Villa accounts/losses; Shocking…. Or are they?


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;

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”


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  1. DSVilla
    DSVilla March 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm . Reply

    Lerner converted about £100M of loans to equity in 2015 if memory serves me correctly. That will have improved the balance sheet but I think it was after the date these accounts go up to.

    I don’t think Lerner is exaggerating losses as it will hardly help him sell the business for a higher price. I think they are just the financial evidence that the club has been run really poorly. But then we all knew that didn’t we?

  2. DSVilla
    DSVilla March 11, 2016 at 10:27 pm . Reply

    oh. i’ve just read the accounts. Lerner has written off about £128M to reduce value of the club to £175M. He has invested around £300M. I don’t believe for a moment he is milking the club. I would bet he wishes he never came anywhere near it. if he writes off another £174.9M I might buy it myself!

    I’m on my second bottle of wine so my maths might be off.

    1. badger123
      badger123 March 12, 2016 at 12:29 am . Reply

      But that’s the thing, DSVilla.
      Even if you include player’s wages etc, I find it difficult to believe we’ve lost that much money.

      I’ve just added up the transfer spend during the Lerner years (06-07 – 14-15) according to the info here;

      And it comes to £115.3 mill net spend.
      At worst I think players wages approached 90% of income, so we weren’t losing on that.

      So where’s the rest gone?
      It can only be amortization/depreciation, as Bum Bum says. Let’s face it, many of the players we paid good money for were let go for nothing.

      Again, I haven’t looked at any detail.

      1. nath
        nath March 12, 2016 at 8:08 am . Reply

        iam with badger and i cant understand, how they reached these figures. we have been cost cutting wages for years. Austerity measures have been damaging to our club. so how the fook have wages gone up, spending has been absent, but for the summer when we only spent the benteke money and delph transfers.

        well i smell a rat. love to have a one to one and beat the crap out of the guy responsible. one thing i can see through all these smokes and mirrors is the money which is finally spent on the club is wastefully done. because proof is in the league table. we aren’t just bad we are rotten and thats a criminal offense and mismanaging on a massive scale. to have a super club like ours run like a third tier club in 12 months

  3. Holtender
    Holtender March 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm . Reply

    I just read the news about David Bernstein joining us. I’m very happy with that, it’s what we’ve all been wanting for years. A real football man with experience of stabilising and regenerating a fallen big club. The Brian Little appointment is great too, but I really feel Bernstein could be the man to get us our Villa back. It’s not going to happen overnight but hopefully change is on the way.

    1. pat57
      pat57 March 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm . Reply


      I agree. It’s actually the first evidence of us going in the right direction that we’ve had in years.

      Too bloody late but still good news.

    2. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm . Reply

      At last a real business man from the world of football with a proper CV in turning round footballing ‘giants’ – and fair play to Hollis / King if it was their influence that made it happen. Wouldn’t surprise me if Fox stayed with Bernstein acting as his mentor – which may not be a bad move as he was undoubtedly successful and highly regarded at Arsenal.

      Almstadt apparently on holiday in Dubai, read into that what you will but – with Brian Little effectively acting as the Technical Director or Director of Football – hopefully he is already on his bike and quickly followed by Riley! In fact I’ll go and buy them a tandem now!

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath March 12, 2016 at 7:38 pm . Reply

        Bernsteins record is very mixed he’s 72 now so well past his sell by date

        1. saddened
          saddened March 13, 2016 at 3:55 am . Reply

          a 72 year old accountant, specialising in football re-financing …… yawn !

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 March 13, 2016 at 8:33 am . Reply

            Saddened – picking and choosing from the guys cv and then putting a negative spin on it isn’t particularly clever and what has his age got to do with it? I suppose because I’m nearly 70 and still sit on company boards I’m an old fart whose past it as well?

            Some Villa fans will never ever be happy.

  4. Jvillan
    Jvillan March 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm . Reply

    Deadly nearly 90
    Hollis ?
    Bernstein over 70
    King ?
    Little over 60 out of top flight football over 15 years
    Lerner can pick them all ready for grim reaper like villa

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 13, 2016 at 8:36 am . Reply

      I really object to this negativity towards age. Apart from Deadly all the others bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and contacts? Of course if you prefer stick with the younger board of Fox, Almstadt and Riley!

      1. Jvillan
        Jvillan March 13, 2016 at 9:30 am . Reply

        Age doesn’t bother me but little has not been involved in top flight football since he walked out on us,18 years ago,as for the rest Lerner took 70 million last season so what are new men going to do say no ha ha,just pulling wool over fans as normal deadly style,even protest stopped today ,season tickets must be up for sale

      2. BWS
        BWS March 13, 2016 at 9:53 am . Reply

        Agreed Hitchy, there’s been a massive outcry for a “football’ man on the board, we get one that’s a true legend as a player and a manager. The last guy bring silverware to Villa Park and he’s too old?
        Come on people get a grip.

        1. Jvillan
          Jvillan March 13, 2016 at 10:04 am . Reply

          Who are football men on stoke ,wba west ham boards,as for little to long away from top level football for any impact,who of today’s players or staff will know him ,sure Cowan’s got searched going in and he works there,as long Lerner stealing money out of club the boards is as much use as a fart in the wind

          1. saddened
            saddened March 13, 2016 at 11:04 am . Reply

            As long as Lerner is at the Villa the Board’s remit will be around commercials and accountancy…. Little has been brought in as an ‘advisor’ purely to try and appease the fans.

      3. saddened
        saddened March 13, 2016 at 10:40 am . Reply

        H60 maybe I should not have used age as a negative and I apologise, but come on he has been brought in as another accountant and Little is purely an advisor to the board….

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 March 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm . Reply

          No problems saddened – I find as one gets older any reference to one’s age gets a bit prickly. Remember sitting on a a local authority committee where someone defined elderly as over 60 – that really got a broadside 🙂

  5. Stubbs
    Stubbs March 13, 2016 at 8:21 am . Reply

    So the “out the door on 74” protest has been “suspended” for today’s game against Spurs. as a mark of respect for Brian Little joining the board.

    Randy Lerner must be laughing at us.

    I said from the start the protest was pointless, this goes to show how pointless it really is. To pick and choose what games you’re going to protest at makes the whole thing unworthy.

    I wonder when season tickets go on sale!!

  6. swampduck
    swampduck March 13, 2016 at 10:41 am . Reply

    fickle fans out the door on 74 i walked in 1994 never been back since .that crap not getting my money

  7. Jvillan
    Jvillan March 13, 2016 at 11:15 am . Reply

    So Brian little job title means fuck all,little will not have any say in the management structure at villa as his experience ( 18 years ago) lies within the game,( no one under 30 will no who he is)..that means positions of Riley and alstad are unaffected by his arrival, written by moxley as most people thought more crap PR by villa board

    1. BWS
      BWS March 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm . Reply

      Well that’s it no one under 30 will remember who he is, well lets forget Rotterdam 82, Sir Ron, McGregor, Billy Walker, Pongo Wearing, Eric Houghton cause no one remembers them.
      Try reading a book (if you’re under 30 they are papery things, sometimes with a hard cover sometimes soft and they are full of words and information).

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