Aston Villa no debt, up for sale

Finally we have the confirmation sneaked out on a Friday afternoon of what we all wanted to know.

The infamous £90M which was first revealed here as indeed been used for a debt to equity swap. In other words Villa is now worth £200M of which approx half is owned by the Lerner trust and Half by Randy himself.

We are short on detailed figures and yet again the paper loss is horrendous at £42M but they note operating expenses are down by £6M. These are mainly wages and you have to remember this until the end of May last year. We need to see the details in a few days time but once you factor those that left since then the wage position is conformed as no longer a problem.

Do I need any more confirmation with debt wiped out, wages and expenses coming down the sheer folly of still buying at Pundland ?

Do I need any more confirmation we are up for sale ?


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  1. Longboy
    Longboy February 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm . Reply

    Really hope so, it’s actually quite sad watching us dribble along (as per the DOL era). No spend, no ambition, nothing really!

  2. Badger123
    Badger123 February 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm . Reply

    Ian, what’s the source?

    The trouble is Villa aint worth anything like £200 million and this is what I think you are missing.
    If we had consistently been in the CL for a few years, maybe.
    But with a squad that’s worth around £50 mill max (very rough estimate off the top of my head) that’s not in the way more desirable London or north-west?
    Who is ever going to pay anywhere near that price?

    Regardless of whether we’re for sale or not, we’re not going to be sold unless Lerner is willing to take a £100 mill hit.
    And that just isn’t going to happen, imo.

    Hence my prediction is that he’ll claw money back slowly for years and we won’t be rid of him anytime soon.

    1. BWS
      BWS February 28, 2014 at 8:35 pm . Reply

      That sounds the most logical outcome, that is assuming we retain a Premier League status. Randy a man with a plan! Trouble is even the best-laid schemes can go astray.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath February 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm . Reply

      We do own the ground though and would net a fortune if sold to developers

  3. johnnyuk
    johnnyuk February 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm . Reply

    You do get the impression it’s so that investment can be put into the first team squad again – where that investment comes from is anybody’s guess; Randy himself, external investor through Randy, or a club sale…

  4. Badger123
    Badger123 February 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm . Reply

    But again, I’m confused mate.
    A seliing price of say £120 mill with £80 mill debt = £200 mill.
    A selling price of £200 mill and no debt = £200 mill.

    I’m not seeing your point.
    At first glance, I agree it doesn’t look like housekeeping and I don’t know why they’ve done it, as admittedly it would seem better to be owed money and get interest on it.
    But Lerner is still receiving “fees”, isn’t he?
    Ok, I think he waived them recently, but will he continue to do so?

    Perhaps that’s the selling point, in that he can pass those fees on to a buyer?
    Ie, lay out £200 mill for a club that is worth nearer £100 mill, but collect, say £5 mill a year in fees???
    20 years you have your £100 mill extra back and have laid out £100 mill for a club that might be worth much more in that same 20 years?
    Possibly, but not an investment I’d take on.

    Maybe I’m just not seeing it.

    1. DSVilla
      DSVilla February 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm . Reply

      Same old bollocks. You are right Badger. It makes no difference to a sale. All it does is turn a loan into equity so the interest charge disappears (helping reduce the paper loss). It doesn’t mean we are being sold, and it doesn’t mean we aren’t. It doesn’t make us more attractive, or less for that matter.

      I have been hearing that we are being sold every season to Chinese, Arabs, red Bull. Sick of the same old crap to be honest.

  5. lets be aving u
    lets be aving u February 28, 2014 at 8:45 pm . Reply

    i am just spiff balling ere
    but just maybe mr lerner wants his business to run taking a profit or slight running costs loss. i heard at work 2day newcastle av made a 9million profit. businesses with nice profit books may be more appealing to potential wannabes. or like badger says he will take the sky money hope we can run like everton on a cheap until he gets his money back.

    you would make a good tabloid reporter ian ~ no truth innit wots so lets run it front page~ could u tap lerners phones or sumat

  6. markdrapernumber8
    markdrapernumber8 February 28, 2014 at 8:57 pm . Reply

    Whoever pays that is paying for history. There paying for one of the great football clubs. With one of the great grounds, it’s a shame this has been forgotten.

    Plonk us in Manchester or London and we’d be the most desirable club around. We’d sell for 200 mil easily.

    Being in Birmingham and having shite rivals is holding back the buyers. It’s sad and heartbreaking but true.

  7. lets be aving u
    lets be aving u February 28, 2014 at 9:22 pm . Reply

    or football markets crashes. most ppl don’t wanna buy sport deals at home ontv, pubs are closing 1 aweek it can cost a fortune to offer football to a half empty pub. football clubs will broker their own deals and death 2 small teams i can paint a bleak future

  8. Colonius81
    Colonius81 February 28, 2014 at 9:48 pm . Reply

    In short yes you do need more confirmation. Something along the lines of aston villa have announced they are looking for a buyer/ for investment/ are for sale
    Unless you are saying that only profitable clubs are sold?
    What were the books of newcastle, chelsea man city, Liverpool or any other club sold in the last 10 years like?
    Were they all showing profits or looking debt free?

  9. macca1874
    macca1874 February 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm . Reply

    By simply being a Premier League club Villa are worth a lot of money – and that is without factoring in our history, success, infrastructure and so on. Man City, when they were bought by the Arabs, went for a surprisingly big sum…based on what exactly? Land prices in East Manchester are no different to Birmingham and they don’t have even a quarter of the history or half the success of Villa. Southampton were recently valued at about £150 million too…

    My point is that people who think Villa aren’t worth £200 million quid need to give their heads a wobble – not for the first time Villa fans are underestimating the great city of Birmingham and it’s powerhouse club.

    1. Badger123
      Badger123 February 28, 2014 at 11:57 pm . Reply

      Macca, if you believe Southampton are worth £150 mill, we’re worth £500 mill at least, imo.
      And that’s my point.
      No disrespect to S’hamton, but they aren’t a patch on us, in any way you care to look at it.

      The figures mentioned are utter rubbish unless you get an oil billionaire involved.

      And if I was an oil billionaire looking to play at being a football club owner, do you know who I’d buy before us?

      Any bloody club that’s in London. Because that’s where it’s happening for all sorts of reasons that I’d like to go into, but won’t (too political).

      Even Charlton, where the improvement would be easily achieved.

      It pisses me right off, but the fact is, if you aren’t competing with the likes of the top clubs, you’re nothing.
      And the fact is, we’re not an attractive proposition, imo.
      We’re stuck in the middle, in that we have a good fan base, but nothing that supports the hype that the telly channels like.

      1. Foxy
        Foxy March 1, 2014 at 8:20 am . Reply

        Southampton isn’t in a bad place right now. The stadium is one of the best and isn’t that old, the catchment area is huge (the nearest Premier League clubs are probably Fulham in one direction, us to the north and Swansea to the west), it’s an old club with a lot of history, they have an excellent academy, there’s been a huge amount of investment in the club to get it where it is now and the fan base was still huge three or four years and two divisions ago, when I went to watch a match or two and couldn’t believe how many fans were going.

    2. Dexter
      Dexter April 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm . Reply

      Villa is easily worth £200 million, they have a large property portfolio in the Aston area, own their own stadium, have on of the best training centres in Europe, have a wonderful history. large fan base…do i need to go on!! If a new owner comes in, and they have success the valuation could rocket to double the current figures. Lets remember that Manchester United is probably worth 1 billion, so that puts things into perspective

  10. Morgan Villa
    Morgan Villa February 28, 2014 at 11:25 pm . Reply

    Read it three times would love someone to fully break it down, some of those losses will be McLeish, others will be players still on our books up until that date.

    I dont fully understand acounting but why put 90m in now rather than 2 years ago when it was more needed by the club? Is this due to the Browns sale or would 90m have been swallowed up then?

    Who actually owns Villa Lerner or the Lerner trust?

    This summer is going to be different from the last few years in what way i dont know, i just hope we can hold onto our Premiership status this Sunday is a massive game for us

  11. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. March 1, 2014 at 8:54 am . Reply

    That how I see it ,the club as from the end of the season will financially be clear of all major dept and could get better players, problem staying in the hunt. Sell the club ? No the yank wants a foothold in this country and Villa is that.he will be a hard man to get rid of.

  12. saddened
    saddened March 1, 2014 at 9:09 am . Reply

    Completely agree Bill…. he has had his fingers burnt, written off £90m debt and converted it to shares and now the club is self sufficient…… No sales or excitement just a dour mumbling manager, playing hoofing boring football, with a clueless bean counter CEO and an absent owner, and each year we will find it more difficult to stay in the hunt…!

    1. BWS
      BWS March 1, 2014 at 10:12 am . Reply

      That’s the best summing up of the present situation at VP ever posted Sir.

      1. saddened
        saddened March 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm . Reply

        Thanks BWS, its great having wishes of new owners and purchasing expensive players, but it just aint going to happen……He wants us self sufficient so each year we will dice with relegation and have no expensive / risky cup runs……. Whilst he keeps the fans in the dark about how he wants the club to perform…. its upsetting but I think its how its going to be for the long term.

    2. Morgan Villa
      Morgan Villa March 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm . Reply

      I dont think he has written off 90m he has written off the interest from the 90m owed. The 90m they speak of is Lerners or the Lerner trusts, so he does not deserve a medal for his charitable donation to the football club as it is left hand paying right hand, I could be wrong.

      1. ianrobo
        ianrobo March 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm . Reply

        We have to remeber in this he only brought the club for £60M and therefore any losses from the loans can be written off against what he would sell it for.

        So the Trust loaned 90M and Randy about £50M I believe and got about £20M back in shares

        He sells for £175M he breaks even, even fulham went for that … £200M gives a nice 33% return in 7 years.

        Those who say he has ‘gave’ us money are talking bollocks as the massive increase in value (all due to Sky and TV money) covers that and more.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath March 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm . Reply

          but why would he sell. he dosnt need to. he can spend the next years spending around £10-15m to keep our heads above water whilst raking in millions of extra profit from sky. He dosnt eve go to VP to suffer abuse i think thats smart. Taking my Villa hat of as a businessman id do exactly the same. As a villa fan though I want him to fuck of but it aint happening for the foreseeable future

        2. Colonius81
          Colonius81 March 4, 2014 at 10:21 pm . Reply

          I don’t follow these numbers Ian,
          I think you are oversimplyfying things.

          he only bought it for 60m? there is appx 4 to 6m pounds shaved off the reported figure for no apparent reason! shares, trust and loans?
          who has control of those? Are you suggesting that any of the investment since Lerner has taken over was not ultimately coming from Randy Lerner?
          and if so who is it coming from?

          Sells for 175m and breaks even?
          can you break that down further for me.
          What you are saying is that since Lerner took over he has net spent 175m? so if he were to sell tomorrow for that sum he would not lose a penny?
          take a look at this link below

          this is a more comprehensive look at our accounts before the latest ones were released
          I know its from another forum and i have to say hats off to the original author of this.
          But its based on actual published accounts.

          you will see figures more like 250m invested not 175m
          and this was before the net loss of 52m in the latest accounts.

          have a look and see what you think.

          Ultimately speaking.
          I have heard the very few statements Lerner has made over the years.
          on of his biggest criticisms is his lack of communication.

          but has the club not categorically denied that they want to sell?

          who in their right mind would buy a football club with their own money and not a leveraged buyout with the main intention of trying to make money?

          when there are property ventures, hedge funds, and venture capital options that promise a lot more in return and have probably less risk.

          not to mention the fact that those kind of investments are what Randy lerner’s core business is.

          right or wrong .. Lerner did this for club and for a personal hobbie. for the football

          he may have cocked it up but not out of greed

          1. BWS
            BWS March 4, 2014 at 10:39 pm . Reply

            Robbo”s past nemesis deadly was on the news tonight talking about Carson Yuong, how he (Yuong) was amongst 4 others that tried to buy AVFC. Good old deadly wouldn’t sell as they had to borrow to buy.
            He then employed Rothschilds to go through the potential buyers, so thanks deadly.
            If it wasn’t for you we could be in the blues shoes now.

          2. Badger123
            Badger123 March 4, 2014 at 10:49 pm . Reply

            Colonius, I believe the figure was £64 mill, but it varies.
            From memory, we had land assets (Villa park aside) worth £25 mill and Ellis sold half prior to his selling the club.
            So if you take the remaining £12.5 mill out, Lerner actually got the club much cheaper!

            Of course, the sale was on condition that Lerner would put £30 mill into the squad.

            My point is that any article can talk about “facts”, but those facts are only those that are written in the accounts, which can often be at least misleading.
            When you can offset money (backwards or forwards) to suit yourself, accounts should not be taken as gospel, imo and anyone’s guess is just that: A guess.

            I don’t doubt Lerner’s put money in. But I also don’t doubt he’s taking it out.

        3. DSVilla
          DSVilla March 4, 2014 at 11:32 pm . Reply

          33% return in 7 years? You haven’t got a clue. He could have easily got a 20% return in the last two years on money invested with any half decent wealth management company. Here’s an idea. Why don’t you stop conjuring figures out of thin air to support a wafer thin argument? Lerner could have continued to pay interest on his/the trusts loans. He didn’t. The interest would have been tax deductable for the club so why change it? To sell? Well he could do that at time of sale if needed so why now?

          If you talk about Lerner selling up several times a season every season guess what? One day you will be right.

  13. #helenius
    #helenius March 1, 2014 at 11:11 am . Reply

    Blah blah, hearsay and conspiracy theories…. None of us have a clue whats going to happen. I for one want him to stay and spend some dough on better players (and no i dont mean £50m a player) maybe remove Lambert for somebody who can attract such/the right players. I know the Bundesliga is defensively shocking, and he would probablt laugh off an approach from us bur I like what Hyypia is doing with Leverkusen. He can attract the right players we need too. Also get in a football man to move Faulkner aside and have him merely focusing on doing what he’s good at.

    1. ianrobo
      ianrobo March 1, 2014 at 11:32 am . Reply

      I know the Bundesliga is defensively shocking

      You obviously not watched the PL style of defending then ? Shown up in Europe for being the total crap it is.

      1. #helenius
        #helenius March 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm . Reply

        OK ye your right that our top 3 sides aren’t as good as Germany’s or Spain’s but the rest of our league is sooooo much better than the rest of theirs. My point was that Hyypia, being a defender could sort that out a treat and also has the respect and connections throughout Europe and could attract better quality of player throughout

        1. ianrobo
          ianrobo March 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm . Reply

          are we so much better ? How many English teams in the UEFA now ? you really as Keane says swallowed the PL hype haven’t you. Stick us in the Spanish or German leagues as we are and would be in the same position if not much lower.

          Yes Hyppia has a great future as manager, no chance even if we wanted him he would come here at all unless we can spend loads of cash. What we have to remeber is that whilst we filled gaps in the squad it is not with quality. To coin a phrase, we have ‘go again’ and get some better players in.

          1. Andrew
            Andrew March 2, 2014 at 1:21 am . Reply

            Well at least a few finally figured it out. I’d be far more worried facing any number of the bottom 9-10 German clubs than facing the bottom 10 EPL clubs, far better technical/tactical ability there, Spain, Italy. The one thing the EPL does do better than anywhere else is press with pace, about the only reason a lot of the EPL clubs do hassle the other leagues.

            As for Hyypia, I don’t think we’d need money to entice him, because I don’t think he’d come even if we had it. He’s a Liverpool man through and through and believe that’s the only EPL club he’d take over.

      2. BWS
        BWS March 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm . Reply

        Robbo eclipses are more frequent than me agreeing with one of your comments but on this occasion you’re bang on.
        The EPL is the biggest most over hyped bag of shit in the history of kicking a pigs bladder around a patch of grass.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm . Reply

      Hypia would be another houllier having a wank fest over pool while were paying his wages no thanks

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