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. Avatar
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm .

    Yes knibbs I’ve never heard of him till today, Adomah seems lost in first half but made up in second, Kodjia how many times off side. Still its live again Wednesday with West Ham, interesting.

    1. Avatar
      nath July 21, 2018 at 5:46 pm .

      i will confess and it wont be popular, i don’t like kodjia playing upfront alone. which he never today, but he doesn’t work hard enough, he doesn’t offer himself, he is easy to mark and looks like he cant be bothered half the time. second half he did prove me wrong, has he stepped up. and he needs to do more of that. get off his heels and on his toes and be alive to movements

      knibbs looks like he can play, we have got some decent forwards waiting in the wings.
      cory taylor he is another one who has a bright future, this season will come to soon for him, but he could play a bit part and not look out of place, he got injured and went off today.
      hayes is first choice for me to play with grealish and hourihane if they play like today formation.
      bree and clark i think will also be more involved this season and both will not disappoint.

      lansbury , taylor two players that need to step up both are falling behind, both offer little in effort or quality so you could easily sell them and you wouldnt miss um,

      i think hammers and dresdon will be too quality tests. we need to get another test as burton showed our weakness first half, they pressed high with 5 and we just went long over and over. because only grealish was able to play under the press.

  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2018 at 6:49 pm .

    Have to admit your spot on about Taylor, Lansbury, both was poor to me, I’m still doubtful about Soliman as a centr back looks big and slow to me. Still he might come good in time.

    1. Avatar
      nath July 21, 2018 at 8:24 pm .

      i think you right suliman doesn’t look good enough for me, he will need to go somewhere on loan. hard to judge them in a friendly. but suliman looks slow and clumsy. clark on the other hand hes strong alert to danger good passing and looks like he is ready for first team. i would have him ahead of taylor at left back for sure and if they play 3 at back he could play there as well

      goalie worries me and not the actual goalkeeping, but his distribution is very poor. it doesn’t help when the players are constantly relying on the goalie to kick from the back. we need top give him options both wing backs need to be wide and deep if needs to give him a option. our shape needs lots of work, that will come and we will improve,

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm .

    I don’t like this one bit.
    STEVE BRUCE has revealed he could face crunch talks with Aston Villa’s new owners as early as Tuesday – and be jobless by the time Villa play West Ham on Wednesday!

    The 57-year-old boss admits he has heard nothing but positive noises during preliminary conversations with representatives of the club’s new wealthy owners in recent weeks

    1. Avatar
      DSVilla July 22, 2018 at 10:23 am .

      Just read Bruce’s interview. Nothing there to be too concerned about. He says it has already been made clear that nobody is going on the cheap, so Levy will have to dig deep if he wants Jack. Spurs fans up in arms over Levy’s tactics – hilarious.

      The quote suggested that Bruce believed there to be some truth in the Thierry Henry rumours. It didn’t give the impression that it was as manager, or at least Bruce is relaxed about his own position.

      Interesting times.

      I have to say I agree with most of the comments above regarding players. Kodjia is selfish. You can’t play as a team with 10 men and one maverick out for himself. I would prefer Hogan when fit, providing Bruce used him properly.

      Taylor looked decent on the right, and can beat a player and actually cross with his right foot. De Laet has been really impressive. Neil Taylor is useless. Lansbury doesn’t do nearly enough.

      Anyway, the season looks so much more positive. It will be nice to see if some of the youngsters can make it in the first team. I would imagine we could see some strengthening as well. Tricky position for the new owners. They will want promotion this season, so it will be interesting to see how they handle FFP.

      Saw a great video someone took of all the cars outside Villa Park as the new owners rocked up. Also, some kid has gone into the Apple store in New York Times Square and changed all the iPhone home screens to Villa players – top marks to him

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson July 22, 2018 at 11:01 am .

        DS Villa I thought Kodjia was selfish in the game, he tries a lot of footwork that didn’t come off, It’s time to give Hogan a run out when he’s fit, yes I like the young players that was on show the making of a good team. I’ve got my iphone with the Villa motive on its my back ground. Lot happier now with the new owners, Badger reckons I change my mind as many times he changes his under pants, told him he must change more regularly once a year to smelly.😂😂

      2. Avatar
        badger123 July 22, 2018 at 7:04 pm .

        “some kid has gone into the Apple store in New York Times Square and changed all the iPhone home screens to Villa players – top marks to him”

        Haha, that’s absolute top class!
        I’d seriously like to buy that kid a drink.

        New York?
        What a dog-hole.

  4. Avatar
    Bosnich’sDealer July 21, 2018 at 9:44 pm .

    get Thierry in. I have zero evidence for why it will work for us, but it will work for us!

    1. Avatar
      Bosnich’s Dealer July 21, 2018 at 10:07 pm .

      Worked under Wenger, a manager who literally came in and changed the English game. He made it more technical. The ´football philosophy’ buzz word thrown all about the place these days started with him.

      Henry himself was moulded into an absolute legend by Wenger, man managed and transformed from a decent left winger into one of the PL’s legends.

      Played with the ´invincibles’.

      Absolute spot on punditry, reads the game amazingly well. Gets that from Wenger. Plus he’s a very intelligent fella in his own right.

      Worked with Martinez to a third place WC finals finish.

      Just a few of my thoughts.

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson July 22, 2018 at 8:10 pm .

        Hey, that’s not a bad CV that. But I think he has to be Bruce’s understudy, Having old head and being wise might help.

    2. Avatar
      Bum Bum July 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm .

      I think yr username says it all for that idea! Lol!!!!
      Also, as long as we’re rebuilding (again), we can afford to lose Jack even though I’d rather him stay. I also don’t want Levy taking the piss as he normally does. The ups and downs of being a Villa fan. I’m quite looking forward to next years challenge, but the eventual prize of promotion to the Premiership with all its vile money, does little to excite me.

  5. Avatar
    nath July 22, 2018 at 11:25 am .

    scott hogan i think is a better team player than kodjia and i believe he is good enough striker, who will score goals in championship enough for us to win promotion. but we villa need to supply him with crosses and give him the ball around the box. its not rocket science. he just needs a regular supply line. he will graft and offer danger in behind oppositions defenses, he will also work with his back to goal which is not his strength.

    its looking good for us keeping grealish, seems like levy missed the trick, had he stumped up 20 million, i reckon grealish would now be at spuds. ppl argue that grealish wouldn’t be good enough. i call that bull shit. grealish might not be better than Eriksen in some areas, but grealish is good enough and will improve loads with better players around him. he is not a carbon copy of Eriksen they are quite different in styles. england missed grealish at wc and we had ali who offered little, england lacked ideas in middle of pitch somebody who would pick up the ball and drive past 2 or 3 defenders and drawn opponents around him. spuds missed the chance to have this type of player and its villa gain. grealish is that good. promotion is very likely with than without .

  6. Avatar
    DSVilla July 22, 2018 at 12:17 pm .

    I’ve just read a great article in the Sunday Times about the Villa buyout. The two, Eden and Sawiri are good fiends and love football (Eden has been to every World Cup since 1994). They discussed Villa when they met for the semi-final of the latest World Cup (where they were supporting England). Within 3 days they were both at a hotel in London discussing the deal with Xia, which was completed 9 days after their first discussion. NINE DAYS. These guys are seriously loaded.

    They have made clear they intend to keep Grealish and our other best players, invest in youth but drive the club to the “upper echelons”. Since Eden got involved with the Bucks they have doubled in value, and just resigned a former player for a huge sum. I’ll have some of that.

    Incidentally, the change of ownership apparently means that we can breach FFP by telling the EFL that we will do so as part of plan for bringing us to sustainability. I’m starting to get really excited.

    1. Avatar
      DSVilla July 23, 2018 at 10:09 am .

      Friends not fiends. I hope they aren’t fiends 😉

  7. Avatar
    villaawayindiv3 July 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm .

    As long as they don’t say we will win the Champions league and next world cup….lol

  8. Avatar
    Originallondonlion July 22, 2018 at 7:44 pm .

    DS Your take on FFP is correct. Actually there is still a case ongoing on that very topic of new ownership, but UEFA are resigned to losing their challenge.

    Nath Yes very perceptive it was Dele who bottled it at the top level, and could not contribute his customary trickery against Belgium or Croatia. I think Grealish would replace him for England or Spurs. However I can’t see him leaving now. An Egyptian is hardly likely to sell Levy anything on the cheap.

  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson July 22, 2018 at 8:18 pm .

    Defiantly type of player England want, no doubt about that, I see it you see it ,wake up Southgate, but at our cost ? It hurts to think most of our lads play now for England an in the past , Even the manager was ours. One day it will come.

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