Revelations in the Telegraph; I’m almost speechless.

Obviously I can’t be speechless, as I’m writing this, but it’s fair to say that the latest article in the The Telegraph has just left me truly stunned.
We all knew things were bad, but some of the things that are in this article are almost beyond belief, especially given my massive distrust of the media in general.
I don’t know where John Percy has got this from, but it’s almost so outlandish, that I suspect there’s a lot of truth in what’s being said.

The biggest thing for me has to be that basically some of the staff seemingly lied to Remi Garde, when it came to the winter transfer window, in telling the manager that certain players didn’t want to come to Villa, when they hadn’t even been contacted.
If this is true, you have to wonder what was going on here.
If it was Riley telling the porkies, surely this would have come out immediately and he’d have been first out of the door?
Unless, of course, he was only doing what he was told by either Almstadt, or more likely Tom Fox; the latter of whom might have been under direct orders from Lerner?
That’s doubtful, seeing as how Fox has been bulleted.

Further to that, if Garde’s relationship with Riley had broken down so badly, why has Riley not been sacked already?
I can only suspect that the investigation can’t really blame Riley too much and possibly thinks Garde is equally to blame.
Whatever, it can’t be healthy if two important people don’t get on and a decision should have been made either way, weeks ago. And given that we know it’s almost certain that Garde is leaving, does that mean that Riley hasn’t done anything wrong?
That’s bad management at the highest level, imo.

Now if the rest of the article is correct in saying that Riley oversees the scouting network, where the European scout has emigrated to Australia and the Iberian scout is at Uni, studying journalism, I’m left asking myself who actually scouted all the players from France?
Again, if it was Riley and he was being scapegoated, wouldn’t he have been gone already?
I’m beginning to think it was Almstadt and Fox working together, that colluded against Garde.
Which doesn’t make sense, if you believe that Garde was brought in to try and integrate the French players better.

I think there’s a lot more than meets the eye in everything that’s gone on at the Villa lately and I’m still very mindful that the CFO has left.
I’ve said before that there’s something not right about that and if you start to add everything up, it’s beginning to look like the lack of leadership wasn’t confined to the first team, as so many of us flippantly suggested without knowing any facts (as footy fans do).
It seems it definitely ran through the whole club from top to bottom.
And that’s what you get when you own a company and leave totally the wrong people to run it.

The only big shock left for me now would be some sort of financial scandal.
Nah, surely not?


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  1. Jvillan
    Jvillan March 27, 2016 at 8:38 pm . Reply

    How do you explain villa lost 27 m in season,Leicester made 26 m same year who audits football clubs

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm . Reply

      JVillan – it’s not just Leicester, most PL clubs are profitable. The question you should ask us why are we losing so much money on top of the £200m debt provided by Lerner. There has been mismanagement of the club from the day Lerner bought it and Lerner has to take a large share of the responsibility for that and (despite what a lot of fans think) the evidence suggests he has lost a significant amount of money which he is unlikely to recover.

      Hollis, Bernstein and the Telegraph article just reinforce those facts.

      1. Jvillan
        Jvillan March 28, 2016 at 11:19 am . Reply

        You still haven’t explained if money has not went in Lerner’s pocket were it went,this was year before fox got entire control what will they be like next,fox said we spent far more than reported

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 March 28, 2016 at 1:10 pm . Reply

          JV – simply failure to control costs; poor investments (in players / managers) and a poor academy.

          Specifically – unsustainable players wages (at over one time over 80% of revenues); increasing costs against falling commercial revenues; amortisation of player purchases and abject failure to make any real income from player sales coupled with significant amounts paid in compensation on managers contracts.

          A significant portion of profits in other clubs (such as Swansea) comes from income from player sales; the whole of the receipts can be taken within the tax year of the sale. Purchases are amortised over the period of the players initial contract. Before the sale of Benteke / Delph, which aren’t included in the figures, our net receipts from sales of players over the last five years are dismal.

          From what I’ve read, I can’t see how Lerner has made any money from the investment and is ‘owed’ around £200m of which £170m has been converted to equity – effectively meaning he has paid £234m for the club. Additionally he has waived all interest charges on the outstanding debt.

          Now you explain to me how he has made money!

          1. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain March 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm . Reply

            H60 – agree with you again.

            Just one point: amortising player transfer costs is standard at all clubs; the difference at many is that they actually sell players for more than they bought them for, whereas in Villa’s case over the last few years players have sat-out their contracts [even if nowhere near playing for the first team] and then left for nothing!
            Take Bent as a case in point – cost somewhere over £20m [depending on whom you believe about the original transfer], hardly played for us in the last 18 months before being ‘released’…
            [The Delph / Benteke sales are going to be in the 2015/16 acccounts, and we won’t see those until February next year.]

          2. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 March 28, 2016 at 9:28 pm . Reply

            Correct Ardent – Villa have made no profits on player sales (of any magnitude) since Young and Downing.

          3. Jvillan
            Jvillan March 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm . Reply

            Swansea have spent over 20 m more than coming in with selling shelvey 12 m bony 28 m Allen 15 m and Sinclair for 8 m
            Leicester have nett spend of 50 m
            Stoke up at nearly 70 m
            Over same period villa nett spend about 35 m
            Swiss rambler load Bullock’s about Lerner,one first accounts their was 10 m one off payment to ?,rest same Lerner take value club if we stayed up was over 200 m we are down maybe 50 m because of foxs fuck ups on behalf Lerner
            Bacuna wastewood Hutton Gabby contracts pay off to Lambert Sherwood and now remi

    2. badger123
      badger123 March 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm . Reply

      I can’t explain it and contrary to articles I’ve read elsewhere, I don’t believe it.
      I’ve been saying the books don’t seem right for years, as you probably know.

      I mean look at the disparity; it’s £53 mill. How on earth can that be right?

      says we cut wages in 14-15, yet still increased losses?

      As for 13-14, read the last paragraph in the Villa section, here;

      Here’s what it says;

      The wage bill barely increased despite a £33m increase in income, and Villa stated they spent nothing, net, on transfers last summer.

      We even lost money that year, apparently.
      Again, how?

      Only by shenanigans, either in the accounts or elsewhere, imo.

  2. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 27, 2016 at 9:52 pm . Reply

    If the Telegraph article is to be believed then Riley’s position at the club is untenable.

    Why hasn’t he already gone? I think it’s because Hollis / King concentrated on reviewing the financial and governance models with Bernstein – following his appointment – being asked to review the football side of the club, which makes absolute sense.

    The article suggests that it’s Bernstein who’s been shocked by what he has found and I would hope that would lead to action against Riley AND those scouts/agents who it appears may have been paid for a role they didn’t carry out. Others may well follow

    1. originallondonlion
      originallondonlion March 28, 2016 at 11:00 pm . Reply

      Exactly so. Fox will not have committed a terminal offence and therefore be entitled to compensation. Almstadt – well it all depends on that holiday story, only if he took leave when he was told not to would that have been terminal without a payoff.

      But Riley – if the Telegraph report is true – may have committed a fraud: it is alleged he was not contacting players and lying that he had; supervising the work of Scouts [who were presumably billing the club] who were not in the right place to do their work. In those circumstances not only would he not be entitled to a payoff he may be asked to return cash or face prosecution.

  3. Holtender
    Holtender March 28, 2016 at 8:37 am . Reply

    And now Bacuna wants to leave us to play in the Champions League! How will we survive without him. He’s so integral to our style of play, comically woeful!

    1. Sammy Morgans jockstrap
      Sammy Morgans jockstrap March 28, 2016 at 8:47 am . Reply

      Someone should put him out of his misery and let him know Villa will be playing in the Championship next season, not the Champions League. What a tool…

      1. nath
        nath March 28, 2016 at 10:08 am . Reply

        bacuna should practice crossing and shooting, rather than mouthing off bulshit, i betting most posters on here play and talk a better game than him lmao. wish he would prove us wrong and fook off anywhere we dont care

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 March 28, 2016 at 10:27 am . Reply

          Nath – not only Bacuna. There appears to be a number of players who think they are better than they are – Okore, Shabby, Richards, Guzan – shall I continue……?

          1. nath
            nath March 28, 2016 at 11:37 am . Reply

            nobody said it was just bacuna, but hes the one that stands out, maybe he should shut up and do the talking on the pitch. because i can’t recall many appearances that are worthy of championship level, never-mind champions league

          2. Andrew
            Andrew March 29, 2016 at 4:01 am . Reply

            In fairness to Okore, he said he wanted to stay, as long as he gets to play. He just wants playing time right now, can’t blame him either.

    2. Andrew
      Andrew March 29, 2016 at 4:04 am . Reply

      Wouldn’t be surprising to see him at PSV or Ajax to get CL football. Even going to Turkey for it.

  4. nath
    nath March 28, 2016 at 10:04 am . Reply

    i have seen this report and i believe every word of it. garde has been totally screwed by club and the players. only the fans have mostly stood by him. which proves most are knowledgeable. his rein will be short and worst in living memory by most fans, but we all know, a better manager than garde, would av struggled here at VP with the support or lack of it, he has received or not.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson March 28, 2016 at 12:01 pm . Reply

    Never a true word Nath, why on hearth you got 2 dislikes speaking the truth. Garde was beyond any doubts stitched up, and I’ll go as far as saying so was Sherwood, they couldnt get off the ground with that load of shit nobody would.

    1. nath
      nath March 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm . Reply

      i always vote a dislike on mine :)) never liked to be popular. hey bill have you seen the Sean Dyche pieces. i like him and his methods but can you see him leaving burnley for us.. i mean we are massive compared to them, but how we have be run recently isn’t at all attractive for potential managers of his ability

      1. CA Villan
        CA Villan March 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm . Reply

        The thing that concerns me is that he took Burnley up and then they were relegated after 1 season. I’d prefer Pearson or Moyes personally.

        1. nath
          nath March 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm . Reply

          burnley had the lowest player budget by far in the premiership. when they got relegated they managed to lose a few of their better players, but they still are on course for a quick return. dyche has a big say in the way the club is run,

          personally i wouldn’t think he would risk leaving a good thing for us.maybe the new board can sell a project that takes his fancy. but its gonna take some selling

          1. CA Villan
            CA Villan March 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm . Reply

            Nath, I agree. He would be crazy to take the Villa job. If he takes Burnley up and keeps them up, he’ll have much better offers i’m sure

      2. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson March 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm . Reply

        Nath, nobody in their right mind would vote to go backwards, the truth is we have nobody lined up because nobody wants the job.

        1. nath
          nath March 28, 2016 at 6:29 pm . Reply

          i agree bill, even a bigger personal wage or player budget or transfer kitty all this might not sway dyche mind. but we need a good new manager, for the first time in a long time, cause we have good foundations in the boardroom, but we all know massive work is needed on the training field. releasing some of ou cast~offs might be also a mission impossible

  6. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum March 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm . Reply

    Bloody hell. That Telegraph piece is shameful. Have the people Lerner employed been ripping him off? Despite the figures, I fail to comprehend how he’s not been recouping cash considering the amounts coming in, and the cost cutting. Have they been pulling the wool over his eyes?
    And that translated report about Bacuna and CL footy made me do a little bit of wee in my pants it was so funny…

  7. Stubbs
    Stubbs March 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm . Reply
  8. pat57
    pat57 March 28, 2016 at 10:28 pm . Reply

    Also see that some of our players have been reflecting seriously on their roles as senior players in the club’s time of trouble…

    Shabby is now lower than a ant’s belly in my opinion. FFS somebody sack him!

    1. Holtender
      Holtender March 29, 2016 at 2:15 am . Reply

      If only they were half as fit as Janet Jackson!

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