An Egyptian/American majority stake; Lovely, but where do we stand with Grealish?

Well, now I am going to say “I told you so”!

I doubt any self-respecting Villa fan doesn’t know, but Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have combined to take a 55% share of Aston Villa.

I haven’t yet read much about Wes Edens, but I have seen that he’s involved in running an American football club.
Randy Lerner was involved with the Chicago Browns, so that’s not saying much, but at least Edens has experience in a similar sort of setup. I’m going to take that as a plus.

But it’s Sawiris that intrigues me.
He has a stake in Adidas, which is well known.
But he has a stake in Lafarge too, which is a massive company in it’s own right.
I know, because I was involved in one of their plants a few years back.

He’s apparently worth $6.2 billion on his own, but his whole family (apparently the most famous in Egypt) is worth a stunning $36 billion.
So while he’s not a Quatari, as I guessed, he’s still minted.

But also apparently a very good businessman.
Which leads me to question how he’ll try to run the club. But that’s for the future.

The best part of this news is that there is a commitment to improve the squad.
Which immediately begs the question of how does this square, if we sell Jack Grealish?

While the media, led by the Evening Mail, has been pretty insistent that Grealish will leave, I’ve been consistent in the view that I really don’t think he will.
And that’s a stance that I retain.

The incoming co-owners (and you have to wonder where this leaves Tony Xia) have said that they realise they are only custodians of the club, on behalf of the fans.
Which is music to our ears on the face of it.
So if that’s true, would selling Grealish really get them off on the right sort of footing with the fans?

Not a chance in hell, as much as the Mail are insistent that we have no choice.

The word is that Grealish wants to stay, if it’s at all possible, for at least one more season.
And that’s exactly what I expect to see.

The Mail have gone into depth about how it’s practically impossible to keep Grealish, but I don’t believe it for one minute.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I’m sure that FFP has been looked into.

While I’ve always been totally against re-naming the ground, I could live with (insert one of Sawiris’ companies here) Villa Park, if it meant that we don’t sell Grealish.
There’s talk about the “going rate” for this sort of thing, but that’s “loose” at best.
A company as big as some Sawiris is involved in would be expected to spend say, £25 million on sponsorship, regardless of who the benificiary is.
And for anyone to say otherwise could easily be seen as restraint of trade.
Think of some of the stadium deals that have been done and Man city immediately spring to mind.

FFP is utter rubbish and only applies to most clubs, while the elite are allowed to take the proverbial.
We all know it.
It’s about having the clout and the balls to stand up to the EFL and threaten to challenge them if they try to punish us, a la Tony Fernandez at QPR.

Not that I am asking for us to totally flout the rules, at all.
I just think that if our new co-owners can guarantee X amount of our debts are covered, we should be able to continue to invest.

And that’s hopefully what will happen.

In the meantime, welcome to Aston Villa, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
I genuinely hope you take our club to your hearts.


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  1. Pat 57
    Pat 57 July 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm .

    I’d love it if Jack were to give us another season but, if he wants to go as reported, then I’m happy for him to go so long as we get the right price for him.

    I think we’ve all had more than enough of players being disaffected and not giving the team 100%.

    I hope I’m wrong but I think we’ll need to rebuild anyway and I’d guess that it might take at least two seasons before we can realistically challenge for promotion. If we get the right money now then it might be as well to let him go.

    He did his best last season so, whatever happens, I hope he does well.

  2. Originallondonlion
    Originallondonlion July 23, 2018 at 3:39 pm .

    At least our chairmen(!) are real people. Would you want to play for a team where the chairman is an inflatable dummy?
    The similarity between Daniel Levy and the co-pilot in “Airplane” are remarkable, except that Levy isn’t leaky. There are only rounded edges on both. Most telling is that the expression – lips pursed and deadpan – never changes. Spurs might score a brilliant goal or concede a howler – but as the camera focuses on Levy the blank expression never varies. It can’t! It is only a painted face on a rubber balloon.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 23, 2018 at 3:45 pm .

      Mate of your is he OLL (LOL).

      Love the comparison with the co-pilot in Airplane!

  3. Holte66
    Holte66 July 23, 2018 at 5:48 pm .

    If Grealish wants to go and we get a tidy sum for him, then yes it will be the right decision for both parties. I sort of disagree with comments that he has given everything to us, unless half a season and one semi final qualifies for a good stint! As for changing manager because Thierry Henry might be available then please tell me it’s a joke. Do we really want to be his guinea pig as a learning curve? Great players don’t make great managers, as Shearer for example.

  4. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 23, 2018 at 6:33 pm .

    B***dy Hell – according to Talksport Edens himself is worth £2bn added to Sawiris estimated wealth of £5.2bn which means (they are saying) we are the third richest club or to be more precise we have the third richest owners in all of English football.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum July 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm .

      Free ice lollies for everyone!!!!!

    2. DSVilla
      DSVilla July 23, 2018 at 7:13 pm .

      It’s really hard not to get carried away by the optimism. It’s still a relief to have avoided administration. How things have changed

  5. Holte66
    Holte66 July 23, 2018 at 8:53 pm .

    We should be grateful that the investment has kept the wolves from the door, but with my pessimistic head on I can’t help but think of the saying too many cooks spoil the broth. How do three chairmen make decisions on spending or selling for that matter. Truth is we as Villa fans have seen too many false dawns to get too carried away.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 23, 2018 at 9:45 pm .

      Agreed Holte – I think Edens and Sawiris will remove Dr. T pretty quickly. They needed to massage his ego to get the deal over the line but they’re in control and I doubt they’ll mess about. I don’t expect a spending spree as they have to rebase the club financially if it is to be sustainable in the long term. Whether they sell Grealish might depend on the player himself – I’m no longer concerned that FFP will dictate the strategy. On the positive side it has been reported that Chester wants to stay and he’s as vital as Grealish imho.

      Too many false dawns – too true but we’ve never had owners with this much wealth before so I reckon cautious optimism is OK – after all they haven’t promised us a Champions League trophy …… yet!

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