As sure as the progression of the seasons, players come into the club all wide-eyed and bushy tailed ready to soak up as much as they can at the beginning of their career. And at the other end, leave crocked, beaten, and a step too slow. But the greybeards could have one thing that can be crucial to a team: wiles, knowledge, common-man psychology, and respect from younger players.

It’s sad to see some talented players dropped by the wayside before their careers can get started, whether they are late bloomers, set adrift by financial reasons or someone more talented, or they just don’t fit at the moment.

At the greybeard end of the career, players collect their final weekly pay and shove off. Some to lower leagues, some to coaching jobs somewhere, or what seems to be a lot more common lately, punditry. Sadly we get to see our heroes decline to shells of their past exploits—Grant Holt or Joe Cole for instance. (Actually they were at the end of their careers and Villa provided the last hurrah.) Or Gabby Agbonlahor staying one season too many. All this experienced talent let go. Which in the real world is the prime of your life.

Some of the younger ones get lucky. Marc Albrighton: surplus to needs at Villa but a league cup winner with a few more seasons under his belt. And this year a gaggle of junior players let go but quickly picked up by lower teams. I don’t think I’m the only one who wonders why.
Unfortunately this is the way most clubs are set up. Constrained by finances and limited by room.

There is a solution to this and Manchester City, Chelsea and a couple more have made steps to have their cake and eat it, too. The organization that owns MCFC also owns clubs in Australia, Japan, Uruguay, and, the one that caught my eye, New York FC of the MLS. Now apparently there isn’t any cross contamination and clubs are kept at an arm’s length, but players, coaches, and ideas have been crossing the Atlantic without much concern from football’s governing bodies. Is it fair? Who knows. But it is an avenue to explore.

Owning two clubs in England obviously wouldn’t work out, but Villa could entertain the idea of following in the footsteps of MCFC. They certainly have the financial clout and would be able to stock the team with players. Players who they might not want to give up but have no choice would stay under the umbrella of SAw iris and Eden. It could also be a successful environment for potential coaches who toiled for Villa in the past few years. Petrov for instance. A proving ground for late-blooming youth with a big-club atmosphere, decent practice grounds, and a proper season of football. Also a learning environment for coaches, directors of football, and CEOs. Talent not lost at both the youth end and as the older players retire.

It would also provide more than a toe hold in the global market for Aston Villa. Recognition around the world is on Villa’s agenda as is the improvement of Villa in England and eventually Europe. Having a larger footprint other than just Villa Park would accomplish this. It’s been done and just maybe Villa should copy Manchester City’s example.

The sooner the better if they want to keep up with the big guns.

Comments 33

  1. Cheers, Ian.

    The timing is rather remarkable. Football looks one way, then wake up, and read about this plan for “the big clubs” to take over.

    I really couldn’t believe what I was reading. Basically: “The lower leagues need more money, so let’s chop two teams from the Prem, and let certain clubs be more equal than others.”

    Can’t see 14 clubs voting for that. Just do the money bit. No idea why they’re linked.

  2. Hi Ian, thanks for the article mate, pretty sure they have looked at a few clubs a couple of years back now. How far it got I don’t know but I don’t think our owners would miss to many tricks.


    Aston Villa co-owner Wes Edens’ investment group has launched a bid to buy Danish club FC Copenhagen, according to reports by Reuters.

    The Fortress Investment Group is a company founded by the Villa co-owner and is in talks to buy a stake in FC Copenhagen, who are Denmark’s most successful domestic team and regularly qualify for the Champions League or Europa League.

    Edens’ group are looking to buy LD Fonde’s 29 per cent stake in Copenhagen’s parent company, Parken Sport & Entertainment.”

    This makes more sense if it happens to the “out of the blue” employment of Lange this season, Copenhagens ex DOF.

  3. Hi Mark, i do remember the article about Wes and Copenhagen. So I guess my article is a bit redundant. Still, i think its an avenue worth digging into.
    Regarding the big six…wankers. If anything Sky Sports should be the one helping support the lower leagues not the top tier. Cutting 2 teams from the Prem would cut into their profits and thus take some control away from them. Maybe cut the top six out and tell THEM to F off. There are better ways to sort out the mess that is the football leagues in England.

  4. Ian – thanks for the article mate.
    Something needs to change as the self centred greed ridden fuckery has pervaded everything everywhere.
    ‘Maybe cut the top six out and tell THEM to F off.’ seems like a solution as long as they include Murdoch

  5. Ian- we could go covid on it and ignore that evidence to the contrary exists, Haven’t heard anything since that titbit but can’t imagine it didn’t happen.

    What to do about the money and the perceived greed. I suppose in historical terms football is very young and as the last 100 years have evolved massively in terms of radio, TV, population and global audience. This was bound to happen as big clubs attract supporters beyond their location, you have to ask why should they give money to the rest. This is just the same as corporations to me, there is nobody with the power to stop them.

    Plenty of teams have disappeared down the ladder or risen over the years, some were very big names in their day. I think the only solution is a change in outlook for mankind as the whole lot needs a looking at, good luck with that.

  6. Mark
    The EPL went international a while ago, & is keeping mostly in step with FIFA & EUFA’s entry into the corporate world,
    Even the GB government is fast becoming another devotee, & in fact it is endemic as it’s where the power reality is.
    With FIFA’s current plan for world domination, we’ll never see another world cup in Britain, not that we were getting one anyway, or have seen one for 54 years.
    Never mind, the government can prattle on about how great we are until the cows come home, & the Little Englanders & their Union counterparts can wallow in self obsession.
    Sanity appears to have become a casualty as well as football.

  7. How many players does it take to be key to an EPL top 4 side? I’d say 15. So we have 11 + Traore, + Ramsey + Nakamba + Steer/Heaton.

    Does goalie count? Yes, so maybe 16 players.

    Who’s number 16?

  8. IanG – it was not 3am in my city 🙂

    Will be interesting to see how Brewster does at Sheff U. Glad Rashica’s deal to Bayern L fell through. Serves him right not to get a move,

  9. As the FA, EFL, EPL and FIFA are run by by people unfit for purpose, it is not surprising that we’re in the mess that we are. Let’s start with FFP. Designed and introduced to protect the top teams by stopping others joining them. Any company in the world can put as much luker into their company to grow it. But not football.

    Parachute payments are totally unfair for the rest of the EFL. Unfair trade advantages are penalized by Gov’ts anywhere in the world. But not in football.

    The inner circle who want to keep everything cosy in football can’t see that it must end in destruction. Only the timing remains in doubt. Their lack of foresight must kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

    So the money must be distributed more equitably amongst the clubs to include the lower league ones. Anyone remember the days when a different team was crowned champions each season? Where a different team won the cup each May? It can e done, just look at the NHL.

  10. Watched the Liverpool game and highlights and realised that Jack Grealish moved the ball quickly in that match, 1st time I have seen him play that way.

  11. Gossip columns back to a failing West Ham deal for Benrahma, and the possibility of a late deal with Villa, which would give us an amazing front three for the season!!

  12. So the two big questions.

    Does Southgate play Grealish this evening?

    Do we sign another player before the transfer window closes on Friday? I would love to see us sign Benrahma. However, we know Brentford will want top $.

    King will be an astute signing.

    And so would Cantwell.

    We shall see.

  13. PP, Ben Drahma will not be joining Villa. If he goes to West ‘Aaammm for 30 million, we’ll be able to measure his success against that of Watkins’ and see who got the best deal. Has to be us.

  14. Beaky has decided against selecting Jack tonight. Actually suits me fine as I’d prefer him in good nick for the weekend. But…..his team selection leaves so much to be desired. We have to beat Denmark so I expect Jack on after 60 minutes to help break them open.

  15. The big six have been floored by the rest of the EPL. Put firmly in their place. It will be interesting to see how the referees react and whether they get as many decisions given their way as in the past.

  16. No Grealish. Southgate is a joke

    Mark. I don’t really have anything to moan about at the minute so chilled

    I’ll be moaning if we don’t sign another forward though. We need to.

  17. Southgate is a COMPLETE TOOL

    It is incredibly SAD that he has this VENDETTA against Jack

    I shake my head in UTTER DISBELIEF

    How incredibly disappointing

  18. How can West Ham be classified as big 6 and villa not .. think they need to brush up on there history for starters

    Southgate didnt play ack a lot in the unders and I was always scratching my head back then as to why he seemed to rate all is other attackers more than Jack and always had him coming off the bench near the end of games

  19. Frem- Tell that to JC’s wife when she doesn’t get her diamonds for xmas 🙂 Saw we might be in for Beundo

    Runtings its becoming painfully obvious how good Jack is, surely Southgate must run out of Excuses soon.

  20. Christ l. We have another shitting International break next month to?

    I hate international qualifiers. They should be scrapped.

    Just play finals in the summers with the biggest nations

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