The headline says it all really, but it’s as many of us suspected would happen, in that Aston Villa FC have sold the stadium to NSWE stadium LTD.
I said last week that I thought Christian Purslow was being clever with his words in saying we wouldn’t sell to a third party and it seems he was being even more economical with the truth, as the stadium had already been sold.
It seems there might be some concern amongst the fans that the ground doesn’t on paper belong to Aston Villa, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, as when it comes to any future sale of the club, it would surely have to include Villa park?
So really, nothing has changed, except that we’ve balanced the book as regards to FFP.
I think it was pretty obvious this was going to happen, as nobody could see how we could possibly balance the books otherwise, but what is niggling me, is why so cheap?
Derby sold Pride park for £80 million, which seems way over the top, but that does beg the question of what it would cost to build a new bowl?
A quick Wiki tells me Pride park cost £28 million to build and it was finished in 1997.
I remember going there not long after it opened, when Yorke scored the winner and found it a totally souless place, albeit it had a decent atmosphere.
As opposed to Villa Park, which is much loved throughout the game, even if it is a bit dated in places.
When the subject of Villa park being sold came up a few weeks ago, I said that I thought we could probably get away for selling at £200 million, purely because of it’s history and heritage. I think it’s still held more FA cup semis than any other stadium, if memory serves me right and although the trophy is somwhat devalued these days, it’s still important.
Putting a price on that sort of thing is really difficult.
So why only £56 odd million then?
Perhaps that was all that was needed, but this is a one-off thing and surely if the owners had bought it for say, £150 million, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t have, as it gives you a nice big FFP cushion to play with, bearing in mind no money has changed hands, except on paper?
There’s obviously a reason and perhaps it’s just that we didn’t want to be seen as taking the proverbial, in the way Derby have. Or maybe you have to demonstrate fair value, bearing in mind the price Sawaris and Edens paid for the whole club?
But that makes me wonder how Derby have got away with it?
I’ll bet Steve Gibson is doing his nut.
Never mind. He could have done exactly the same and Boro wouldn’t have had to have the clearout they did.
I don’t know. If the EFL don’t like it, they’ll just have to tighten the rules.
But it’s hard to see how they can, as it’s a perfectly legal thing to do and you can’t just stop someone doing a deal and buying/selling at a price they’re happy with.
I still find it a bit unethical and not really within the spirit of FFP, but hey, we’ve just got a big monkey off our back.
Now we concentrate on moving forwards and hopefully upwards.