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  1. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. January 15, 2014 at 7:44 am . Reply

    To me all this is just income and expenditure on the playing side, I think we all can see that income on the corporate side is down by millions, shirts, boxes, seats, sales inside the ground,and sponsorships, the lost is in the club combined with lack of sales. Because of all that, we buy cheap players on cheap wage.

  2. Jay dee
    Jay dee January 15, 2014 at 8:05 am . Reply

    Here’s my throw on it without all the mathematics.If your a top premier league club and you end up not keeping up with the competition you fall behind.If you don’t buy quality players you end up with poor quality and the quality you do have leaves for a better club.If you don’t keep up you end up having to reduce,reduce,reduce thinking Yeh will go on the cheap.Then you find out this is the Premier League and if you go on the cheap you could end up relegated then you lose even more money.So the fear factor kicks in and you decide to clear the dept stabilise the club with money that you could of spent maintaining the club on the pitch in the first place……UTV

    1. BWS
      BWS January 15, 2014 at 10:42 am . Reply

      Nice one nd that’s how I see it speculate to accumulate as opposed to a race to the bottom.

      1. Colonius81
        Colonius81 January 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm . Reply

        ha i agree with that take on it more or less.
        but lets be clear.
        Unless you spend like the top 5/6 clubs 20-50m+ per season you can expect to struggle in cycles.
        Its about competition.
        When you say “keep up”
        what is keeping up and with whom?

        swansea, southampton, fulham wham stoke? or the top 7 or 8
        then you need to spend big catch those fellas.
        totenham for example – 100m .. last summer

        Everton throws all that upside down of course. but i believe continuity and stability was a large factor there.

        even if we spend 20m 30m every season we could still end up in the wrong half of the table

        Your description rings true but like any other methods as many clubs have failed at it as they have succeeded.

        there probably is no magic figure that any club need to spend to safe gaurd a position.

        i suppose ask QPR, newcastle, sunderland ( they have spent quite a bit of money the last 6 or 7 seasons)

        and even if you did, would the other clubs not simply just match your spending or would the top5/6 outmatch it.. net result .. the same midtable mediocrity

        its going to take a sheik/oligarch to get us to seriously challenge for anything or improve to any dramatic effect ..or possibly an Everton effort.
        shoestring.. sell to buy.. stability.. stick with a manager through a few crap seasons and then let the single approach take hold

  3. steve
    steve January 15, 2014 at 8:05 am . Reply

    Most of what you say makes perfect sense. However referring to the Faulkner interview on the radio Monday evening the only postive thing he said was that they were a lot happier with the finances of the club. 2 things though – Do we believe anything he says and the rest of the the interview was very uninspiring.
    The rumour about selling the club. We had this before under the darkest days of Mcleish when some consortium were on the verge of taking over and nothing materialised.
    I think when we are at our lowest we clutch at straws.

  4. steve
    steve January 15, 2014 at 8:39 am . Reply

    Am i getting something wrong here (i am not an accountant).
    Revenue 80m
    70% say hits your target for PLAYERS wages. = 56m = 1.1m / week
    25 man squad
    5 players on £60k
    5 players on £50k
    5 players on £40k
    5 players on £30k
    5 players on £20k
    =0.77m / week which leaves plenty left over for the youth players, support staff etc.
    Plus i am sure our wage bill for players is know where near the above at this point in time.
    In other words why can’t we pay the above wages to attract better players.

  5. steve
    steve January 15, 2014 at 8:44 am . Reply

    told you i wasn’t an accountant = £1 million a week. But still this is based on 70% of the revenue which is less than West Brom.
    Aso i assume we are still paying large wages to Given, Hutton, N’Zogbia and Bent who aren’t currently in the 25man squad.

    1. Southern Villan
      Southern Villan January 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm . Reply

      While it sounds manageable on that basis Steve I think you’d need to add on the wages of other staff. 70-75% would be a good amount for total wages, sorry if I misled that that would be players only.

      In addition, when you hear about a player being on £60k I have often wondered if that is before pensions, national insurance etc – I suspect it probably is. Of the £70m I quoted, £60m was normal salaries, £8m was pensions and £300k was national insurance. So to get to a 70% wage bill as percentage of £80m revenue we’re looking at about £49m on total salaries. Still room for some higher earners in there though for sure. And as Ian points out lower down, we will have made some progress in cost cutting already as all my analysis is on the 11/12 season.

  6. DSVilla
    DSVilla January 15, 2014 at 9:09 am . Reply

    The real problem here, as has been commented before, is the huge sums of money we are paying out for players who are at other clubs or out of favour. It’s OK paying out these wages to “in demand” talent that other teams covet as you can sell them on to teams for a profit (or even a small loss), but the fact is other teams are not prepared to pay the wages that we have been sucked into in the past. Bent/Given/Ireland/Hutton are just not worth it. Add in n’Zogbia (will he ever play for us again?) and there’s maybe £300K per week (£15M a year) and £40M of transfer fees. Other clubs will be paying some of those wages but even so it’s a nightmare.

  7. IanRobo
    IanRobo January 15, 2014 at 9:12 am . Reply

    these figures are 18 months old and look at the situation now.

    the situation is that TV income will be a min of £25M extra

    The situation that wages will be massively down with the players that have left since May 2012 and will leave in the next few months.

    the 70% limit for wages is correct to aim but I think by the end of this season will be nearer 50%, that is why I say there is loads of room NOW to spend more than 5-10K on wages for a player or desperate loan deals.

    1. DSVilla
      DSVilla January 15, 2014 at 9:33 am . Reply

      Ian I am sure you are correct in this. However, it looks to me that Lerner is unwilling to look at it in this way. It seems that he would rather use the cash to reduce his losses. At the moment, the club looks to be unsaleable at an amount that would even recoup Lerner’s investment. If he can reduce that number over the next couple of years while he waits for the cavalry to arrive in the form of an Arab Sheikh/Red Bull/Chinese investors that looks like what he will do. Clearly he needs Aston Villa to remain in the Premiership but that’s the gamble he is taking. This could so easily end in disaster.

      1. IanRobo
        IanRobo January 15, 2014 at 10:50 am . Reply

        there has been a big gamble in reducing costs and surviving, last season we were very close to going down. However as I just posted in the Red Bull thread the situation at Villa is now the best it has been for a long time.

        The £90M injection was key to this …

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath January 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm . Reply

          Interesting cortese has left saints does this mean they are selling.

          1. IanRobo
            IanRobo January 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm . Reply

            nope he was not the owner and fell out with them

          2. Andrew
            Andrew January 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm . Reply

            Kinda sad as he and their former owner were going to do great things for them, however after he passed away, his kids who have no interest in the club (sounds familiar with Lerner and the Browns) and didn’t even wanna spend money in the summer but Cortese and Pochettino both threatened to leave. Sucks to be them now.

        2. DSVilla
          DSVilla January 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm . Reply

          I still say the £90m makes no difference. If it’s shifting loans to equity there is no cash there. Lerner will have exchanged debt for shares. Any buyer is still going to have to pay that £90M over to Lerner on top of whatever is paid for the rest of the business. You could look at it in a negative way. Is this Lerner signalling that he is in this for the long haul and has no intention of selling?

          1. IanRobo
            IanRobo January 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm . Reply

            yes true BUT if he was paying off debt like you would think Villa through favoured people would leak it to make Lerner look good ?

            Roman’s people did it as soon as he paid off £500M debt in that way and he is as reclusive as Lerner.

            The longer the silence the more hopeful I am he will sell

    2. Southern Villan
      Southern Villan January 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm . Reply

      Thanks for the comments everyone.

      Those are fair points Ian. I agree it’s best to look at the current situation.

      Estimating where the club is on costs is pretty tricky from these 18 month old accounts. My aim was to set out what I see from the last available data.

      A £25m increase on a base ‘media’ income of £47m in 2011/12 would be a huge increase versus 2011/12. It seems the big change is this season, as in 2012/13 the TV money (before the League Cup run is added) was £44m according to the Premier League website here (http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/news/news/2012-13/may/premier-league-total-broadcasting-payments-season-2012-13.html)

      Sporting Intelligence, who seem to have some accurate analysis, suggest the same as you – i.e. the bottom club in the Premier League would get £60m TV revenue this season, up from £35m in 2012/13. (http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2013/05/21/where-the-money-went-premier-league-prize-and-tv-payments-for-2012-13-210501/)

      If we can assume that TV money goes up at least £25m then great, because then we’re looking at revenue of around £120m (maybe a bit more but let’s not count chickens).

      The million dollar question is just how much have costs been cut from the £146m in 2011/12? The share of transfer fees will be down, and wages will be down. But where are they now versus the £120m revenue we can expect going forward?

      I can see why you’d argue that costs are down significantly as we have shifted some wages out. Do you have a view on how much we’re spending on salaries now?
      I’d need to look at the squad in 11/12 versus now in detail to get a good guess on how much wages will have dropped (plus we still don’t quite know what we’re paying for Given and Bent, for example).

      I’d also love to know what’s in the Other operating costs and how much could be chopped out there.

      Anyway the current cost base is the big question. This is what Mr Faulkner knows. Hopefully the next accounts for 2012/13 will give us some clues.

      Even with the TV money upside and some likely progress to date on costs, I still wonder if Randy Lerner is now a bit concerned / fed up about the scale of the job in adjusting cost base. Apparently he is going through an expensive divorce. On the other hand, Forbes say that a lot of his wealth is linked to Bank of America shares which are doing a lot better than a couple of years ago.

      Your info on the £90m equity for debt swap is intriguing. In my view it doesn’t mean the club becomes cheaper, as a buyer simply buys £90m more equity rather than £90m more debt. But it probably makes an exit cleaner for the current owner – i.e. he gets cash for equity with no complications over the debt he is owed. Any views on whether this is more of an Al Fayed or Abramovich situation?

      1. IanRobo
        IanRobo January 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm . Reply

        Good point on the last one, Roman was clean, wiped off all the debt for shares. How did Al Fayed sell Fulham with those debts, that passed me by.

        As to the cost base, well a lot of the transfer money would have been accounted for now and only really Nzog and Bent still paying out for. So that would be at least £10M down and then the wages.

        I would expect the wages now to be between £50-60M as we stand with Ireland gone, Bent and Given on loan, though we would still be paying a sum for them.

        The new signings were very very cheap, Westwood rumoured to be just 5K a week, he got a pay rise of course to a guess 15K a week.

        The divorce for Lerner is over and BoA is indeed key but most of that was in the trust anyway.

        Next accounts due in 6 weeks so we will soon see as they have to declare the £90M then and see how much the wages went down.

    GIDDYVILLAN January 15, 2014 at 9:18 am . Reply

    Im fucking lost maybe you lot read the FT or something.it’s all fucking chinese to me.

    1. Foxy
      Foxy January 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm . Reply

      They do all the thinking so we don’t have to!

    2. nath
      nath January 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm . Reply

      u understand Chinese lmao its greek 2me ~ so we are better off or not

  9. Benno
    Benno January 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm . Reply

    We have gone from a small squad of massively overpaid players to a bigger squad of very average players, some of which dont even make the bench and yet still pick up a wage. Lambert getting rid of the high earners is fine but he just replaced them with a lot of players who are not good enough…all still draining money from the club. Why did we sign players like Bowery, Sylla, Tonev, etc when they are nowhere near good enough. We had plenty of homegrown players who could warm the bench and do just as good a job on half the money.

  10. Colonius81
    Colonius81 January 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm . Reply

    I hear ya benno but you can make that criticism of any team.
    tell me a team that can field 20 players every game

    either they are a top team paying ridiculous money to them and its called depth .. or you are a crap squad and they are called wastes of money ..

    some of our signings still have everything to prove in my eyes .. but is that not the way of every team?

    buy 2 one is crap or buy 4 1, good 1 average 2 crap i dunno what the ratio is but i know there is a lot of turnover at every club and there is always a % of purchases that don’t work out.

    is our % higher than most is probably the question

  11. DSVilla
    DSVilla January 16, 2014 at 8:55 am . Reply

    IanRobo we are still at the same point. Lerner’s debt could only be converted into shares by either issuing more shares or a new class of shares. he has done the first option and converted debt into equity. If that is right there is no cash involved at all. He’s given himself more shares, written off debts owed to him by the club (and reduced interest payments) while strengthening the balance sheet. There will be no £90M in the bank. The balance sheet will now show the assets of the company as £90M enhanced (still negative probably). This makes it £90M more expensive to buy unless he wants to sell on the cheap. He could have agreed to do that with any buyer by writing off the loans. Sorry, but it just does look like housekeeping.

    1. IanRobo
      IanRobo January 16, 2014 at 9:16 am . Reply

      No it is not, what it means is that the debt has all but gone, that puts everything in a different light for the future. I will check the report again but I am sure that will leave the balance sheet in a nice healthy position.

      Makes it easier to sell, no debt, healthy balance sheet, good assets with ground and training ground that need no work.

      I ask you DS does this ‘housekeeping’ make it easier or harder to sell the club ?

      1. DSVilla
        DSVilla January 16, 2014 at 11:56 am . Reply

        My answer IanRobo is it makes no difference at all. Anyone buying Aston Villa will have an army of accountants and lawyers anyway. On a much smaller scale I sold my own businesses 2 months ago. they had debt to me which I wrote off at the point of sale but got paid the same amount by the buyer. It really is that simple.
        There may be some more complex issue about the trust fund being owed the debt, but Lerner must be in control of that as he has previously written off interest payments.

        It would be nice if it led to more investment. I’m just saying people shouldn’t get their hopes up too much as I don’t think this really signals anything. If Lerner had created the shares and sold them to an outside investor that’s entirely different. If that had been the case we would have been told as soon as it happened

    2. BWS
      BWS January 16, 2014 at 11:30 am . Reply

      Nice one DS because I couldn’t work that out for the life of me just how Randy puts in £90m and the debt disappears? In reality the debt is still there.
      Yes I get it he hasn’t put the money in but had it as equity but at the end of the day if he sells he’ll still want his money back so I can’t see what the big deal is?
      Time will tell if robbos right.

      1. DSVilla
        DSVilla January 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm . Reply

        Yep. I hope he is right. As far as I can see Lerner now owns £90M more shares so he will want to sell them for at least that.

        1. saddened
          saddened January 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm . Reply

          I can only see it making sense if he wants to sell a percentage of those shares for investment, not the whole lot as you can sell the Co with debt and it makes little difference… Once he has sold a percentage in shares he cannot (or he can but its V complicated) then issue more shared for his debt… Whereas if he is looking at selling a stake its now a straightforward sale for shares….. Only a though but this is the only option I can see as making sense….. Keeping debt is far more tax efficient than transferring it to shares … !

          1. IanRobo
            IanRobo January 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm . Reply

            That is what I do not understand guys. If he is writing off the debt that is good news in whatever way he is doing it and yet the club are not commenting (TBF journo’s not asking on the record).

            When we look at the books now and 90M of debt is off the books that will look great so why did he do it now ?

            Not say 3 years ago ?

  12. Langfordvilla
    Langfordvilla January 16, 2014 at 10:26 am . Reply

    Lts of rumours floating around this morning regarding Cortese and a quatari consortium looking to purchase a PL club…..could that be us?…..just speculating!
    Fuck off Lerner and Red Bull, the Villa is OURS

    1. IanRobo
      IanRobo January 16, 2014 at 10:41 am . Reply

      100% sure Cortese will be back in the game and he is a deal maker. However there have been some questionable things going on Southampton apparently with a couple of the signings so it should be buyer beware.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm . Reply

      Have you read this in the mirror talk about journalists spouting bollox. Faulkner saying as well that wev made progress because wev kept clean sheets and not been hammered. Fuckin joke if a club. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/aston-villa-doom-mongers-come-3028102?

    3. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm . Reply

      Just shows how far Wev fallen dafour waiting to see if spurs want him before he comes to us. U say tell him to fuck off cheeky bastard!

      1. Lionheart
        Lionheart January 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm . Reply

        Spurs don’t want defour.. come of it.. they have about a 100 midfielder.. why would they want him on top..

        I would rather raid spurs and take Holtby and Capoue..

        Obv we won’t.. we are not spending in Jan.. hopefully a takeover rather than RL being a total and utter scrooge..

      2. Langfordvilla
        Langfordvilla January 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm . Reply

        oohah…. Just need Benteke to tell him we play in London…job done 🙂
        Fuck off Lerner, Red Bull and any twat that wants to change our name, ground or colours!

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath January 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm . Reply

          Lol. First the bad news herd and baker out for Liverpool now the great news joe Bennett is back. Whoopee do

          1. Colonius81
            Colonius81 January 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm . Reply


  13. Langfordvilla
    Langfordvilla January 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm . Reply

    Whats bad news about Herd being out….Suarez is going to fill his boots. I would rather play Danacien than Herd. It quite often works out throwing a youngster in…no fear and all that!
    Have you seen Holt in a Villa shirt…he looks like an advert for a fucking kebab takeaway.
    He’s old, he’s starving and fat
    So thank you Randy for that!

  14. Langfordvilla
    Langfordvilla January 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm . Reply

    Badger…’we will be fine’. Hope you enjoy mate. I will look on sky for the man hanging from a Villa scarf. No offence mate, but if your being hung, it probably means we are winning. So nice knowing you pal. HEITS 🙂

  15. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion January 19, 2014 at 9:11 am . Reply

    Back from Anfield, a great show by the team! Just three follow ups.

    The scousers in the wheel whipping biz are now happily working in the Red Bull pits – after an initial “misunderstanding” at Maclaren where they not only had the wheels off the car in record time but sprayed it red and sold it to Ferrari.

    With Heysel and Hillsborough behind them you would think Anfield would be a model of safety now, but that one metre pit that Gabby fell into is a real danger.

    Yes it was a dive, Suarez does not put his left foot down and only ha right ankle may have been caught. However look how far away Guzan was from getting a hand on the ball, not a good decision to come out of goal for it.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm . Reply

      Exactly my point yes he dived but Guzan did make contact and if that was the other way round in front if the holt we will demand a pen. Also Guzan was at fault which I said earlier he made it really easy for him

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