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Author Topic: Keep on investing, chaps  (Read 887 times)

Online dave.woodhall

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Keep on investing, chaps
« on: October 25, 2020, 05:38:44 PM »
Since they bought the club just over two years ago, Messrs Sawiris and Edens have spent around £250 million on Aston Villa and all that extravagance seems to be paying dividends. The Leeds result was a real downer and perhaps an experience that we can learn from, but our overall trajectory is upwards. During our slow decline over our latter pre-relegation Premier League years, our role in fixtures like Liverpool and Leicester has most often been to play the fall guy. Ditto when we have played the likes of Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

It has taken a quarter of a billion quid to turn our fortunes round sufficiently to enable us to start making our presence felt in the Premier League. As the Leeds game suggested, that sum will probably be nowhere near enough to keep us in the upper reaches of the table, while the depressing League Cup exit to Stoke  demonstrated that we are likely to flounder if our key players are missing through injury or suspension.

Top quality players donít come cheap, so we are certainly going to need our owners to keep spending big over the next few years. A quarter of a billion is small beer compared to the sums spent by Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour, who have reportedly paid out four or five times that much, and still aren't guaranteed success.







Many of us will remember the Spend or Go campaign against Doug in the early noughties, when he was close to retirement and guarding his pension pot even more zealously than usual. Big spending and success in football generally go hand in hand (although Randy Lerner admittedly did his best to disprove the theory.)  We are incredibly fortunate at present to have owners for whom money is seemingly no object and who are willing to keep spending as much as the FFP rules allow. At present their objectives seem to align closely with those of the fans. Which raises the question in my mind, and one which has doubtless been asked by many of our supporters: What are Nassef and Wes in it for?

Premier League owners have a wide range of motivations. Part of Abramovichís reason for owning Chelsea is said to be that a high public profile will keep the purveyors of novichok and polonium at bay. In some cases football is used for political purposes, with club ownerships ultimately government-backed through sovereign wealth funds. When Manchester City play Arsenal the game is sometimes described as Abu Dhabi (Etihad) v Dubai (Emirates). These are small but rich Gulf states with global ambitions, like forthcoming World Cup host Qatar. Football is seen as an important way of putting these places on the map. 

We have seen recently how billionaire owners can also have a lust for power. The so-called Project Big Picture was a classic example of greedy owners wanting to run top flight football for their own benefit and it was widely condemned. I donít think the sponsors of Project Big Picture at Liverpool and Manchester United are going to go away though and you can bet that another disruptive initiative is not far off.  I have thought for some years now that we might eventually end up with a European Super League, however much most of the rest of football would deplore it. It would be the logical conclusion of most domestic leagues in Europe being dominated by a handful of wealthy clubs.

Perhaps Sawiris and Edensí main reason for purchasing Villa was that buying underperforming businesses and turning them round is what makes businessmen tick. Often they can expect to sell them on and pocket a decent profit, but football is high risk and rather different from other businesses. Whether Nassef and Wes could make much of a profit after spending gazillions must be doubtful and also very dependent on how successful their investments prove to be.

Perhaps billionaire owners like the kudos of being closely associated with successful football clubs, just as fans do. Whatever the reasoning, our owners have given us a fantastic two years so far, splashing the cash and putting Villa back in the league where we belong. Top four probably wonít go on for too long this time and there will be plenty of downs, like Leeds, as well as ups, but let us hope it is a sign of better things to come in the very near future. Please stick with it, Nassef and Wes, and keep on investing in our great club.

Richard Keeling


« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 06:26:01 PM by dave.woodhall »

Offline OCD

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Re: Keep on investing, chaps
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 06:25:09 PM »
Good article. Edens in particular is said to see youth development as having the potential in football to be used more effectively. Perhaps short-term they see a need to use money to establish us and our name again in the global market but long-term, have a plan that is designed more around picking up the best young talent from around the world, developing it and using that to continue progress with the odd big signing used to fill gaps that youth development doesn't. In theory, it could work well.

Online Billy Walker

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Re: Keep on investing, chaps
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2020, 12:49:49 PM »
I think both men are very shrewd and will be looking to enjoy the experience of owning and building a (hopefully) winning football club whilst making money.  The fact that the vehicle "NSWE" owns Villa is what I find particularly interesting.  I'm purely speculating here, but once we have (hopefully) cemented our top flight position, I could see Sawiris and Edens selling off minority stakes in NSWE, making back a good bit of their initial investment.

Online dave.woodhall

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Re: Keep on investing, chaps
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 12:52:24 PM »
I think both men are very shrewd and will be looking to enjoy the experience of owning and building a (hopefully) winning football club whilst making money.  The fact that the vehicle "NSWE" owns Villa is what I find particularly interesting.  I'm purely speculating here, but once we have (hopefully) cemented our top flight position, I could see Sawiris and Edens selling off minority stakes in NSWE, making back a good bit of their initial investment.

That goes against everything they've said. NSWE is no different to RAL or Recon - we're owned by the company not the individual.

 


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