Directors resigned after someone leaked their mails; so who’s the leak? Okore and other stuff

I suspect the first half of my post will bore the pants off many of you, but it’s something I find interesting and I’d like thoughts on.
If you’re not interested, scroll down halfway and I do talk about the footy side of things, honest!

I’m sure we all know the story by now, but just in case, here’s the link;

I have to hold my hands up and say I don’t have a clue how things work in the hierarchies of big business (and that’s basically what the Villa is), but I find the suggestion of a mole within Villa Park a bit worrying.
Hence I find myself wondering who the said mole might be.

I might be wrong, but I’d expect that if a board member has something to say to another specific board member, the rest of the board would normally be CC’d in.
That part makes sense, as the board have to come to some sort of consensus and there’s no one board member who can make a sole decision; Randy Lerner apart, I’d suspect. Hence the board have to keep everyone “in the loop”.
At least that’s how it works where I work, at the (lower) level I’m at.

So given that the mails Bernstein and King exchanged were critical of Lerner, it also makes sense that they must have been a private conversation between the two of them.
Which begs the question of who else would have been able to see them?
And I can’t see that anyone would, unless they hacked Bernstein’s or King’s computer.

Of course, I’m working on the assumption here that the mails weren’t sent from within Villa Park (which would rule out any Network administrators) and both directors wouldn’t be so naive as to walk away from their screens leaving them unlocked, for anyone to have a peek at (would they?).

I’m also working on the assumption that Paddy Riley, the main suspect, who isn’t listed as a member of the board, or even strangely enough, an AV official at all wouldn’t have been party to these conversations.
And anyway, he’s known to be close to Lerner, as is General Krulak, another one I’d discount.

Which only leaves Doug Ellis.
Would he have been kept in the loop when it came to critical comments about Lerner?
Possibly, but I doubt Merv would have included him, as he surely knows what he’s like.

So what am I saying?
The truth is, I don’t know.
But then I find myself wondering how it seems the BBC first broke this story.
Since when have they ever been the first to know anything about the Villa, especially when it hasn’t come from Pat Murphy?
I’m guessing the whole story was leaked by a new source.
I think there’s much more to this than first meets the eye, is my conclusion.

So onto the actual footy side of things then and Gabby has been suspended again and we’ve called the PFA in to mediate. The good news is that it seems the PFA might have a lot of sympathy for the club.
But they’re never going to side against the player, because that’s not what they’re about.
Dead simple this one, to me.
Get rid and I don’t care how it happens. Sack him and let him take the club to a tribunal, if we have too.
And it breaks my heart to say it, as someone who defended him for ages after he was played out on the wings.
But there are far too many accounts that suggest he’s the worst influence in the club and he has to go. At any cost.

And then there’s Okore, who’s apparently moaned at Eric Black about not getting a game and has been demoted to the development squad.
Which has caused some outrage amongst the fans, having read on here and other sites.
Maybe rightly so, as I do actually like the player.
He’s young and has room to improve, after all.

But while I don’t rate Black at all, you can’t tell me that he’d see any player moaning about wanting to play as something bad enough to warrant demoting him. Especially when it seems half of the favoured eleven don’t seem to give a toss.

No, again there has to be more to this than meets the eye.
And my guess is that Okore’s another troublemaker, who thinks he’s better than the club and another we need to get rid of.
Black is starting to move up in my estimation, if my thinking is correct and he’s actually laying down the law.

In other news, David Moyes now looks a reasonable bet to be the next Celtic manager.
While I think he was probably genuinely interested in the Villa job, who can blame him for not being interested now?
Which also makes me wonder, which manager of any decent standing would want to come to us at all?

There’s another protest planned for Saturday’s game.
I’m afraid I don’t care about these anymore, as the previous ones have been totally uncoordinated and missing, dare I say, a leader as in “Fear”.
Pretty much like the club really, I suppose.

And finally, we won the Barclays grounds team of the year award.
Congratulations to Paul Mytton and the team and I’m sure we’d all agree that they do a sterling job in making the VP pitch consistently one of the finest footy surfaces in the world.
We do have one thing to be proud of lately, after all!


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  1. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 April 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm . Reply

    I see Eric Black’s given a somewhat different twist to the meeting with Okore. If Black’s version is correct then Okore can do one as well.

    GIDDYVILLAN April 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm . Reply

    Isn’t okore in breach of his contract??? Refusing to play or is this another case of ‘ player power ‘???hopefully he’s one of many fucked out the door it makes my blood boil.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 April 22, 2016 at 5:16 pm . Reply

      Giddy, it seems to me that players contracts only work one way – in favour of the player! Hope the new owners take no prisoners!

      See what I did there – assumed the stories of a sale are true – Villa fan clutching at straws springs to mind! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. nath
    nath April 22, 2016 at 4:43 pm . Reply

    any news on the sale of our club ?????

    okore is another bad apple. he is being disrespectful to his fellow players and the temp manager. we have anarchy in the PARK, no leadership this sort of stuff happens. no wonder lerner hasn’t spoke very often, hopefully this wasn’t apology but a good bye cos he can stuff the apology where the sun doesn’t shine.

  4. Benno
    Benno April 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm . Reply

    Please God tell me we are not paying Okore’s wages if he is refusing to be on the bench! How did we get so many w*nkers in the same team!!

    1. originallondonlion
      originallondonlion April 22, 2016 at 6:44 pm . Reply

      Specially selected, or trained at BMH by Gabby?

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson April 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm . Reply

    The whole of the playing staff have been weak in my mind, you can now see why the first team was never with the second team , they kept apart. As for Lerner and his apologies, he can stick it up his? You know where.all this reminds me of WBA in the 70s-80s , they never bothered to turn up for training and only bothered to turn up for a match. Why won’t our players play? Why can we not stop their wages? We have a holiday camp at Villa Park. sack the B astards I say. Roll on a new footballing team.

  6. fezza1069
    fezza1069 April 22, 2016 at 7:02 pm . Reply

    Did bernstein and king jump ship as they think this consurtiom has got no money, and was all wrong for villa, told the w@#k yank who basically told them to you no what off. Its my club and ill do with it wot i want.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 April 22, 2016 at 7:54 pm . Reply

      Hi Fezza – welcome to the ‘madhouse’ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Don’t think that’s the reason they jumped ship but who really knows. More likely Lerner did his usual and refused to financially support people who actually knew what they were doing. Lerner seems happier listening to his lapdogs Riley, Flabby et al.

  7. fezza1069
    fezza1069 April 22, 2016 at 7:06 pm . Reply

    1st ever post so apologies if wording wrong.

      GIDDYVILLAN April 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm . Reply

      Welcome fezza we all fuck up with our grammar mate feel at home.

  8. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion April 22, 2016 at 7:10 pm . Reply

    Why apologise for something you planned, when it works out? Randy Lerner set out a plan in the close season. which could only have one result. That has been achieved with four games to go.

    At the start he had a new manager who had conjured an improved performance by the team, enough to get them to the cup final. But it was a team who scraped past relegation. With two good players going and the TV millions coming if we could hang on one more season, the need was for proven EPL players. Old possibly, they would be cheaper – they only needed to keep us up for one year. That is what Sherwood wanted coming in – but he also wanted rid of Gabby and the other Wembley Woefuls.

    Instead Lerner landed the club with a shirt salesman in charge of Paddy Riley, a man with a plan to follow the proven bad ideas of Newcastle and field French League players with no EPL nous, and without consulting the manager. The dross remained to give a bad example to the foreign rookies. Rliey did not even fill the holes at GK RB and RW.

    We had been standing on the hinges of the trap-door, nothing in reserve, and we take a big guess. Just to make sure we fell through it – we get another manager who achieves even less and we don’t allow him any transfers.

    That plan worked Randy, don’t apologise, just tell shake hands on the sale.

    1. Jvillan
      Jvillan April 22, 2016 at 7:50 pm . Reply

      Best post read for a long time

    2. jvillan
      jvillan April 22, 2016 at 9:28 pm . Reply

      how can you get dislikes for telling the truth on lerner

  9. steve
    steve April 22, 2016 at 7:50 pm . Reply

    Mr Hollis has gone quiet since Bernstein and King left.
    Is he still there ?

    1. Hitchens 69
      Hitchens 69 April 22, 2016 at 8:04 pm . Reply

      What more can he say Steve. As far as we know he’s now concentrating on trying to achieve a beneficial sale of the club. I reckon Hollis has realised that there is no future with Lerner in charge.

      I’ll go further – following the resignations of B &K, I believe the only reason Hollis has not resigned is because he believes he can achieve a sale of the club which Lerner ( without him) is incapable of doing. Hollis will consider that achieving a sale which will enable the reforms he was planning to be put in place will be justification of him taking the role of chairman.

      I don’t think Lerner realised that when he put Hollis in as chairman he was taking on someone who would not be bullied or coerced into fawning at his feet.

      I firmly believe that Hollis represents the best hope we have – without him I really do fear for the future – and I freely admit I was originally sceptical about his appointment.

      1. DSVilla
        DSVilla April 22, 2016 at 8:31 pm . Reply

        I think Hollis was brought in with the sole intention to get the club ready to sell. In Lerner’s ideal world that would have been as a Premier League club. The relegation has just made it even more imperative. Hollis has been bullied. The people he brought in to put the club on the right footing were forced out. He has just kept his mouth shut and carried on trying to sell the club.

        He is either on a big wedge to get the deal done or just wants to get out without losing face.

        Just my take on it.

  10. Rocky1
    Rocky1 April 22, 2016 at 8:04 pm . Reply

    I have been reading a lot of the rumors and something that keeps cropping up at the back of my mind is the King and Bernstein resignations. Could they be behind the the consortium interested in buying the club? Would they be able to sit on the board and also be interested in buying the club?

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 April 22, 2016 at 8:06 pm . Reply

      Yes as a management buy out – as in Tata steel and Port Talbot.

    2. originallondonlion
      originallondonlion April 22, 2016 at 8:11 pm . Reply

      They could be, but they are both men with a reputation for honesty. If the real reason for their resignation was a possible conflict of interest, they would have made that clear in their letters – which instead hint at their frustration with the owner.

      1. Rocky1
        Rocky1 April 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm . Reply

        Could they have approached Ellison for backing behind Lerners back and the conflict of interest came when Lerner found out having already started talking to Ellison as a potential sole buyer?

        1. DSVilla
          DSVilla April 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm . Reply

          No it’s not that. Some of the paper talk is that 3 interested buyers have been allowed to do due diligence. That’s a nonsense. What will happen is that Lerner (and him alone) will select a preferred buyer. He will then give them a period of exclusivity (that means he can’t negotiate with anyone else until that is complete). If the buyer is happy they then proceed on the terms they agreed or slightly changed terms by agreement between the two parties.

          Due diligence is expensive and nobody will do that without exclusivity. There is no chance that King and Bernstein are involved at this point.

          Apart from the general positive of a change of owner, the best bit as that Lerner, in his weird statement, still looks like he may attempt to put us in decent hands rather than any chancer.

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 April 22, 2016 at 9:23 pm . Reply

            Sorry DS but have to disagree. I have been involved with buying and selling companies and it’s not unusual for more than one interested party to undertake due diligence through the use of a ‘data room’ established by the seller.

          2. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain April 22, 2016 at 10:58 pm . Reply

            H60 is right; you can have several interested parties all doing their own DD seperately but at the same time – the ‘non-disclosure’ agreements each sign prevent them from talking to each other, and they all receive the same information from the seller. It often happens this way when administrators try sell a company as a going-concern…

            However, my guess is that Bernstein and King probably aren’t directly involved in any of the bids either – they would be bound by confidentiality agreements [signed or simply implied by virtue of their roles with the club] which would largely preclude them from discussing anything that they learned while in office with any party doing DD; and I’d expect both of them to be far too professional to even give the appearance of breaking those. That wouldn’t prevent them from joining any winning bidder after a sale was agreed, if they were asked, but at this time they’re probably ‘out’ of any sort of discussions.

          3. DSVilla
            DSVilla April 23, 2016 at 8:36 am . Reply

            OK guys I bow to your wider experience. I have bought a few companies myself, and sold some that I owned. In every case there were several interested parties but always one was given exclusivity based on the highest or best offer. It was always insisted on as DD is expensive so why pay for it if it sells to someone else. In most cases data rooms were made available in the first instance to all parties to give access to the same information in order to qualify a bid.

            Administration is a different scenario, as it’s usually a race against time.

          4. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 April 23, 2016 at 9:04 am . Reply

            That’s fair comment DS and I guess we may actually be saying the same thing in that a certain amount of DD has to be undertaken (by the bidders) in order to make a qualifying bid but further due diligence is often undertaken under an exclusivity agreement once a bid has been accepted.

            The actual statement from the club suggests your take on matters in so far as it said (if I recall correctly) that three bidders have been ‘given access to the companies books’. I think it’s the press that used the term due diligence.

            Agree with you on administration.

  11. fezza1069
    fezza1069 April 22, 2016 at 8:10 pm . Reply

    Thanks for all your welcoming comments. We all want wants best for our beloved villa. As yazz sang many years ago the only way is up. VTID

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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