FFP, players, youth; I’m only partly panicking

I’d written a fair chunk of a post discussing how the team proved me wrong re; the Brighton game (fair play to them) and I was summing up how we’d performed over the season (suffice to say it was rubbish), but I didn’t get round to finishing it, hence it never got posted, mostly because the FFP hit the headlines.

Let’s just say I don’t quite believe the story that’s been put out that we only have £1 million to spend this season.
I’ve questioned Villa’s accounts on many occasions over the last few years and my opinion is they’re creative, to say the very least.
I hasten to add that I don’t believe they’re bent or illegal; just creative.
There is far too much money being written off for none-football stuff for my liking, for a start.

That said, it’s true that whichever way you look at it, we’ve spent a boatload of money on an under-achieving squad.
So it wouldn’t surprise me if the good Doctor did want to tighten the spending.

But this story also plays into our hands.
How often have we been bent over in having to pay inflated fees for players over the years? Far, far too many for my liking.
For every Kodjia, how many Ross McCormack’s have we had?

The Brum Mail have a decent article out, which suggests the players we need to move on and it’s frankly hard to disagree with it.

It’s plainly clear we have a right load of over-paid rubbish in the upper level of the squad.

But then, I’ve often commented that the kids aren’t good enough either.
There’s another Villa site that seems to concur with my thoughts and it doesn’t make for good reading, especially if you think our kids are the answer.
Trust me, they aren’t, as is explained in that article.

So what’s the answer, given that we don’t have a pot to do the proverbial in and the kids aren’t coming through?

Well, we’ve already got a few bob for Sanchez.
McCormack is worth a few mill (albeit another massive loss and I don’t believe he’s got a cat in hell’s chance of staying if Bruce has anything to do with it).
Gill will fetch a few quid, as will Veretout, Tish and others.

We’ll still be stuck with the likes of Gabby and Richards, who are on stupid money, but that’s the way it is.

The point is Bruce will not be limited to a poxy £1 mill. No way on earth.

What he’ll do with the money and how he’s going to improve our results is a totally different question though.

And unless he signs some players that can allow him to change his mind-set, or more accurately, actually play the game that I believe he wants to play, he’s going to be in serious trouble.

By that, I mean I believe the likes of “Nath” who says that he screams at the players to get the ball in the box, yet it doesn’t happen.
I’ve heard similar comments from a fair few attendees and it smacks of a team that’s massively lacking in confidence.

If Bruce can’t turn this around, I predict he’ll be gone by November.
But that’s for another day.


Page 1 of 1
  1. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 May 17, 2017 at 7:19 am . Reply

    Badger, I’ve posted my thoughts on FFP which, imho just means that the gap between the richest clubs in Europe and the rest just gets wider. Unless clubs can manufacture investment through trumped up sponsorships (Man City for instance), ffp stops investment through increasing capital or borrowing to fund losses or, put another way, increased investment – completely barmy and where fair play come into that beats me.

    I agree with Dr T that Villa have to turn round their accounts as we have been making losses for too long through bad management decisions and poor investment but that has all to do with good management of a business and nothing to do with ffp.

    Rant over

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 17, 2017 at 3:44 pm . Reply

    And so he should Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

    An 18-year-old forward, Hepburn-Murphy’s first team opportunities have been restricted since the youngster made his Premier League debut in 2015. Despite this, a string of good performances have followed for the under-23s, scoring seven goals in 12 appearances.

    With Libor Kozak gone and Ross McCormack and Gabby Agbonlahor amongst those that could leave Villa Park this summer, Hepburn-Murphy could be one of the favourites to get the nod, should Steve Bruce turn to youth.

    The Birmingham born player has represented England at youth level, most recently for England Under 19s. He signed a new contract in February.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm . Reply

      Yep, will have to bring some of the kids on but to be fair to Bruce he has brought in Andre Green and rates the lad Davies so perhaps we shouldn’t be too concerned.

      1. badger123
        badger123 May 17, 2017 at 10:20 pm . Reply

        Bruce will not seriously bring the youth through.
        The pragmatist in him won’t allow it, imo because the pressure will be on too much.
        Bit parts, yes, but I don’t believe they’ll figure majorly.

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 May 18, 2017 at 6:26 am . Reply

          Don’t fully agree with you there Badger. I think Green will be fully involved as will Bree (19) and Johnstone (assuming he returns) is only 21 as I think is Grealish – how much further he can go on a regular basis depends to a large extent on results but I hope we see more of the talented youngsters starting on the bench.

          1. badger123
            badger123 May 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm . Reply

            I hope so too Hitch.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm . Reply

    Ntvspor have reported Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup is set to sign a new five year contract, and this is likely to be done next week. The Turkish international has been linked with a move to England in recent weeks with claims Aston Villa were showing an interest.

    It’s been reported the Besiktas board are delighted to extend Ozyakup’s contract until 2022. The player is currently earning €1.4 million per year, but after the extension his annual salary will be €2million. NtvSpor also report there’ll be a release clause on his new contract, but they say it’s currently unknown how much this will be.

    Only last month we covered reports from Turkey that Aston Villa were in the race to sign Ozyakup, and had sent a scout to get a lowdown on the former Arsenal youth player. It was also claimed Aston Villa faced competition from other English clubs to sign player.

    However, with Aston Villa failing to bounce back to the Premier League it was always going to be difficult convincing Ozyakup to play in the Championship.

  4. nath
    nath May 18, 2017 at 10:08 am . Reply

    thanks for including me in your new debate badger. i think the point you picked up on is a valid point. bruce wants to get the ball into the box and was very frustrated with players turning their back on doing that and passing back into safe zones. against brighton we got into very dangerous areas. why our players do this is not clear. but hitchens is probably right. they are lacking confidence,

    i also think we villa have brought through some decent players. our youth sides have been very productive in many years in the past. in recent years we havent given them the same chances. we can all remember them days when youth players were thrown into games, sometimes they played blinders and a new villa star was born. these days villa have turned their back on this. we dont mind blooding other teams youths but we shun our own.

    bruce threw in davis against brighton and he managed to shine. these lads need a chance. i am with hitchens we have some talents lads they need to play. if your squad is at full strengths send these kids out under guarantee that they play so much or recall. a month playing 1st team will bring these lads on. we need to remember what made us the club we are today. that is our youth and never being scared to play them.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm . Reply

    Nath, its only common sense that a young man wanting the good life will give more than a person getting rich knowing a manager don’t try youth team players. I’ve said it many times mangers think more of buying and drawing board ideas that’s not always the best, i remember John Gregory coming in and we was in trouble, he had to win 11 games, the Villa played their own style by just play football, teams like Arsenal, Man Utd, couldn’t work out what was going on. The Villa was back in the game.I’d like to see that back in our club.

  6. badger123
    badger123 May 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm . Reply

    And just as we apparently only have a £1 million to spend, so it seems we’ve bid for £10 mill rated Aaron Mooy;


    You really couldn’t make this rubbish up.

    Or erm, perhaps you could.

    It’s no wonder I don’t go a bundle on transfer speculation.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 18, 2017 at 9:24 pm . Reply

      Don’t believe a word of it BUT the more important message is the need for us to effectively use the loan system to get quality players from the top PL sides.

      There have been posts on here decrying loans – why? It seems there is a view, arrogantly it seems to me, that the loan system is for other less important clubs than us – we better wise up and quickly.

      1. badger123
        badger123 May 18, 2017 at 10:09 pm . Reply

        I detest loans Hitch.
        I totally fail to see why we should help clubs above us further improve their squads and hence widen the gap even more.
        I’d ban them tomorrow, no question.

        It’s also an admission that we can’t bring our own kids through, too.

        Er, I think i might have hit on something there, if you think about it.
        It’s a point I’ve consistently made, in that our academy is a total failure and has been for years.
        And given the ongoing clear-out of the youth, it would seem someone agrees.

        1. BigC
          BigC May 19, 2017 at 12:59 am . Reply

          Agreed! Loans are stupid! You re improving a player for his parent club. Where’s the pride?

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm . Reply


        2. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 May 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm . Reply

          Badger, I understand why you detest loans – they are widely misused imho but my point is that, as a club, we can’t afford to stand on a principle and not use them when all of our competitors do – and do so to good effect.

          Of course we should also try and bring through our youngsters but don’t forget we also send them out on loan to clubs in lower divisions to get them important playing time and experience.

          Of more worry to me is letting go of our youngsters too soon and too cheap – Cahill being an obvious example but also lads like Johnston to PNE. Bruce has come out and said so, so I hope for a change in policy.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm . Reply

            I’m with Badger for once hate loans it smacks of small club mentality and parent club always benefits more than we do

        3. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm . Reply

          For once Badger I agree with you 😄

  7. Dave.C
    Dave.C May 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm . Reply

    How has Tishibola got on at Forest?, I’d forgotten about him to be honest but thought he had potential the little I saw of him.

    1. giddyvillan
      giddyvillan May 19, 2017 at 8:31 am . Reply

      He hardly got any game time if any spent his time warming the bench, he’ll be a goner.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 May 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm . Reply

        Had one good half all season – £5m, Reading saw us coming. I see another big loss looming.

        1. nath
          nath May 20, 2017 at 7:59 am . Reply

          young players have form dips. he is still a good prospect, strong, athletic will make a good box to box midfielder. we paid 5 mill for this but he needs more games to progress. we paid about 3 mill to much. next season he might come back even stronger and force himself in bruces mind. he is capable of doing this in preseason camp. if not he will be worth 1 to 2 million

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm . Reply

      I thought he was our best midfielder but once Bruce cane he never stood a chance. Def a personality clash there

  8. nath
    nath May 19, 2017 at 8:47 am . Reply

    football never surprises me. all season i knew brighton and newcastle would be top two i had brighton winning championship/ playoffs i always thought wednesday would make it in playoffs i said we would but that was more in hope and wednesday i thought really would make it. after the last game looking at the playoff games i would have bet my life on a fulham and wednesday final.

    i guess what i learned this season is the best teams in championship dont always get their rewards. you have to fight it out proper for the amount of games, sometimes saturday tues. if you land in playoffs theirs no guarantee you will make it it really is a lottery. roll on next season

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm . Reply

      Fulham were my tip to win play offs – shows what little I know. So Reading and Huddersfield in the final – the two least tipped sides in the Championship by the pundits at the outset of the season.

      1. nath
        nath May 20, 2017 at 7:51 am . Reply

        fulham had the game to play premiership, they had a chance of surviving. but hudderfield and reading no disrespect have little to no chance surviving and both are in the final, fair play but both are fighting it out for who finishes bottom in premiership lmao

        what should we have learned ??? well we can’t have any fighting in house like wednesday had we need a squad all driven to promotion. focused from game 1 to the last game whether that includes playoff final. playing like fulham really doesnt matter come the final whistle. if we don’t finish top 2 or win the final of playoffs. so style isn’t important.

        i trust bruce even more that before. i think the squad is already good enough, bruce just needs to fit the final jigsaw pieces to compliment all the players. style comes with victories. bruce will get the system right. always much easier to do this preseason.

        champions 🙂 vtid

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm . Reply

        Tbf anyone of those 4 could of been promoted nothing between all 4.

  9. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 19, 2017 at 9:20 am . Reply

    I see the latest strategy is to dump the computer scouting, big Change now feet on the ground and flat cap scouting, i wasn’t aware we did that Chase computers for talent, like the idea of 10 out in the summer bet a few knees are knocking , and I hear that the team are in Australia? Why.

  10. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion May 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm . Reply

    Computer scouting was introduced by that idiot (Brady? -name escapes me) who thought you could construct a winning side just by performance analytics. This might work in team sports where the roles are extremely specific. Baseball, NFL, possibly Rugby and Cricket.

    It does not get near half the picture of a fluid game like football where the position of all the players on the field at any moment influences the optimum strategy. It also fails to take into account players’ relationships with each other. You can take a player out of one side and put him in another of nearly identical standard and get a big change in the mover’s performance. This may relate to how he gets on with his colleagues at the club.

    Sometimes you have to suck it and see. All the pundits thought Lampard and Gerrard would be a great midfield combo for England. They weren’t because they did the same job, not the complementary job.

  11. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm . Reply

    Thanks OLL, at least you answered back to me, i never knew that , it don’t seem right in football to me that, I’ve always believed in finding a players best position in a game by his telent. Still you learn as you go on in life.

  12. badger123
    badger123 May 20, 2017 at 9:04 pm . Reply

    Bill, it was Hendrik (?) Almstadt and Paddy Riley and some other idiot, who played “moneyball”, buying from statistics alone.
    Probably under Tom Fox’s instruction (how out of his depth did he turn out to be, with his American corporate approach?).

    In hindsight, if we want to play statistics, maybe we should just hire the latest “Championship Manager” or “Fifa 2017” fantasy league winner.

    Or maybe not.

  13. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 20, 2017 at 9:50 pm . Reply

    Well all I can say Badger, a bad time in Villa’s history, I’ve been following the local rag over the last few days, its all guessing on their part 50 million in players to be sold, pull the other leg ,who would want that crap.? God help us.

  14. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 May 21, 2017 at 7:55 am . Reply

    See Alex Bruce is a free agent and we need a cb – any guesses where he’ll end up? Perhaps you should start a poll Badger Samba or Bruce 🙂

    1. badger123
      badger123 May 21, 2017 at 10:06 am . Reply

      Yes, I saw that Hitch. I think even I’d prefer Samba there .
      I’m all for looking after your own, but they have to be half decent.
      Alex has always struck me as average at best. But maybe it’s more about having someone​ on your side in the dressing room?

      1. giddyvillan
        giddyvillan May 21, 2017 at 10:34 am . Reply

        I’m not a big fan of these Father /son partnerships, the other players will start feeling there’s eyes & ears everywhere this could mean the son being detached by the other squad members.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:54 pm . Reply

          Agree giddy.

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath May 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm . Reply

        Does that means he’s lost the dressing room akready

        1. badger123
          badger123 May 25, 2017 at 8:30 pm . Reply

          And you have nothing to base that thought on, imo.

  15. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 21, 2017 at 11:40 am . Reply

    A lot of truth in that Giddy, Alex Bruce will be at Villa you mark them words, and yes players will have to watch what being said its natural when siblings are working together, Mark you I think he would be better for the team as more passion would be shown.

  16. Andrew
    Andrew May 25, 2017 at 3:42 am . Reply

    Passions great but he’s mediocre at best. Probably better than Samba but by very little if at all.

  17. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 May 25, 2017 at 8:11 am . Reply

    According to the Mail 21 coaches passed through the gates of Villa Park in the 18 months prior to Bruce’s appointment and they weren’t busing in the away sides! No wonder the players are confused!

  18. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm . Reply

    Where was they taking them Hitch,? He he.

Post Comment