The Bells Are Ringing


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Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

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Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:38 am

Tom Fox said to me last season that Villa wants to emulate the "Southampton model". That obviously includes selling all your best players! Vlaar, Benteke, Delph, Given and Cleverley all were senior players and all started the FA cup final. On top of that Weimann, Lowton, Bent, Luna, Sylla and Helenius have gone also..
So eleven players out..
So far only Gueye, Bunn, Richards and soon Amavi will have been added.
This does represent an opportunity but my big fear is if we replace the majority of the first team players with foreign signings, how many will be up to speed with the unique nature of the Premiership in the first few months of the season? It usually takes them time to settle.
In my lifetime I've seen Andy Gray, John Gidman and John Deehan go and watched the club become stronger to the point of being English champs within 2 years and Euro champs the following year.
I've also seen Ron Atkinson rebuild a whole team on the revenue of selling David Platt and turn a near relegation side into a side challenging at the right end of the table.
Finally I remember Dwight Yorke leaving and Villa buying players that had us challenging at the top for most of the following season.
So the club can come out of this stronger as history suggests. However in the modern era, the real art is finding players that will improve you but will appreciate in value so invariably when they get their "Delph or Benteke" moment the club can sell for a big profit and buy again whilst all the time climbing back up the football premier league ladder. That's the Southampton secret ingredient and one we now have to master if we are to truly emulate their success of the past couple of seasons.
People will argue we are a bigger club than Southampton and no doubt we are, but right now, with no takeover anytime soon, that has to be the way forward from the position we find ourselves in..
Over to Tim, Paddy, Tom and our new sporting director Hendrick! (What a week for him to join from the relatively calm waters of Arsenal) The money needs to be spent wisely and with the Bournemouth game only 3 weeks away, quickly as well. At least we will get to see plenty of fresh faces.. Let's hope for all our sakes they are the right ones.

UTV

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by Trotters on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:43 am

All of the above assumes the club will:

(a) make a decent chunk of money available 
(b) approach the right players 
(c) negotiate decent contracts 
(d) will keep the team motivated. 

I'd usually have no doubt that Sherwood can manage points (b) and (d) but i just can't see Lerner and Fox doing a competent job and who in their right mind would come to this club at the moment anyway?

The sun has set on Aston Villa under Lerner. It's now just a waiting game before it all goes very very dark. This season could be it.
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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by GodzoneVilla on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:50 am

Do you think / know that the club will actually invest all the incoming money? I understand that Lerner will contribute a paltry (to him ) amount to the transfer kitty. However such is my lack of faith in the current ownership/leadership of the club that am not sure they will let Sherwood spend all of the money from the Benteke / Delph transfer.

Supporters are pretty much the only constant. Owners/players/management come and go - yet it's the fans that constantly get mugged off.

It's all very well Fox saying he wants to emulate Southampton. Words are cheap Tom - I guess you have been busy with stuff that fans don't see. Not been too impressed with the stuff you have done that fans 'can' see.

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:01 am

I can't believe for a moment that Sherwood will stand for the sales revenues to not be granted to him. We have just sold 5 players who started the FA cup final..
My opinion is and everyone is entitled to one, that Sherwood will get the money generated by the sales of Weimann, Lowton, Delph and Benteke (Circa £40M after Genk cut). Of that he has already spent £6.5M on Gueye (9M euros) and is about to spend £10M on Amavi so leaves circa £24M to find two strikers and a midfield player. Not a lot is it? Ideally we need a new right back as well.
My big worry is not having enough players in the first team who get the pace of the premier league. We've seen Carlos Sanchez struggle with it. Also time is ticking by and the season will be upon us before we know it so prep time is fading fast.
Ultimately we now need a very productive couple of weeks.
We will only know the answer to the question of how much we spent on Aug 31st but my guess is that it will be all of the sales generated income but not much else.

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:03 am

Of course he may sell others also which will continue to make room on the wage bill but in terms of fee generation we don't have many saleable assets left that will generate much money. That's the harsh reality of the current state of our squad.

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by Trotters on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:04 am

How have you found Tom Fox beyond the talk, Howard? Are you confident he can walk the walk?
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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:08 am

He's clearly a very slick, educated, sharp American executive. Does he truly get the fabric of Aston Villa? Not so sure. Does the board still desperately miss a football savvy, Aston Villa at heart man, absolutely. I think this Delph farce once again demonstrates that. So it's good to have Tom at Aston Villa but do believe we still miss real leadership on the football side at board level. Ultimately this will never change under Randy Lerner and will always continue to be his biggest mistake.

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by GadgetMan on Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:18 pm

Thanks for the post HH I remember you saying this last season. It's not a bad template to follow and with the likes of Fox, TS, Paddy and the new SD, we now have the infrastructure, maybe add Cortese in as Chairman and you never know (imagine there will be the inevitable power struggle with any incoming chairman and Fox)

We have a LOT to do in a short space of time. I think we will see a few additions next week and things may start to look brighter. I too recall the dark days of selling Platt and Yorke, we always survive and we can again. UTV
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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by Trotters on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:48 am

Howard, without disclosing anything that'll put you in hot water, how did you find the process with BOA/ML? Were they professional and organised or was it a bit of a shit-show? Was your bid welcomed or not taken seriously? And having seen a bit of a closer view on how Villa have been run, would you say bidders would be impressed or bewildered? That is to say, is the club worth what Lerner is asking?


Last edited by Trotters on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:23 am

No problem with Peter Bell and his team.

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by Trotters on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:24 am

Timing! I just tacked on 47 more questions. Sorry :)
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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:33 am

I've said as much as I can on the podcast with Jonny if you haven't had a listen?

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by villabromsgrove on Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:14 pm

It must have been a fascinating experience for you Howard. To be involved with the possible future of AVFC is a dream. I look forward to hearing more about the internal workings of such a deal, at a time when NDA's no longer stop you speaking more specifically. (if indeed NDA's ever do allow you to!)

What is your view of Villa's current ability to survive this season?

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by villabromsgrove on Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:21 pm

It must have been a fascinating experience for you Howard. To be involved with the possible future of AVFC is a dream. I look forward to hearing more about the internal workings of such a deal, at a time when NDA's no longer stop you speaking more specifically. (if indeed NDA's ever do allow you to!)

What is your view of Villa's current ability to survive this season?

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by HH 8166 on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:23 pm

I think we are in for a very interesting time. Huge changes to the first team, let alone the squad are afoot so Sherwood has to get this rebuild right. Early signs are encouraging as I like the pedigree and profile of the 3 major signings so far IE Richards, Gueye and Amavi.. All should prove good investments and appreciate in value whilst in our employment.
Nevertheless losing such important players like Delph, Benteke and even Cleverley (Since Sherwood arrived) cannot be underestimated. Also if we buy the majority of our new players from overseas, there is a danger that initially at least, they will struggle to get to grips with the unique pace of the EPL which could leave us in trouble.
I like Sherwood and think the addition of Wilkins will help him tactically at times. Just vital now we get the right mix of signings in and as quickly as possible with Bournemouth less than 3 weeks away.

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Re: Tom Fox wants to emulate Southampton

Post by Terry Derry on Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:00 am

Any news for us, HowArd?
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