At last, Champion’s league. But now what happens?

So after Spurs’ defeat against Citeh it’s official. We’ve qualified for the Big Ears cup.
First off, congratulations to the players, the staff, the owners, but probably mostly Unai Emery, who whatever happens in the future has probably already established himself as one of Villa’s great managers. And rightly so. To take a team that looked doomed to be relegated just a short while back to the Champion’s League is a fantastic achievement.

But at the same time it begs a load of questions.

I posted a link last night that made for incredibly interesting reading. The takeaway line is this;

Our analysis shows that Villa will easily exceed £300m in revenue next season, obliterating their previous record of £218m in 2022-23, as well as West Ham’s record of £257m for a non-Big Six side.

And that is a conservative estimate. I highly recommend you read the article, if you haven’t already;

But then, as soon as we think it’s all great news, so just tonight I’ve read that we may be £107 million over the FFP limit. Again interestingly, it’s from the same source, so hopefully there’s no agenda;

The new rules are all a bit vague, as there’s supposed to be some limit of an unknown multiple of whatever TV money the lowest club gets. It will all be voted on in the General meeting that’s due, but it’s probably correct to say that this is going to affect Aston Villa more than any other Prem club purely because just as we would normally be ramping up our spending so it justifies our CL position, we may actually have to sell players first.
How typical is that of Villa’s luck?

I profess to not understanding the rules regarding FFP, because the numbers are ridiculous, the game has gone financially stupid and I frankly am past caring.
And all I know is the clubs that spend the most money, get the best players and generally do the best, performance-wise. Man City and Chelsea might offer protestations, but we all know they bought everything they’ve achieved in the last 20 years or so because they spent fortunes. C’est la vie and I’m not convinced much is going to change. Or maybe that multiple I mentioned might at least partly reduce the gulf in club spends somewhat?
One thing I don’t get about FFP is that our owners were buying equity in the club, which I thought meant we weren’t adding more debt and were actually benefitting our ratios?

Whatever, just as the rumours of elite players being touted as possible targets for the club abound, does it mean that we have to sell our best players before we can entertain the thought?
And who are those best players?
Well, there are some standouts. Martinez, McGinn, Luiz and Watkins would pull in what? £300 million? (60, 60, 80 and 100 million is my pure estimate). But you’ve just ripped the backbone out of the existing side, so it just isn’t going to happen. In fact, I don’t see one of them leaving, let alone all of them. As for the Watkins to Man U rumours, that’s just laughable and I’m not even going into why, as much as they might be able to pay way more wages.

The even more worrying thing is what do we regard as a big enough spend that might put us in a position where we can at least hold our own for a while in the CL and not see the team ruined by the constant Thursday-Sunday thing that threatened us so much this season?
We saw that we couldn’t sustain our earlier exploits, as much as the lads actually did better than things seemed and managed to keep dragging points from games even when they didn’t look likely.
But would it be fair to expect the same in the ultimate cup? No, is the simple answer to that.

We might not do so bad with injuries next season, so you could say we in effect have new players coming in. But it’s clear that a one in, one out policy will not suffice.
And sadly, neither will a £200 million budget get you very far these days. Let’s face it, as obscene as it sounds, it’s a couple of decent players and one pretty good one. We haven’t even entered elite player level there either.

It seems to me we are going to have to go with what we’ve got, while adding some “cheap” gems that it seems Emery and the scouting team have an eye for.
Not yet elite, but possessing the ability to become so.

It’s going to be an interesting season. With the aim being that we manage to get into the CL the season after next. Sustainability will be the name of the game and that’s the hardest part of all. You have to be in it and stay in it to win it.

Up the European Villa!


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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 19, 2024 at 5:54 pm . Reply

    The GD between this game and Spuds would have sunk us. Totally different mindset if we’d have not already got 4th, but still…It’s a bit duff today.
    Oh well. At the end of the day it’s ‘Job Done, and a job done brilliantly’. UTMFV!!!!!!

    See back here for the tittle tattle, gossip and downright nonsense!

    Have a great summer Villians! Catch u in August and enjoy tour summer holidays!!!!!!

    WE ARE THE VILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 19, 2024 at 6:06 pm . Reply

    Pity we didn’t score one then we could have perfectly book ended the season.

    Not surprising really just annoying but the concern is our tendency to get hammered in the odd game or 4.

    We will need to improve the squad but do we have the money

  3. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year May 19, 2024 at 10:19 pm . Reply

    It’s weird that we start and end up with a five goal tonking but it’s what’s happened in between that really matters. Emery seems to be a real pragmatist as he sent out a team that was bound to lose but so what? Should he send out players who were carrying a niggle for a game that basically doesn’t matter? Absolutely not.
    It’s been the most wonderful season since we were graced by the likes of Saunders and Barton and we should treasure the fact that our club has once more arisen from the ashes and is once again a real contender on the European stage. I trust Emery and Monchi to get the players we need to progress and I’m excited to see who we get in.
    It’s great to be a Villa fan. COYL

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand May 20, 2024 at 1:56 am . Reply

      Mate that team run itself after Sir Ron left.
      Ron’s assistant manager?
      Well no, he was a scout and Ron Saunders only gave him that title do he qualified for a club car.
      Funny how the match day programme for that final had miss printed Saunders as the manager but somehow apt.

  4. Emi52
    Emi52 May 20, 2024 at 9:21 am . Reply

    Give your heads a wobble . Take out Newcastle 1st game and this we achieved 4th place over 36 games
    Champions League . Semi Final – wow what a season – and how much moaning would have been if we had finished 10th .
    Unai is a genius – he will get rid of players who CANNOT Play his way and bring in ones who can
    Onwards and upwards UTV

  5. BFR
    BFR May 20, 2024 at 9:51 am . Reply

    Shitty yellow lion badge confirmed on Adidas promotional email this morning. A slap in the face for fans after all the ‘consultation’ on a new badge.

  6. Gerry
    Gerry May 20, 2024 at 10:37 am . Reply

    Sad news at happy time.
    19 May 2024
    Former Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sheffield United midfielder Ian Hamilton has died at the age of 73.

    Hamilton became Chelsea’s youngest league player and goalscorer aged 16, and had a spell at Southend before joining Villa in 1969, going on to win the 1975 League Cup with the club.

    Hamilton, known as “Chico”, signed for the Blades a year later and also spent time playing in the USA.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 May 20, 2024 at 10:41 am . Reply

      That’s really sad Gerry.

      Loved watching him play.

      ‘Chico, Chico, Chico’

      Holte Enders in the Sky.


    2. May 20, 2024 at 2:57 pm . Reply

      Chico, McMahon, Lockhead

      Followed by:
      Little, Deehan, Gray

      Followed by:
      Morley, Shaw, Withe

      All i can say is Villa supporters from those years (me included) were blessed to have been privileged to be a part of it.

      Next chapter please Uni

  7. little8
    little8 May 20, 2024 at 2:20 pm . Reply

    Sad news on chico cracking player think he owned a couple of fashion shops in Birmingham at one point aw another hole ender in the sky
    On the new badge bfr I like it mate really hope we deliver on the kit though

  8. Holte
    Holte May 20, 2024 at 3:06 pm . Reply

    Sad news to hear about’Chico’ Hamilton. He was a bit before my time in watching Villa but my older brother said he was a great player. RIP Chico.

    As BFR pointed out, we have ended up with the crest which is practically the same as the one that was ditched for the round badge CHOSEN by the fans. Typical of Heck to take no notice of fans thoughts. A yellow splodge drawn by a 5 year old is what it looks like rather than a lion.

  9. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 20, 2024 at 3:52 pm . Reply

    One very, very tired Boss. Doesn’t matter who you are, we all need to recharge our batteries…

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 May 20, 2024 at 5:35 pm . Reply

      Thought he was very honest in the interview – as he always is.

      I didn’t realise we’d played 6 games in 17 days with a heavily depleted squad but he still didn’t offer any excuses other than the psychological one which I think most people would accept given all the other factors.

      We will need to strengthen the squad and I think there will be goings as well as comings. Connor Gallagher hasn’t signed a new contract and the rumours are that Villa are very keen and will offer Duran as part of the deal. And with the lure of Champions League football and working under Emery woukd you bet against it happening?

      Works for me – Gallagher is a very gifted player.

  10. Tom
    Tom May 20, 2024 at 6:13 pm . Reply


  11. little8
    little8 May 20, 2024 at 6:18 pm . Reply

    Ross Barclay anyone if anyone can squeeze an extra ten percent out of him it’s unai

  12. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan May 20, 2024 at 6:19 pm . Reply

    Looks like Ross Barkley is going to be out first through the doors this summer on a free transfer. After this season could be an astute signing. Given that he played a deeper role for Luton this season, I wonder if he’s a cheap cover for Kamara… Would really like us to splash some cash in defense and move Carlos on.

  13. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 20, 2024 at 6:25 pm . Reply

    Ross is back???? An underachieving player if ever I saw one. Can Unai work his magic again????

  14. little8
    little8 May 20, 2024 at 8:03 pm . Reply

    Ross Barclay anyone if someone squeeze an extra ten percent out of him it’s unai

  15. BFR
    BFR May 20, 2024 at 8:46 pm . Reply

    Please proceed with the Connor Gallagher pursuit. But don’t offer Duran as part of the deal! Oh, and I still thik Unai could do something with Mason Mount…

  16. Holte
    Holte May 20, 2024 at 9:30 pm . Reply

    Barkley has been excellent for Luton but even so, they have been relegated. I agree that he’s probably cover for the first XI if we were to sign him. Not much of an upgrade on Dendoncker really IMO.
    As for Gallagher at Chelsea, that’s a totally different proposition. He’s probably an upgrade on Luiz so I would be delighted if he came. The talk of using Duran as part of the deal is acceptable if that was what decided it. Ideally I would like to keep Duran but talk of him being disruptive and uncoachable is rumoured so who knows.
    In an ideal world, I would like to see another RB, LB, RCB, DM and LW but it’s likely that we need to offload quite a few before there are any incomings.
    We were having a discussion at work (all Villa fans) if we were offered Villa’s front 3 or Palace’s front 3, which one we would pick. My honest response was Palace’s but if we could swap Diaby for Eze then that would be the main difference.

  17. EMI52
    EMI52 May 20, 2024 at 9:51 pm . Reply

    Theres a player in Ross Barkley and Unai will get a tune out of him
    Won’t cost a lot either
    Injuries hampered him last time he was with us
    Reckon a biggy will be sold – Ramsey ? Or I’d go as far to say Dougy !
    And the other dead wood will be gone .
    Don’t forget we have 3 new signings Tyrone , Buendia , Kamara who we have missed
    We are in good shape
    In Unai we trust

  18. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 20, 2024 at 9:59 pm . Reply

    Forget Barkley – of more concern is The Times article (not read but referenced by Sky) suggesting Villa could get excluded for financial breaches of FFP or whatever it’s now called. That would put Spuds in the CL which would, no doubt, suit a lot of people!

    Do I start to smell a rat?

    As I said previously; if we have FFP issues then we will need to sell a high value player before the end of June.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum May 20, 2024 at 10:56 pm . Reply

      If that happens Hitch, i will never pay a moments attention to any football ever again. That would be one extreme measure, especially with ManU, Arse, Citeh and Chelsea taking the p1ss over the past how many years…and seemingly getting away with it too…Look at the loan ManU were purchased with. And that’s not considered debt???!!!

      1. Hitchebs60
        Hitchebs60 May 21, 2024 at 7:44 am . Reply

        I’m with you Bum Bum – but I’ll resist the temptation to jump on my hobby horse – again 🙂

        Juventus, however ‘volunteered’ to take a one year European ban this season for FFP breaches as they hadn’t qualified for the Champions League (stupid name) and didn’t want to risk being disqualified next season – even that stinks!

        Interesting though – Villa have changed their year end from 31st May to 30th June which they are permitted to do under Company Law. This allows them a two week period after the opening of the transfer window (14th June) within which to sell a high value player should they need to balance the FFP / PSR books. Keep year eye on this.

        I also read an article around Villa’s £120m loss. Although details have not yet been registered with Companies House it’s thought that nearly half the loss relates to allowable Covid losses and further allowable costs include investment in the new Graduate Academy, the Women’s team and ground / BMH investments.

        Keep your eye on Villa’s transfer dealings in the last two weeks of June.

    2. BFR
      BFR May 21, 2024 at 9:28 am . Reply

      Hitch, I f****** despair.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 May 21, 2024 at 4:05 pm . Reply

        Your not the only one BFR

  19. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year May 21, 2024 at 12:39 am . Reply

    Does anyone think that there’s anything to all this talk about Araujo from Barca? Apparently Carlos will be sold and Araujo brought in for a shed load of money.
    Would he be worth it? Having watched more or less all of Barca’s games over the last few years I’d say an unequivocal yes. At 25 he’s the type of player you could build a defence around. Anyway, we’ll see.
    As for Barkley he played fantastically for Luton this season and could be a good back up to Kamara or Luiz. Remember that we have to build a squad not just a good first eleven.
    Interesting times ahead.

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