    I read the FT on line as part of my work and get used to the very careful language the FT uses to describe people and companies. They are ultra careful not to describe anything as a lie or hooky or crooked in such blatant and unambiguous language in case they get sued. However there is a subtle code, and the two Chinese based reporters came as close as I have ever read to saying they did not believe a word of his background story that Xia gave Hollis for release.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 8:29 am . Reply

      OLL – maybe the question we should be asking is how reliable the outcome of the FPP test will be given how difficult (as I understand it) it is to check the veracity of information from China. It’s not just about proving the case but I imagine the PL / FL would need very solid grounds to disprove the good Doctor’s worthiness as owner of Villa.

      Returning to the article in the FT, did the two Chinese reports provide evidence to support their doubts or were they just that because they were unable to access the information they wanted?

      I’m desperately trying to keep an open mind over Dr. Xia but lack of evidential information makes that very difficult.

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 31, 2016 at 2:01 pm . Reply

      OLL – Xia told UK papers a week ago that he’d deposited “£100m” into a “UK Bank account”, so you’re right on that part.

      I’m not sure how just onerous the “FPP” test might be: presumably the usual ID confirmation, plus a check on any criminal record, past business bankruptcies, etc.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 2:35 pm . Reply

        If that’s the case Ardent, it’s no different to checks undertaken appointing any Director – at least in a quoted company – to accord with company law and code of good practice.

        I think you could add to that source of funds to avoid money from dubious enterprises bring laundered through a football club – mind you how that would actually be achieved beats me.

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm . Reply

          The checking of fund sources that is, not the laundering!

          1. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain May 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm . Reply

            H60 – that was my point really. I can’t see how the “FPP” can be substantially different to the standard checks that would form part of any ‘Due Dilligence’ anyway: Anti Money Laundering/Know Your Client/Criminal Records/etc.

            What else would they check, and where would they get the information for it?

            I can’t imagine that the PL or FL would have access to any more factual information than any solicitor or accountant couldn’t find already as part of the statutory checks with they have to undertake to comply with MLR/POCA legislation when dealing with any large transaction.

          2. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm . Reply

            Ah I’m with you and totally agree with your assessment. You would think the club would do that anyway but evidence points to the contrary – but then if you’re an outgoing owner and just want the cash…………..

            It happens all to often and not just with football clubs!

  6. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 31, 2016 at 6:38 am . Reply

    OLL, disconcerting that, two Chinese reporters not going with his business move sounds dodgy to me, I know the Chinese take chances and we don’t ,its going to be a rough ride in finding out if we have a genuine owner.

    1. OriginalLondonLion
      OriginalLondonLion May 31, 2016 at 8:28 pm . Reply

      From the FT
      The information raises questions not just about the truthfulness of the claims surrounding Mr Xia’s business dealings, but about the financial health of Mr Xia’s business group, which agreed this week to pay an undisclosed sum for Villa.
      The Recon Group does not appear to have ever published audited accounts.

      By the FT’s standards that is strong wording.

  7. pat57
    pat57 May 31, 2016 at 5:05 pm . Reply

    Don’t know about all of the financial in and outs being discussed here but the words of that great songwriter Ray Davies keeps going through my head –

    Yes so bloody tired of waiting for something to happen!

  8. nath
    nath May 31, 2016 at 9:19 pm . Reply

    got to hand it too wilkins, he keeps chatting it up, too anybody who will listen. he claims norwich and newcastle are better equipped than us too return to premiership lol. well i hate stating the obvious. but anybody who knows a little about football,will have already come to this conclusion before this arsehole claimed.he’s also partly responsible for the garbage. so shut the fook up. he should talk about QPR how great they are, or was>>>>>>>>>>>>>> NEVER

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 31, 2016 at 9:56 pm . Reply

      Just another rent-a-quote.
      Unemployed – go to keep his name in the media somehow.

    2. giddyvillan
      giddyvillan June 1, 2016 at 6:06 am . Reply

      Uncle fester is a pedigree gobshite & an insult to football management.

  9. Andrew
    Andrew May 31, 2016 at 10:42 pm . Reply

    Apparently Di Matteo will be done within 2 days if you believe the Sun.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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