Can we trust Xia? Lotus Villa Park? and other thoughts

Obviously the takeover is a massive story and it’s brought in lots of comments.
What’s impressed me here is the standard of the debate/discussion, which has been excellent and I commend you all; Well done!

It’s also been very revealing, with some well researched comments that have saved me having to trawl Newsnow as much as I normally do, for tonight anyway. So thanks for that too.

What’s also noticeable is after the initial euphoria (consider those who thought this deal was a good thing is around 92% in the poll), serious doubts are beginning to set in already.
Which is understandable.

This is the problem with a Chinese investor, in that everything the Chinese do in business seems to be somewhat opaque, doesn’t it?
It’s a daft thing, but an example is I’ve long wondered why most Chinese takeaways still don’t accept cards for payment, when it’s been normal practice for years in the UK?
Tax evasion? I doubt it myself, as Asian and other ethnic places are happy to accept them.
I suspect it’s more a cultural thing.
And apart from having to use cash being a pain in the rear, it doesn’t stop me from eating my fair share of Chinese food. Even without the Monosodium Glutamate.

So what am I saying?
Well, I don’t have lots of personal experience with Chinese people, but I’ve had many a chat with Chinese takeaway owners and they always strike me as being very friendly and personable.
I know. It’s not a particularly good way to judge a race in general, but it’s the best I can come up with.
So, as a person who always looks for the good side in people, I’m willing to wait and see what our new owner actually does before I make any sort of judgement on him.
As for the Financial Times comment that casts aspersions on Dr Xia, I’ve accused Randy Lerner’s accountants of at least massaging the figures many a time and I see it as being part of big business. Hence I can’t particularly hold anything against Xia on this point.

Basically, I’m willing to give him the benefit of any doubt, even if it might prove naive.

Where Xia has been a lot more transparent though, is in his quick admission that the name of the ground might be changed.
I suspect he’s put this one out there to test the waters and see what us fans think, myself.
And while I’ve previously been strongly against any re-naming of one of the most respected stadiums anywhere in the footy world, I think I could actually live with the “Lotus Villa Park” name that he suggested.
It’s not something I want, but we have to be realistic in that this is the world we live in, where money is all important.

As for Xia’s interview, I haven’t actually read it, but it seems he says all the right things, doesn’t he?
There, I do have to be sceptical.
Biggest foreign club in China?
It’s a lovely idea, but we have to compete with the likes of Man Utd, who are years ahead of us.
Nah, much more realistic is to just be somewhere up there. That’d be good enough.

Six or seven players in? Wouldn’t we have to get that many out first?
It’s a big ask, I’d suggest.
And then there’s the part that says he’ll be looking to use quite a few of the kids.
I know this will be popular amongst many, but I have my doubts and could just be an excuse for not bringing better players in.
On this point, I have to wonder if he’ll be looking to bring Chinese players into the side too.

Which brings us onto the transfer pot, which is seemingly anything from £20-50 million.
An amount Neil Warnock says isn’t needed.
Is he for real and has he actually seen us this season?
I quite like the bloke, but I’m glad he doesn’t see himself as a contender for the role.

And then there’s Holis’ interview, where he stated that the preferred candidate has taken a “very mature” outlook on our situation.
Am I the only one who thinks that it points to someone quite young?
Which means Roberto Di Matteo or Roberto Martinez, in my book.
I’m not convinced about either of them, but then I’m not the one stumping up the money.

As for the comment wondering why Ellis hasn’t commented on anything; he has, saying Lerner’s only mistake was not turning up for enough games. Hmm, ok.

Which is another good point, given that Xia is based in China, although I saw something that suggests he’s going to move to Birmingham?

I’m sorry if it seems I’ve rambled my way through this one, but there are lots of questions still swimming around my head that I haven’t properly asked myself yet.


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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm . Reply

    One last (hopefully) comment on our outgoing flid of an owner:

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm . Reply

      That’s a good take on RL: nice guy, genuinely well-meaning, just totally inept in business and particulalrly sports-business.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm . Reply

    Just got back from the King Power stadium, watching my 13 year old granddaughter win the cup for Coventry girls, they stopped the games to have wedding photos for bride and groom by moving all into one stand, never seen a disorganized venue like that only at Villa Park.Had to tell you a proud granddad.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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