As the fanfare begins to die down, Aston Villa fans wake up this morning with a new owner. Randy Lerner, the embattled former chairman and owner, is consigned to the history books. For many, the overwhelming sentiment will be that of “good riddance”.

Details will no doubt emerge over the coming days as to the finer details of the club’s sale, though initial reports suggest that Villa have been sold for a figure less than that which Lerner paid back in 2006.

Of course, Villa are now a Championship club and thus do not have the same comparative TV riches afforded to those in the top flight. That said, for Lerner to have made a loss – not only on the amount of money spent during his tenure, but on the actual valuation of the club as well – seems almost mind-bending.

Why? Football clubs – or rather their ability to cultivate masses of revenue – have come a long way since the period when Lerner checked in at Villa Park. Sheikh Mansour, for example, has managed to turn a £265m purchase of City Football Group into a break even proposition given he sold a 13% stake in the same business for £265m.

Lerner, by comparison, has seen the value of Villa wither away. The former American chairman would be the first to admit that his heart has not been in Villa for a long time now, what with the painful divorce he went through a number of years ago and commitments not lending him the time to be at Villa Park. Given the circumstances in terms of Lerner’s post Martin O’Neill management, his absence was probably a fairly wise choice, whether voluntary or not.

What Villa fans must do now is turn their focus toward the future. In August, the team start the campaign in the second tier of English football for the first time in 29 years. After seasons of repeated battering from Premier League teams, there is some argument to say that maybe relegation could be good for the club, at least in the long term.

No club wants to be relegated, obviously, and it would be foolish to suggest otherwise, but Villa can come back from the current setback. For example, there is the opportunity to reshape the squad fairly significantly given a large number of players will either want to leave of their own volition, or will be sold. That isn’t to suggest that major surgery is required, but there is change in sight – however that change will transpire.

So, with a future under Dr. Tony Xia, Villa will need to make swift moves to secure the right manager and players if they are to get out of the Championship next season. Some have drawn the conclusion of Keith Wyness’ Everton background to extrapolate that David Moyes may end up in the hotseat. Before the takeover was completed, Nigel Pearson was the favoured man but given he was favoured by the now former cadre, things may change.

Villa – it is over to you.

Comments 119

  1. I think if ever there was a time where the past needs to be quickly forgotten this is it. There are absolutely valuable lessons to learn both for the new owner and us fans on what to expect and what represents a successfully run club both on and off the pitch.

    We need to be cautious and not willing to accept some free scarves but we now have an owner with sufficient wealth and business acumen to allow Villa to drive on. Not least in terms of capturing the Chinese market something only Man city is partially doing. We’ll be actively chasing this expanding football market directly.

    Proud History, New Future

  2. Matt (previous thread): “I don’t think being a deep knowledgeable fan is particularly important in the business of football – what matters is Dr. Xia’s competence in establishing people in key positions who understand what needs to be achieved.”

    When I talk of “knowledge” I never talk about book-ish or factual knowledge so much as *experiential* awareness – the knowledge gained through experience.

    In other words, he claims to be a fan of x number of years, but I’d not think that he’s aware of the *ordinary* fan’s perspective – he’s lived his life overseas it would seem, so he cannot have such awareness in my view.

    My comment was in relation to that side of things. In terms of his business and organisational ability, that goes without saying I’d suggest, and in a certain way he may well be completely successful. So – in that way – hurrah for Villa.

    But the club of 20 years ago will shortly not be at all recognisable. That, I suppose, is what I’m really saying. Many will say it’s not important. Maybe… but when (for example) discussing with Faulkner once about the oft-talked of museum he and his boss were keen about a modern-style interactive presentation and were (it seemed) *totally* against a mix of that and a traditional presentation. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new owner is not in agreement with them on that score.

    I’m of the view that taking a stance of “let’s wait and see what happens” is all very well if you don’t mind the potential of falling down a chasm, as happened in Lerner’s case. You may not remember I spent much time on Villa Talk 10 years ago saying that to wish Doug gone without knowing the incoming guy may be inviting difficulties … Well, I say the current situation is no different.

    I am fairly sceptical – clearly. What was (in my view) really needed was a British consortium, but I know many would reject the idea or simply accept what’s taking place without blinking an eye.

  3. Matt,

    Your leader seems to let Randy off very lightly! If he had to be away from the club (as you suggest) then the least he could have done is put it in the hands of people who could run things properly on his behalf.

    The fact is that before O’Neill went Randy was offered much advice (such as including proper football people in the board) which he rejected and paved the way for the reduction of the club to what we have lately experienced.

    Yes, the future is now all that matters in reality. Let’s hope that the new owner is more wise, but as he comes in as a fairly young man (as Lerner was 10 years ago) then it’s possible we may be in for the same kind of ride, though perhaps less bumpy.

  4. Couple of Chinese Villans on TBAR casting doubts about TX’s integrity also Wyness and Samuelson getting some welly.

    One chap who knows folk who work with Hollis reckon we’re now as minted as Man City.

    Poor old Vermin FC struggling to find another jailbird, porn magnate or pimp to find the 7m to buy them, the BIG club in Birmingham arf arf.

  5. John,
    Agree with your last few posts, unfortunately football like the World in general has drastically changed in recent years, i don’t like it but its dog eat dog, we either match our rivals or fall by the wayside. I just hope we can achieve our goals the ‘Villa way’.
    Hopefully you will see your dream of a Villa museum and with a bit of luck they may contact you for some input.
    Regarding Lerner, his stupidity has cost him probably upwards of 200m, its difficult to feel any sympathy for him though, he along with Fox and Ellis have done more harm than anyone in the clubs history, the carnage that Fox caused in a year is amazing.

  6. So happy at the minute — the more i look into what dr tx is about the more happy i become

    i certainly don’t see any need for anything but optimism at this stage

    villa fans have been to hell and back so i can understand the caution from some – but in terms of what we have been dreaming of for the club , i don’t think you are going to get closer to those dreams than with Tony – a guy that breeds success and also says he love the club and the game

    be happy villans we have just stepped out of the darkness

  7. st75 we are going to have a gathering at my bro,s house on the day of villa – telford – should be fun – hope steamer can come down and all AVL ers than are up for it

  8. Hi JL

    Completely agree experience is key and looking at his business interests would suggest that he has the business acumen to make Villa a success, again to repeat Wyness and Comolli are part of the deal so we have football experience on the board so Xia recognises his football limitations.

    I understand your scepticism given the last ten years but temper it on the basis Xia has not taken one action yet but bought the club and even that action in itself frees us from the drudgery that was Lerners final years.

    Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the king being dead, long live the king. I think we as Villa fans have learnt a lot about our club and how it should be run to ensure the first signs of implosion immediately require protest as opposed to it being effectively too late in the Lerner years

    As for tradition, its probably become a commodity as opposed to a way of running a club. The old school owners have been replaced for the most part by new money. Tradition has to provide a return on investment to be pursued, even your example of the museum is the modern phenomena that precludes people from learning for learning sake but requires a form of edutainment to be successful.

  9. Jl- I understand your feelings but if a new age is to be ushered in it will probably not look like past years. I hope tony x’s company is one of new more ethical businesses springing up world wide

  10. It’ll be interesting to see how Chairman Xia tackles the problems at Villa. I’m glad he’s talking about promotion being Villa’s immediate priority, not some 5 year plan. As S75 says, we’ll soon see what transpires.

  11. Thanks Matt for the catalyst opener.
    John – I can understand that you are a little sceptical about foreign owners – anybody who has witnessed the fiascos taking place at Leeds, Charlton, Hull and Cardiff et al might be forgiven for feeling the same.
    Let’s send a message to Tony Xia that the RECON struction of Villa will be best achieved by a period of listening to the giants of the football community in England – I am sure Alex Ferguson would give him some ideas – and experiencing the Championship’s hectic approach to the game, maybe courtesy of a few videos from Kelly Cates.
    Softly, Softly catchee monkey

  12. DOR,

    Well done! You have it in a nutshell. The old Villa and tradition has gone, and it is the dawning of a new era, where Dr Tony, and let us not forget….the Chinese government money, is now behind the new, and emerging Aston Villa.

    We have been bought 100% by Dr Tony Xia and his Recon Group, but part of the consortium, not mentioned so much, is the Rui Kang group, who are owned by the government.

    The plan to make Aston Villa the no1 supported Premier league Club in China, is not just a wild fantasy, but a firm intention, which with it will bring a vast income from tv rights, shirt sales, memorabilia, and trips to our hallowed ground.

    The clubs great history from the past will, as you say Darren, become viral, and be transformed into a major video experience, with maybe a special room holding much of the main items, available for viewing on stadium tours.

    The Chinese have been following the Villa blogs for over a year now, and Wyness himself has been monitoring them for several weeks.

    Looking forward to several announcements in the coming days, and I am sure before the end of June, we will have signed a couple of Asian and Chinese players for the squad.

    I am now happy to renew my season ticket once more, after 5 years of awful performances and the club collapsing, I see a fantastic future for our club, which is no ore than we deserve.

    Randy has been absolutely awful in running the club, but unlike Deadly Doug, he has found an owner who knows what he is doing, and has the ability to do it.

  13. From what i’ve read and the photo’s of his various building projects then VP will drastically change in appearance over the next few years, most of his buildings look like spaceships, tradition means little in the scheme of things.

  14. Trinity – Super 18 great – the players even play on after tackles!!!!!!!
    We, that is my ex-Canberra, mate, enjoyed the Crusaders loss as much as the Brumbies win. One of our fellow ex-pats is a Kiwi who never misses an opportunity to tell us the All Blacks are the greatest and he supports Crusaders.
    Steamer – that is why I suggested we tell him to stop and think/consult before he acts – he hasn’t redesigned the Great Wall yet so Villa Park seems safe (so far – or should it be So Fah)
    Paul – glad you are on board this train!!

  15. Steamer: “unfortunately football like the World in general has drastically changed in recent years”

    Of course, but it doesn’t mean you have to accept it or go with it. If you want to then that’s your choice! 😉

    To accept this takeover of Villa as proof of a “bright future” (for me) would be to ignore what’s going on in the rest of the world – the world is mostly deluded … and China in particular. And (as some of us will know) the Kali Age (that we’re in) means an age of delusion.

    What the sages say is much more important to me. Good luck with your reverie though! 🙂


    Love your response, but if you were to read my comments to Steamer you might perhaps see where I’m coming from. Or perhaps not.


    Well, yes I see your point, but my thinking doesn’t go in that direction, I’m afraid.

    But for those for whom it does, then all the best! 🙂

  16. Clive: “unlike Deadly Doug, [Randy] has found an owner who knows what he is doing, and has the ability to do it.”

    Mmmm … not sure we know that for certainty. We are only going by what we’re reading. Ten years ago, RL seemed to be the “bright future” (to most, and they believed that for at least 5 years).

  17. I think ultimately we’re in a position now where we can move forward with a man who has made his own wealth.

    Lerner’s foibles are well documented – he was an ostrich with his head in the sand, misguided, naive etc etc. In my experience his stubbornness was bordering on legendary but this is a man who inherited his wealth and is used to getting his own way due to a glut of money. In a way, I’m in no way surprised that his “plan” fell apart as it effectively hinged on giving MON the keys to the kingdom, and that was foolish given MON didn’t have the same focus as a chairman/club needs, i.e. that they need to be a sustainable business.

    He (Lerner) has paid the price for these issues. Unfortunately for the club, so has Villa as a whole.

    The past is undoubtedly something to be celebrated but in the modern era, those who join our club are going to be more linked to the recent period and the contracts on offer. As a man in my late 30s, I was only a small child when we won the league and European Cup. I was in sixth form when we last won any trophy at all (I was 17 when we won the last Coca Cola Cup under Brian Little).

    There will be players that we could sign next season who could theoretically were not even born when we won our last trophy. Players, as interesting as their initial interviews might be when citing the European Cup, are just saying what they are effectively told to say rather than displaying a life long commitment to the club. They are here for the money, much like most people are there at their jobs for the money – if they were paid half what they are on now, many would have disappeared already.

    We have to look forwards. Lerner is in the past now and he’s accepted culpability. I could write an essay on the man’s weaknesses and mistakes, but ultimately that chapter is over now and I live in hope that Dr. Xia will move the club forward after a decade of parabolic “progress”.

  18. Matt,

    You could have written that 10 years ago almost word for word when Doug backed out. 😉

    The past needs to be learnt from, not just put behind. You can go forward only on the basis of drawing what is valuable from experience (the past) … and I suspect that’s not going to happen much. Commercial pressures will probably dictate otherwise.

  19. John,

    I agree in part. The difference between Xia and Lerner is the method they have built their businesses.

    I appreciate that we need to learn from the past and I think Xia will likely have looked at what has happened over the past ten years under Lerner (and before) to see where things may have gone wrong.

    In terms of the past beyond that, I think much of the modern era game is defined by recent activities and situations. Even the early stages of the Premier League is different to today’s situation – money is exponentially greater and that means adopting a modern approach.

    Away from business, football is an ever evolving game. What worked tactically years ago is not the same as what works now and, as a result, I’m firmly entrenched in the view that the club will need to adopt a modern view.

    As to what the “right” view is, I wish it was as simple as to be able to define such parameters. Villa (and Lerner by proxy) will be judged on what they have and haven’t done. Lerner made mistakes, but he is by no means the only owner who has made the same mistakes – some have just been fortunate to dodge the bullet, others have had a similar kicking.

    Football fans on the whole are less interested in the machinations of the business that supports a football club as they are on the successes on the pitch. What the board does going forward is ultimately their prerogative – in simple terms, I/we have no idea of their plans as of yet and only time will prove them successful or unsuccessful.

    I have faith that Xia will think about how to improve the club by reviewing what did and didn’t work. From my initial understanding, he seems an intelligent enough guy who has experience in building organisations so, in that sense, he is a step up from Lerner. Will he be successful? No idea.

    Our own decision on how we want to feel is ultimately a personal choice. I can see reasons for hope and for trepidation, so I don’t think there’s a right or wrong view – much like every opinion based view.

    I’ll be hopeful but time will be the ultimate measure by which we find out if we have another Lerner/Ellis or a different type. For the sake of the fans, I hope Xia is different and in a positive way – things could get worse in theory, but after years of desperate times at Villa, I’m going to be hopeful, even if that may be a naive attitude.

  20. Matt,

    I just don’t know how anyone can have total faith in someone they don’t know! I’ve been in business and that is the last thing I would do.

    On the other hand, you’re right that there’s not much point in harping on about what’s gone before … I didn’t say otherwise. I just don’t know how the new owner will behave, and (if you’ll excuse me from saying) I don’t know how anyone can say otherwise at this satge.

    In July 2010, did you think that everything would go pear-shaped at VP, after 5 years under RL?

  21. My opinion for what its worth is if mr xia shifts the air of negativity that has surrounded VP for years now its a start. Villa fans of recent times have seen ineptitude and know how that looks, mr xia if found wanting will quite likely not get the benifit of the doubt as lerner did. Protests will not go well with his government backed plans I suspect.

    If conquest of the chinese market is the aim there is only one vehicle to get there sucess as a club.

    Lets not forget lerners departure has most probably hastenned by the ill will sent his way recently.

  22. I agree with John I think we need to be cautious I remember when Lerner took over the holte pub a link up with acorns recognition for 1982 we all thought we had found a diamond – we had but not a real one.
    Some important decisions will be made over the coming weeks some we will like and some we will be up in arms about, we was only going one way under Lerner I wanted to write to Hull and back but pug face has ruined my line, these are interesting times for AVFC I just hope these people don”t disappoint us.

    诶 维 艾弗西

    艾丝 豆贝尔维 维

  23. Mark,

    Yep, your view is a realistic one that should be taken seriously in my view. Especially as a result of what we’ve experienced from RL … and Doug for that matter!! 34 years of peaks and troughs and too many unnecessary troughs.

    But the “Chinese Plan” (involving everything around the world) has me very concerned.

  24. My one regret or sadness is this didnt happen before jan and gardes departure. His targets in jan showed he was not the fool hes been painted

  25. John,

    I don’t have blind faith that things will be better. In fact, I have no idea as to whether the club will be successful under Xia’s ownership. The faith that I have is that this is a man who has decided to come to the club as an owner, and who has demonstrated his ability to grow organisations, not just inherit money and buy a toy to play with.

    Once Martin O’Neill left, it was fairly evident that Lerner was without a plan, despite protestations to the contrary from General Krulak. Lerner had, by then, voted against FFP and, as a result, implied his intention to try and dig his way out of the mess we’d gotten into via investment. As it stands, his ability to do that was significantly diminished and he had to engage in cost cutting exercises that have led us to this point. Every manager since MON has spoken of the drivers being to cut the costs at the club, spend little and survive – in reality, not much different to the time under HDE.

    It is sad really that so much was punted on MON without a real plan of action. In that sense, Lerner was naive, but things were going well initially – moving up to 11th, then three 6th placed finishes. As the old adage goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and when there needed to be a change, the damage was done – once things started getting thrust in the face of MON and the money was stopped, the Ulsterman left and that was that though neither party is free from blame.

    In fact, all we appear to have seen in recent years is blame – newspaper reports of managers “begging” to be sacked (hyperbole, but the sentiment remains), personnel blaming other personnel for their involvement/lack of involvement in recruitment, players blaming managers, and manager blaming players.

    If we are to move forwards from here, we have to be constructive. At a high level, the plans suggested to take the club to a market where there is vast potential is a wise one and certainly feel like plans that are grander scale than those of Lerner.

    My hope is that Villa get back up from the Championship next season. Before the sale, I thought we would finish mid-table in the Championship. After? I don’t know because it is too early to say but I at least have some degree of hope there rather than fear that we would spend another summer bungling along as we have for years.

    Tony Xia may turn out to be great for Villa, awful for Villa or somewhere in between. Whatever happens, a change is what was popularly requested and it is now done. Lerner is gone, and we will see where we go – whether that’s up or down is something we’ll find out over the coming months and years.

  26. We along with many other teams at this level will still be hamstrung by FFP, we cannot go spending £50m and expect to get away with it there are more clubs who have felt the wrath of FFP in the championship than there are in the premier where it seems easy to slip under the financial radar, so I think a massive spending spree may just be out of the question, sorry Frem.

    诶 维 艾弗西

    艾丝 豆贝尔维 维

  27. I am amused at the comparison with the Doug Ellis/ Lerner deal, when he had turned down an offer from Sheikh Mansoor, as he knew nothing about football, only money….Exactly the opposite this time, Dr T knows about money and football….and Lerner knew little about either.

    Dr T studied at Oxford on exchange for 5 months, when he was doing his degree at Harvard, after being selected in the top 5, from the top 1000 students in China, and his chosen sport was soccer, playing as a striker, and falling in love with the Villa at the time…..

    He has gone on to become one of the finest business man in China, and that is why he is also backed by the Chinese government, not only to succeed at Villa, but to a success in the development of soccer in China as a major sport.

    The Chinese government do not back losers, and he is a world away from the likes of the owners of the Blue Noses, Cardiff City, etc.

    It is the difference between owning a café in Brum and being Richard Branson…

  28. If we want to worry about world affairs, then be more worried about Russia, Putin and the future of the Baltic States…..

    Where are we now as a Nation, and will Nato have any power to cope in the future…

    Glad we have not been bought by the Russian mafia…

  29. I don’t think FFP is worth the paper it is written on — all this talk of bans and point deducted is just talk as i haven’t seen it actioned

    any club that has been determined to elevate there club to a higher level via spending power has done so with clever book keeping
    not that i agree with FFP as it stands anyway

    If our owner is as ambitious as he says he is i think the club can flex there financial mussel and reach there aims

    With the potential of the Chinese markets fan base it won’t take long to increase our revenue to allow us to be in a highly competitive position as a club
    i am confident this is likely to be the case at this stage based on our owners past and present business dealings

  30. Mark: “if it follows previous chinese planning like hong kongs repatriation it could well be 100 to 500 years “

    Nooooo…. You must surely be aware (for example) that China has had a huge stake in Africa for some time and is behind the slaughter of elephants, rhinos and tigers for the ivory and aphrodisiac properties.

    You must also be aware of China’s building of military islands in the South China seas.

    What I am alluding to is the slow but increasing permeation of Chinese ownership and also their ways, some of which don’t rub well with our own.


    No-one is denying what the new owner has done … that appears to be well recorded. But what will he do as an owner of AVFC, that is the question.

    As with SWV, I believe it’s well to be a little sceptical about *any* new owner. My view goes beyond that, but I’ll not dwell any further there.

  31. John,

    Yes. We faced FFP, had a massively overpaid squad, had sold our best players – I’d suggest that, yes, I thought it was going to go badly. Quite how badly, I had no idea but I certainly felt we would be battling at the wrong end of the table after the MON situation exploded.

  32. We have Xia in
    Tony Xia in
    We just hope that he understands
    From beating Small Heath twice
    To eating noodles and rice
    We have Tony Xia in

  33. SWV,Check the Guardian…there is an interview with Tony X.He is going to COMMUNICATE WITH US…..AND BUY A HOUSE IN BRUM………it goes on to admit he has spoken to RDM and a few others,it’s interesting.

  34. Runtings,

    Over the last two years Cardiff, Fulham, Notts Forest, Bolton, Leeds and Blackburn have been put under a transfer embargo due to FFP, QPR, Leicester and Burnley were all under investigation while in the championship, yet the premier teams all seem to get away with it all though some bend the rules as we know.

    诶 维 艾弗西

    艾丝 豆贝尔维 维

  35. SWV,
    Lives in Leamington.
    I did mention that i didn’t like the way footy was going or the World for that matter.
    America is planting nukes all over the World, recently in Romania, Kerry is a warmonger, i hope he and the next Pres don’t push Putin to far, mind he’s a brilliant leader.

    Tony X seems clued up, but seems to lack ambition, only top 3 ? –

    Didn’t Bournemouth break FFP rules and only got a fine ?

  36. B62B,

    Steamer can put him up for a few weeks till he gets himself sorted he can sleep with Bella.

    Tell you what I bet he don”t buy a place in Alum Rock.

    诶 维 艾弗西

    艾丝 豆贝尔维 维

  37. Just read the guardian article and you have to admit he talks a good game while all the time looking like a snooker player.

    诶 维 艾弗西

    艾丝 豆贝尔维 维

  38. This time in 10 years we will be a few days away from a champions league final against Real Madrid 🙂

    Hollis interview was good. Hope he stays on. Said he was in tears at Newcastle game

    Tony- 50 million to spend. Top 6 in 5 years. Top 3 in the world in 10!!!! Erm, yes please

    Let’s hope he does it and is t all talk. Positive thing is he’s a very clever guy.

  39. Birmingham offers a lot of opportunities for investors now, last week it was voted the best place in Europe for investors. Anyone who’s walked around town lately must have noticed how many Chinese their are, i think its a good match for Birmingham, excluding Small Heath, a consortium of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Larry Ellison would struggle there.
    I have no idea how this union will work out but it has to be better than stagnating under Lerner, if a European Super League appears we may just scrape in, although as i said previously, i’m totally against the concept. What happened to 42 games a season, 3 o clock and 7-30 kick offs, fixtures over Christmas etc.

  40. steamer

    we are in the championship now….loads of those kick offs and times!

    Im not allowing myself to get excited…yet. Wait until kick off is here and see what players and manager we have.

  41. I would love to know who the perfect club supporting owners are that have the money ,drive , ambition and capabilities to drive there supported club forward

    I don’t know any rich nations that haven’t gained there wealth at the expense of other nations

    not that i an justifying such situations but as we all know thats the way of the world

  42. If the Guardian article is anything to go by he seems about as far away from Lerner as he could get, self made, ambitious,positive and he’s either very perceptive or pays people to make him look perceptive I’d guess its the former. As opening gambits go bravo, doesn’t look like it will be the Man city route which is good news, takes all the fun and endeavour out of it let alone sense of achievement.

    Must have read the blogs as he knows we are sick of lazy players and missing owners.

  43. Runtingz- There’s a new breed of entrepreneur that only deal with those with the best intentions toward people and the world we inhabit, can’t be sure be he seems quite typical of that ilk. I’m surprised as the Chinese Government are not usually that way inclined but maybe through the likes of Xia things will change. No point being the worlds no1 at anything if the rest of the world don’t like you.

  44. People will have to explain things to me

    So, Randys personal wealth was relevant because that’s the only income we’d get. I get that

    People are saying that Tony’s peresnal wealth is irellavent because the money will be coming from Recon/ other companies. But doesn’t he own recon, so it’s his Money ?

  45. Runtings: “I don’t know any rich nations that haven’t gained there wealth at the expense of other nations – not that i an justifying such situations but as we all know thats the way of the world”

    Indeed, yes. You’re right. Pity that we’re happy to go with it, though, particularly as there are serous movements developing to change that direction.

  46. from what i read he is one of the Chinese governments star pupils

    one of 1000 selected to be educated at the highest level in his country and then was one of top 20 from the 1000 who were sent to Harvard to complete there education

  47. Steamer: “I have no idea how this union will work out but it has to be better than stagnating under Lerner”

    No argument there. The fact that the club is now sold is almost unbelievable after so much prevarication … maybe Lerner was scared the price might drop to a penny! … or a peppercorn in old parlance.

  48. JL i don’t support injustice – remember i am a black man and we are effected by such things more than any race — but in context of finding a saint to run the club successfully i know it ain’t happening

    at the same time i don’t see this as a time to be anything but optimistic

  49. Runtings,

    Yes .. PP was also keen to list his credentials.

    I’m never impressed so much by that. It’s what he is as a Villa chairmn that we should primarily be concerned about i.m.o. Sport is not what he’s experienced in don’t forget … we can only wait to see what develops.

  50. Runtings,

    My sympathies to your cause. I once worked in community relations in Brixton at the time of the Steve Biko matter (mid-70s).

    But I’d say the Jews have had a fairly rough time over the last several thousand years … a number were burnt alive in York a few hundred years ago and you know what happened in WW2. And then there was the Cathar extermination also a few hundreds of years ago … and the Armenians more recently… and a few other matters , including slavery by blacks on blacks.

    And with sea levels rising the South Sea Islanders are facing great perils and there are huge problems with maintaining the health of soil for food production … old reliable farming methods have been forgotten in favour of systems that poison the land.

    Indonesia and Japan affected so much by volcanic eruptions…

    And that’s not even talking about what ISIL/Daesh are up to.

    Meanwhile we take footie so bloomin’ seriously. Escapism, I suppose.

  51. Jl- yes I am aware of China’s expansionism as I am of every power on the earth since the dawn of civilisation. The answer will only lie in a reduction in population to reduce demand I’m afraid or using technology/knowledge not hoarding it for money. Although as I have mentioned the new entrepreneurs who look to give service without treading on others heads have to be the way ahead. The soil conundrum alone is a huge problem, the very act of farming the land by ploughing has destroyed its viability let alone the use of chemicals etc. We are very much just beginning to grasp how much we are part of nature.

    I will say I admire the Chinese in that they are pursuing space exploration, something a few visionary entrepreneurs are now taking up in the west, they also have plans as nation which sadly we lack in the west, where’s our heroic quest?

  52. JL i wouldn’t want to belittle any nations suffering but on my quest to find out more about black history that they won’t teach in schools i can safely say the African nation has suffer more and lost more than any other peoples

    i could go on all night in support of that – did you know the Jewish faith hails from Ethiopia

  53. Runtings: “did you know the Jewish faith hails from Ethiopia”

    Whoa… You’re talking of the Rastafarian view, yes? Well, I’m not saying it’s wrong because I have not studied all angles of that faith, but I think you’ll find that the *original* link is with India.

  54. Mark,

    1. Yes, I have also mentioned the new movements and there is definitely a trend towards greater morality.

    2. But I don’t see what space exploration has got to do with matters when it’s we (people) that have not got their heads and hearts sorted. The “morality” (mentioned above) comes only from going inwards, not outwards, therefore space exploration is surely a deviation from the main issue.

  55. Kristina,

    I don’t believe Lerner was a bad person or one who meant ill-will. If he had then there would be a lot more anger, I’m sure.

    In time we’ll get over it, just as we got over the period leading up to the revolution of 1968/9.

  56. Sorry Kris. Your time line will be full of be rambling on about Villa ( again) I’m of work so nothing else to do 🙂

    But, it’s exciting time potentially after 6 years of hell 🙂

  57. And Johns right Kris, Randy wasn’t so bad

    MON let him down for years spending a load of his money and wasting it. He then appointed Houllier which wasn’t an awful choice to be fair. Mcliesh, then started. Shocking choice from Randy

  58. I still can’t get over the farewell statement that Lerner has published. Does that moron not have the faintest idea what he has done to this football club i.e. destroyed it?

    I’m so angry…Xia saying 50M transfer budget…that wouldn’t even buy a defence needed to get out the Championship…and then he has to pay off the remaining 74 years of contracts of the players who relegated us.

    It all has a foul stench

  59. JL- most nations and peoples come together when there is something urgent enough or exiting enough to give them a cause or destination, America used the moon landings to launch them in the 60’s and galvanise the nation. There are entrepreneurs looking at putting satellites up that can generate power from the sun and beam it to earth amongst other projects such as gathering materials from asteroids rather than earth. I just see it as a vehicle for change and co-operation.

  60. Runtings,

    The origins of Abraham, (as you know) lie in Ur of the Chaldees who, in turn, seem to have been connected with the Aryans. The Jews stem from that origin, but that is not to say that they did not cross-pollinate with other nations (e.g. Ethiopia).

  61. Frem, would like to share some of the optimism on here but I can’t.. time will tell.

    Might get good odds on Villa finishing in bottom 3 next season

  62. Mark,

    Yes, but all that is man using ego to direct his future. Anything pushing outwards results from ego. That is not the real destiny of mankind … to suggest otherwise is to deny the teachings of the spiritual masters, whose values are only now coming to fruition in more general terms, such as the changing business morality.

  63. JL don;t take it from me but from someone who studied such matters to an unquestionable level

    watch any lecture from the late great ” dr ben yosef jochannan;” if you would like to really know the true origins of this subject

  64. What makes you think that Paul ?

    It sounds like we have backing From the Chinese government. Minted. We’ve employed the cousin of Chinese president

    Tony has built 60 cities in China !!! That takes some great planning and money. He would have helped there government hugely doing that. There president loves football, and they are friends apparently

    Tony him self is an extremely intelligent guy who made his own money, not just born into it

    I trust Hollis as well not to flog us to anyone

    What Xia has said is good. Talked about every thing from player investment to improving VP, Aston and making villa a great club in China.

    I know it’s easy to say but I think he really means it

  65. Frem i am excited about the possibilities for success , no guarantees but it looks pretty hopeful to me
    i think a lot of villans have had such a mare being a supporter that there is disbelief that we could possibly be anything but mediocre

  66. Frem: “Tony has built 60 cities in China !!! “

    Great!!! But did he re-generate any football clubs on the way? 😉

    Also if he is connected (blood-wise) with the Chinese President then be a tad careful.

  67. JL- Plenty of answers lie inward and plenty have gone there to find them but they are ultimately used on this plain. The likes of Einstein got their greatest inspiration from the inner world and as long as they are used for the good of all and I include the earth and all its creatures in that what else are we here for?

  68. :} it does get deep on here sometimes
    I think the obsession with wanting an answer to everything is not always a great thing for our kind
    I do believe some things are beyond human comprehension and perhaps there is a reason why that is the case

  69. Mark,

    What you say is true, just as everything “on this plane” are true.

    But whither does it come from, and – more enticingly – where does it go?

    And which inward is inward?

  70. Well we won’t be playing Walsall in a derby next season!!!!! I’m not a massive fan of religion, each to their own , but as I was once told when people were arguing over whose faith is the one/best”It’s like a load of adults arguing over whose imaginary friend is better!”
    On the takeover I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’m not getting carried away with it all just yet, but a very nice Chinese family have moved in across the road, surely that has to be a sign 😉

  71. Runtings,

    Obsession? Well, call it what you want. Mark referred to Einstein just now – was his career a mere “obsession”?

    The search for Truth has been on-going since time began and I do not believe it will cease. Thank God.

  72. I’ll add the Irish to the list of persecuted from being the original slaves prior to the African or Carribean ‘trade’. Depicted as animals to take away our humanity in 18/19th century newspapers, the purported gods will during the famine of the 1840s that led to the death and displacementof millions. Most non-colonial people can rightly claim victimisation for the colour of their skin, their race or religion.

  73. Mark
    I bet the nurses were queuing up to give him the kiss of life!! If you can look that good and be in great shape and still have a heart attack, what hope is their for the rest of us mortals!!! After the stag weekend I’ve just been on in Marbella, I thought I was on the way out!!!!!

  74. B62,

    It reminds me of when I went in as a day-patient many years ago … the nurses gave me a pre-med and then tried to get me on trolley. They couldn’t, and had to recruit another 4 or 5 nurses to put me on the trolley.

    I grinned.

    They gave me a (playful) slap in the face!

  75. dor perhaps you should you-tube a lecture from the dr i mentioned earlier if you are interested in the oldest histories ,,,, very infighting gateway

  76. knowledge is power JL – i would love to sit down and reason with some of you guys , i am sure it would be interesting for all – the subjects are too deep to discuss effectively via a blog

  77. Runtings,

    I agree – the subject is far too big to explore totally here … all I was doing with Mark is posing a couple of questions.

    However, on the matter of the origin of the Jews…

    From its states –

    ‘It is important to remember—as Dr Ben so frequently emphasized—“Judaism is not a race.”’

    So I don’t have much difficulty with Dr. Ben’s propositions. What I meant to state about Abraham is almost undoubtedly correct (from a variety of sources), and what led to Judaism stems from there. BTW, Prophet Muhammed came to re-establish the religion of Abraham (as Islam) as a matter of fact.

    Where the peoples came from to make up ‘the Jews’ is not the big issue to me. I should have spoken about Abraham purely with regard to the line of prophecy, which can have little to do with physical lineage, of course.

    Thanks for that reference to Dr. Ben, however. He’s clearly done a lot of work on that subject.

  78. Mark,

    Thanks for that BBC Sport video link…

    It’s good to actually see/hear him talking in fact … that way you can get better impressions. It’s certainly a step forward from Randy’s entrance to the club.

    Yes, I’d probably be stating the obvious that he comes across as a credible businessman. Just a pity that he seems to be a bit nervous with his English, but at least he’s had a go.

  79. I think he may be ok JL even if he has puppet masters, when did we ever hear Lerner talk of how many players and funds, can’t say he’s an introvert can we

  80. Clive
    Crusaders vs Highlanders was a fantastic match, best I’ve seen for a while. For me at the moment, the Highlanders, Crusaders and Sharks are looking most likely.

    I think Dr. Xia realises he needs to give us a morale booster immediately. That’s why all the talk.

  81. Stadium name change then. Mom

    Healthy food to be served at VP next season. Well, lotus villa park

    Hollis saying basisically there’s one manager waiting to the job. Guessing Pearson

    RDM needs convincing!! He can f**k off

    I hope for Moyes

  82. Frem
    You’ve probably read this-sounds like academy players will get a season to develop.

    ‘For now, I am confident,’ he said. ‘I think we will add six to seven players in maybe six or seven positions [before the start of the season] and we are going to bring some young talented people from the academy to play in the first squad.’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  83. Religion is a big NO with me ..
    MiB …yes . look at Gail in Corrie St . is she not E.T
    and some of the f**kers on Chembo Hood don’t look Human . and then you got the 6 fingered lot in Sandwell . and looking at some of the things walking around small heath on match day l can only think some mad scientist is experimenting or they have already landed ,

    hope Hollis has a word in Tony’s ear about mentioning what we got to spend !! I remember someone else from the far east saying similar things up the road .
    if your still off work , drop over to cov Monday . me and TC still there for a few more days . pity as last wekk you would have p*ssed yourself the stick the poor plasterer took , TC set the trestles up for him to plaster the ceiling , then this midget walks in to do the job , had to hire more trestles , he mentioned he was taking his new girlfriend to a caravan he’s bought , you can guess what TC told him he needs to be doing , and that we will meet him there sunday ,so we can watch )))
    Have a good weekend all , lv got to take Jessie to bloody Wolverhampton on the f**king M6 at 1pm , ……. car park here l come ((

  84. Lotus Villa Park

    The (possible) new name appeals?


    As I said before, the topic was philosophy, not religion.

    But it’s interesting that whatever lifestyle we take becomes a form of religion in its own right, so pretty well everyone is “religious” in some way or form. 😉

  85. Mark,

    Yes, you rightly mention his “puppet masters”, and that was something I failed to comment on. I did get the impression he was being careful on what he said.

    Yes, I get the feeling this is a “China Project”, *not* a Dr. Xia project.

  86. Morning AVL,

    Well its nice to see we are back in the news but for good reasons this time, at least the footballing world has taken a short break from taking the p*ss out of AVFC.
    Lots of talk about the name change for the stadium which to be fair I am not bothered with, Tony call it what he wants as long as it brings in revenue but to me it will always be Villa Park but I think you will still get some traditionalists who do not like the thought of a re-brand.

    I hope the £50m is just the papers making that up and not a direct quote from our Tony, because if you are as successful in business as this guy is reputed to be then you really don”t want to be telling the world you have a big transfer budget, selling clubs might just see this has an opportunity to hike up their prices, or has he got so much money he doesn’t care, very strange indeed.

    I am still going to sit on the fence, our new man is saying all the right things top three in the world is a very bold statement but can he deliver, getting out of this division will be harder than most think, the new manager whoever he might be will tell us straight away if he knows what he is doing.

    诶 维 艾弗西

    艾丝 豆贝尔维 维

  87. SWV: “I hope the £50m is just the papers making that up and not a direct quote from our Tony”

    No, mate – Tony has said it … you can hear him on the video link that Mark posted above.

    He didn’t actually say that a categorical £50m, but he stated “£20m .. £30m… £40m… £50m” when asked how much would be available.

  88. Mark,

    Well, I’d go further than that … taking the original word “religio” as meaning “to bind together”, anything that forms a body of opinion could be described as a religion.

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