There’s some interesting news coming out about the Villa lately and it’s another subject where I just need to stick my two bob’s worth in.
The headline figure says we’ve lost £27.3 million in the year ended May 15.
And given that we’ve been told that we’ve had to seriously tighten our belts over the last few years, which is the direct cause of why we have such a poor squad right now, I’m shocked!
But of course, as many of you might know, I’ve always been very suspicious about the way we do our accounts since Lerner came in and a closer glance reveals that we’ve paid down our debt from £102 million to £30.6 million = a repayment of £71.4 million.
Which is well over half of our turnover of £115.7 million and a figure that shocks me even more!
If you take the debt repayment out of the equation (-27.3 + 71.4) we actually made a profit of £44.1 million.
Which isn’t too shabby is it?
And explains to me exactly why we’re in the state we are.
While the top clubs have seen increasing debt, in a way that seems like the economics of the madhouse, we’ve been massively cutting ours.
It begs the question of if the top clubs had a much better idea of the riches that were due this coming season and Lerner was left somehow outside the loop, hence taking totally the wrong approach?
Maybe that’s something that explains why our Chief Financial Officer Robin Russell left suddenly?
It wouldn’t surprise me, but I’d speculate that it’s something like that or he simply hasn’t presented the accounts in the way Lerner and the trust would have liked.
Don’t get me wrong, Lerner is fully entitled to get back the money he’s put in. But the way he’s doing it is killing our club.
I know he wants out, but to claw back the money at this rate totally betrays any statements about him caring for the club in my opinion.
I wonder if the debt facility charge of £5 million a year the club pays him has reduced? I doubt it, but might be wrong.
Note that the accounts only go up to May 15, so the sales of Delph and Benteke aren’t included.
Which is fair enough.
But given that we’ve spent next to nothing on players this year, does anyone want to bet against us making another stonking loss for this current year?
Anyway, it leaves us with £30millish debt which will be no doubt be paid off in this current financial year, leading to maybe break-even.
We’ll probably be able to offset some of the previous losses against any profit in future years, which means Lerner will be able to sell the club cheaper because everything looks very rosy.
But what a cost has been incurred to the club, money apart.
We might look to be prudently run on paper, but we’re the equivalent of a train wreck in reality, aren’t we?
I’m not even going to go into Tom Fox’s wages, as we all know they’re just scandalous for what’s been achieved in his tenure. He has to be a goner.
Summing up is easy.
I’m left with a very sour taste in my mouth and just can’t wait for Lerner to sell the club, even if it’s to some consortium, as at least we’ll know what they’re about.
There’s a very apt one-liner that I saw on some other Villa blog the other day which referenced Johnny Rotten/Lyden, but it’s one I’ve always liked anyway;