Ignore this, Mr Lerner


I’ve just come across an interesting article.
I’ll explain why I think it’s interesting at the very end, but for now, I’m just going to post it in it’s entirety.
Let us know what you think;

The Ignominy of Aston Villa

“Relegation looks all but certain for a legendary English club—a fate made painfully clear with a recent 6-0 drubbing

The Cleveland Browns should be thankful they don’t play in the English Premier League.

If they did they would be relegated—dropped, demoted, sent down because of their league-worst 3-13 record to a hypothetical NFL second division.

They would be, in short, Aston Villa.

Aston Villa is the worst team in the English Premier League this year. Going into last weekend’s game against Liverpool, Villa had won three of twenty-five games and were sitting at the bottom of the table. Barring a late-season miracle—like last year’s improbable escape by this year’s improbable league-leader Leicester City when they won six of their last eight matches—Aston Villa, along with two other bottom teams in the EPL, will suffer “the drop.”

It’s an ignominy made worse given Villa’s proud history: founding members of the Football League in 1888, founding members of the Premier League in 1992, winners of the European Cup in 1982, seven-time league winners, seven-time FA Cup winners. Villa is one of England’s legendary clubs. During the reign of Queen Victoria, Villa was huge.

But Queen Victoria is dead, and the fans filing into Villa Park last Sunday seemed resigned to the fact that their team’s chances of staying up were dead, too.

The game started in sunshine. But as shadows slipped across the pitch, so did Villa. Liverpool scored, then scored again. Liverpool ran rampant; the Villans seemed stuck in place. The only thing crisp about Villa were their striped claret and blue socks.

Relegation will have consequences. Foremost is the lost $100 million in broadcasting revenue ($140 million went to last year’s league champion, Chelsea), which accompanies the drop to the Championship (the EPL gives relegated teams “parachute payments” to lessen the financial blow, though that phrase can’t hide that someone is being pushed from a great height).

Relegation will be ugly. Not just lost revenue but lost relevance—lost players, lost fans, lost prestige. Arsenal was last relegated in 1913. Manchester United was relegated in 1974 but came back the year after. More often teams never recover, tumbling to lower leagues and struggling to return to the top flight. Remember Leeds? Fulham?

As the second half began, Liverpool scored a third time. Then a fourth, a fifth, a sixth. Kolo Touré, who had never scored for Liverpool, scored for Liverpool. The team scored four goals in thirteen minutes. Some teams don’t score four goals in a month. It was a scoring frenzy, a bloodbath. The traveling Liverpool fans were giddy and drunk, and would not stop singing. What started as a football match became a concert for singing Liverpool fans. The only drama was whether the Liverpool players might hurt themselves by pulling a hamstring in their celebratory scrums.

Villa fans streamed out of the park, shouting obscenities. One fan threw his hat on the field, then asked for it back.

Maybe he’ll want it next year. There’s always hope.

Because the other side of relegation is promotion. All over England this spring, the best teams in the lower divisions—like Hull and Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday —will be dreaming big. The top two teams in the Championship win promotion to the Premier League; the next four battle in a playoff for the third spot. These games may be the most exhilarating games in sport. Euphoric games, with players and fans bonded together by the dream of making it to Old Trafford next year. Where a single goal on a muddy field in Yorkshire could be worth $100 million. Imagine that!

Imagine, too, the wild possibilities that relegation and promotion could bring to sports in America. The Denver Broncos playing the Iowa Barnstormers. The Golden State Warriors visiting the Kalamazoo Pure. The El Paso Chihuahuas playing in Yankee Stadium.

Americans could learn something here. Not only the rough capitalism of relegation, but the irrational exuberance of promotion (many of the teams that are promoted go right back down the following year). Because in both they would experience something vital—real joy, real tears—the knowledge that rooting for ones team matters.

There is one American learning this lesson right now: Randy Lerner. Lerner is the American majority-owner of Aston Villa. He also used to be the owner of the Cleveland Browns.”

So what’s so interesting about that apart from the fact that I think it’s a good article, with what seems to be the author’s own really nice illustrations (in the actual article)?

Well, first off, it’s written by an American woman (it’s certainly written in American English).

But most importantly, is the paper it’s written in.
It’s the Wall Street Journal.
Which if Randy doesn’t read himself, you can bet his financial type friends/colleagues certainly do.
Which means it’s being brought up in conversation.

I’ll bet he’s not too keen on that article, as it makes him look a bit of a mug.
That’s a shame isn’t it? Now he might get an idea of what us fans think of him.

And yes, the Browns really are bottom at the moment in the NFL, along with Tennessee Titans.
After all this time since Lerner left.
Is that likely to be a similar legacy he leaves us with?

I really hope not.


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  1. nath
    nath February 20, 2016 at 3:50 pm . Reply

    boycotting is the only way to force the hand of lerner. i find it complete bullshit, when i read hes not regained his money. for the last five years, lerners spent next to nothing on maintaining a premiership club. so what if he lost money anyway. sell or walk away and learn your lesson. before you invest in a company. make sure you research and hire the right ppl, who know what it takes to run the company if your clueless.

    so depressing being a villa fan under lerner. he is nothing but consistent lol he made one bad decision after another. destroyed a well run club. switching from one plan to another. chopping and changing managers. hiring wrong managers. selling better players and signing young and hungry one, for over the value. we should already have young and hungry players in the academy’s.

    cant stomach much more of this ~ when will we stop spiraling out of control. current squad is not good enough for the championship and would be too high for the drastic wage cuts. remi gardes needs to run the football side completely. i think he can sort the squad out. but only if given total control of the footballing side. lastly i can see lerner selling all the french players we bought last summer except gestede, that and the parachute would cover his losses for the drop. remi will get 15 mil thats if they can sell the current squad above the 50 mill summer spend spree.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 20, 2016 at 3:52 pm . Reply

    My sentiments Bum bum, leave it to others,

  3. Morgan Villa
    Morgan Villa February 20, 2016 at 7:54 pm . Reply

    My biggest fear is that Hollis is an asset stripper by not attending we are hurting the club and not Randy

    1. muzzvill
      muzzvill February 20, 2016 at 9:24 pm . Reply

      well if he is asset stripping Morgan we are f….d anyway so by packing the ground week out we are only filling his pockets. Sadly the only way this prick is gonna get the message is by fans not turning up as hard as it is

      1. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson February 20, 2016 at 10:10 pm . Reply

        Exactly Muzzvill, and you still get some fans buried their heads and think negative, I’ve said it hurts but you got to stand up and do it. Taking it and doing nothing only prolong the inevitable, it will get worse. I know its up to the individuals if they don’t, but I’m doing it and will feel better for it.

  4. Morgan Villa
    Morgan Villa February 21, 2016 at 10:17 am . Reply

    Randy does not inject his own money into the club. He pays himself what the club owe him plus 5%. He also pays himself a salary. The club is then ran as a normal business what it generates is then re invested (you would hope) back into the club. If we boycott the club then we damage the club and it has no impact on Lerner at all. Aston Villa is a fraction of the Lerners investments and losses can be written off without hurting the Lerners finances. If he was that worried we would not be where we are now

  5. steve
    steve February 21, 2016 at 6:30 pm . Reply

    at the beginning of the season I had a £50 bet with a Watford fan that we would finish higher than them.
    I don’t usually bet but thought it was a good one to have. How wrong I was.
    I will probably pay him this week to shut him up.

    1. Saddened
      Saddened February 22, 2016 at 10:55 am . Reply

      We all got swept up in the hype of our new signings in the summer Steve, but didn’t realise most of them were not properly scouted, just looked good on some spreadsheet….
      The people that got us into this mess are all still here, along with some additional asset strippers – Any player with an ounce of intelligence leaves as soon as they can (which is why Gabby is still here).
      Sad times ahead !

    #HELENIUS February 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm . Reply

    Is it true the first team lost 3-0 to the U21 in a match behind closed doors at the weekend?

    1. pat57
      pat57 February 22, 2016 at 3:36 pm . Reply

      Yes you can read about it here –


      Keep saying we should play the kids

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm . Reply

        If we play first XI against Stoke will we be fined for deliberately fielding a weakened team 🙂

      2. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm . Reply

        Are we following Bolton Wanderers – another great and famous club sold for just £7.5m Mr. Lerner take note

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 22, 2016 at 4:07 pm . Reply

    Disgraceful, there’s the difference in pride and don’t care attitudes.

  8. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 22, 2016 at 6:10 pm . Reply

    See it’s being reported fans are planning a mass walk out on 74th minute for next three home games (74 because we were formed in 1874) – not a problem if we’re losing but what if we aren’t?

    1. pat57
      pat57 February 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm . Reply


      Of course we’ll be losing the U21s stuffed us so will everyone else.

    2. steve
      steve February 22, 2016 at 9:19 pm . Reply

      I think the problem with the 74th minute is that if the Liverpool game is anything to go by most the people would already have gone by then.

  9. Astonished Villan
    Astonished Villan February 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm . Reply

    Senior squad players losing to under 21s. Is that an indictment of just the players or perhaps even the senior squad coaches too? Under 21s coached by Cowans and MacDonald (whose name doesn’t appear on ‘who’s who’ on OS) versus senior team coaches Remi and Ray. I like everything Remi says but so far it hasn’t translated to decent points tally.

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