RUMOUR: Mystery deal to buy Villa?

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Over the last few months there have been rumours of a mystery takeover possibly happening at Villa Park. In this article, I have put together the information & stories I have been told & seen over these months to make Villa fans have hope in the club once again

Back in November 2011, WorldClass posted on Sports Witness the story of him meeting up with Sky Sports News MM (link here). With him being a cheeky lad he asked about information on Villa & received the following:

“Hey Matt, as requested – Randy Lerner has contacted officials of Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr ­Al-Thani, you remember him right! Rumours have been that the Qatari’s are looking at other Premier League clubs after being frustrated by a lack of movement at MU. This has prompted several chairman to contact the Sheikh’s offices with the aim of raising interest in their club. Kenwright at Everton seem to have been rebuffed for reasons unknown. 

However the latest club to make contact is Aston Villa, the source believes Lerner would be looking for £130-150m for the club, and the Qatari’s are interested. The source (the same one who gave me Venkys) went on to say that several key factors play in to the hands of Aston Villa which makes them far more desirable than say Everton or Blackburn. Watch this space is all i can say, it would seem the horse has bolted and soon there will be another big player in the Premier League money stakes

Hope that helps, catch up soon mate.”

Now, the little kid inside me did get a bit excited, but I thought it was just someone putting something up to get attention. But I did think what if this is true?

I posted a story in the same month with my thoughts on why I felt Randy was preparing to sell Villa.

  • Randy has scrapped plans to re-develop the North Stand.
  • The wage bill has been cut by nearly £500k p/w
  • 17 players left in last summers window.
  • Randy not being as present at Villa Park as he used to.

I still kept my ear down to the ground to see or hear if there was any truth in the story. Then, in December “TheMANThatCAN” posted on our forum (LINK):

“You boys have hit the jackpot. Lerner has done a steady job, but you’ve struck oil.”

He then goes onto say about how Randy was preparing to sell the club to the QIA:

“Your being taken over by QIA (Qatar Investment Authority). The people that own Malaga and PSG, also tried to buy Everton (didn’t want to buy a new stadium) and Blackburn (had their offered declined by Venkys, even though they offered to give them their money back for the club, remove all the debts they had accrued and also pay each family member £4.2million each).

It’ll happen at the end of this season – You owe Lerner a fortune. He doesn’t want to sell, and didn’t want to sell, but accepted these people offer something he never will be able too, and accepted the bid on the basis that its what is best for the club.

To put it into perspective, QIA make City look like Derby.

How I know? I couldn’t possibly tell you. But you’ll see. The story will start breaking late Feb/early March.”

A lot of people started to question where he got his information from. To be fair to them, they never backed out of a question stating:

“I work independently as a sports and media advisor. It’s basically my job to find information which clients ask for, then look at past examples and make predictions”

He has monitored their (QIA) movement from Everton, to Blackburn, back to Everton & then to us.

They do go onto say:

“That being said, on this subject I am 100% certain. For people asking for a source, the source is QIA.

Lerner has done all Villa fans proud with his actions recently. If you don’t wish to believe any of this I fully appreciate that, I’m not here to cause an arguement whatsoever. If you can understand recent decisions by Lerner in any other capacity that’s entirely your choice.

Regarding the manager, I can’t really comment on his position. For people wanting him sacked, he won’t be sacked before a sale. With new owners anything can happen. One thing is for sure though, Ancelotti won’t be involved”

Now the interesting part in this is the Ancelotti won’t be involved. Carlo took over the PSG role back in late December. So did TheMANThatCAN know that Carlo was on his way to Paris? We just don’t know, but the information he provided has been a good read.

The other thing which had been pointed out to me was the club sending out letters to its fans who brought shares back from the 80s & 90s. The letters basically stated that the club was willing to buy back the certificates & the money was there if they wished.

Randy however, doesn’t need to go to the markets & state to them about the sale of the club if he wishes. Doug Ellis had to as it was still classed as a PLC but Randy has put the club into private ownership. So basically, nothing needs to be declared to the public until there was a sale.

Recently, I received information from my mate who is a Baggies supporter. Out of general chit-chat about the WBA & Villa, I said to him about the rumours circulating around the net & forums with regards to the QIA deal. A few of my mates who are Villains laughed & said it won’t happen.

Rob however, said that the deal from what he heard had some truth in it. The company he used to work for until recently used to be a subsidiary that had connections with the QIA. He says they have businesses in and around the Birmingham area & from what he had heard that representatives of QIA had been at the Norwich game & they are willing to redevelop Villa Park to its 55,000 seating capacity that Randy stated he wanted to do in late 2011. He also said they money they have make Man City look like Halesowen Town.

I did ask whether he had been on the forums, he replied “Nah, why would I want to read about you guys! It’s only what I’ve been told Dave but it does look promising mate”

I am a twitter freak, I cannot get enough of it at the min. But @KarlBridges posted the following tweets to myself:

The Qatar thing is still doing the rounds within Villa Park amongst the staff. Talk of a Feb takeover.

When I asked how he knew:

A friend works down there, he says lots of people saying it’s going to happen in Feb.

He said the rumour mill at VP was just full of takeover talk and that Feb was the ETA.

So there we have it, supposedly staff & others are talking about the takeover at Villa Park. Now this links in what TheMANThatCAN stated on our forum.

Yes, it is a case of believe it when it happens plus with the rumoured sale of Darren Bent & Alex McLeish stating that Keane would be the only incoming player due to the wage structure I would be willing to say whatever money comes into the club won’t be spent on rebuilding it.

With all this information in place, to me, it looks like a sale of the club could happen due to its lack of movement in the markets & stripping the wage bill to its bare bones.

If this sale of the club is happening why would Randy want to throw money at old rope? He is making money back from the sale & whatever happened to the money from the Milner, Barry & Downing deals? We do know the money from the Ashley Young deal went onto paying off a loan that the club had.

So, as I stated believe it when you happens, but, it would seem come feb/march time news of the deal might hit the public domain & the fans will come back to Villa Park with smiles on their faces. I do certainly hope there is truth in the rumours & stories.

Written by Dave Beeston

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About Author

Dave Beeston has been writing for AVillaFan for over 2 years. He is a keen & loyal Villa fan & regularly attends home & away games. He is a season ticket holder who sits in the Lower North & would welcome safe standing to the club. Follow him on Twitter: @mini_beest

30 Comments

  1. I was told news would not break until this transfer window was out the way, I reckon the only reason mcleish got he job was to steady the ship on the budget we have currently until a new regime are in.

  2. God i HOPE and PRAY, would love it if it happened Messi here we come.[tee hee]
    There is a lot of people moaning that if they do come in for us it would ruin what Villa are all about i say stuff that,they only slag off Man City because they have loads of money to spend and getting somewhere,would soon change their minds if we are challenging in the Champions League i bet.

  3. What THC said. McLeish was steady, non contraversial and easily disposable.

    For me it’s Villa, Everton or Newcastle for the next big money takeover.

    God I would love to have some excitement back at Villa Park.

    If it were true, who would you keep from the current squad? I still think N’Zogbia will come good. Gabby is Villa through and through. The top youngsters would be able to progress quicker training and playing alongside top players, or we could afford to loan them all out. Check out the number of players we have out on loan. Compare that to United, City who will literally loan out 20-30 players a season.

    Think of the calibre of manager we could bring in as well. I hear a certain Spaniard is getting bored with winning everything, would like a move to premier league management, loves claret and blue ;)

  4. Heard last month from a Friend of a friend who’s brother used to work down the villa and still has contacts down there that we were being taken over by qia. They said the story would begin to break late feb/early march. He also said they looked at everton first but did not want to buy a new stadium which is badly needed at everton.

  5. I used to be an M&A solicitor and I’ve been involved in two deals involving football clubs.

    Let me tell you why this rumour is false. Firstly if your job is due diligence then you won’t make a mistake like ‘Your’. I regularly read reports from such specialists and the ones that advise the richest investors, don’t make basic errors. Also they have a particular style of writing, one which is very different to that used in the paragraph provided.

    The second is that confidentiality has a commercial value. When staff, contractors, clients, bankers and other stakeholders find out that an acquisition is likely, their behaviour changes and this usually impacts on the value of the business. In this situation why would the potential purchaser want to enter into a legal commitment now when they will not gain control for six months.

    Thirdly the ‘making contact’ element doesn’t ring true. Whilst some deals are created through brokers, the idea of a rich investor sitting back and waiting for clubs to apply is fanciful. Although I have comparatively limited knowledge of corporate deals in the Middle East, this isn’t the way they would expect to do business.

    For these reasons, I think that the claims of theMANthatCAN are without merit.

  6. @bodymoorinsider reckons the staff don’t believe that RL is selling & he / she has been right a few times

  7. This is not true. Not commentating on whether a takeover is wanted or not. Just that this is total bull and it not happening. Out of the mouth of Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner, simple facts which will be annoyed for yet more of these stories but there you go.

  8. A pile of shite – the ‘in-the know’ writer of this stupid story, can barely speak English. The opening word – “Your” for “You’re”, and the strange assertion that –

    “He doesn’t want to sell, and didn’t want to sell, but accepted these people offer something he never will be able too, and accepted the bid on the basis that its what is best for the club.”

    The writer is an illiterate idiot.

  9. Not only that but also the same post that theMANthatCAN posted on here has been put on other words, word for word, grammatical errors and all! I’d love for this to be true but am starting to think its a blue nose having a laugh!

  10. Have to admit if this was slightly true, it would be a welcome boost for the villa and season tickets would sell out next season.

    But as already suggested above it’s total nonsense, the grammatical errors prove this although if there is a hint of truth of it I will not knock it, I’ll just be exceptionally happy :D

  11. COLINKESWICK on

    Would love it to be true, but alas, i fear it’s not, We need Faulkner out though, and it would be nice to think that Lerner would sell if QIA came in with an offer, which i just cannot see happening, VILLATILIDIE

  12. andy villa till die on

    This story has been running since the start of this season and tbh nowt would happen till after the season finished. But imo I defo believe that it will happen as a friend of mine that is a blackburn rovers had the same story only last year when QIA was looking at them and everton. So this is no bull its not a matter of if but when

  13. I think this cud be very much randy lerner recently went thru a divorce and wants to perminatly stay in usa for that reason i think he will sell and the this window he isnt spendin due to the fact hes in profit and mcleish is an easy desposal dnt u think???? I reckon QIA r infact in talks now and because randy owns 96% of the club he can do out the public eye which is more promisin this will happen so u negative villa fans chins up a takeover will happen if not when will lerner spend agen??

  14. I guess a takeover would make sense of the slashing of the wage bill/ lack of transfer activity.
    I don’t want to sound ungrateful to Randolf because I believe he did have the right intentions at the start but let’s hope that with all the rumours flying about, there’s no smoke without fire!
    We certainly need a serious injection of cash from somewhere to get the Villa back up competing amongst the big boys and it doesn’t look like it’s going to come from Mr Lerner’s pocket.

  15. “Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner have beenbspotted once again for the third time in two weeks in Paris close to PSG.mr Lerner has supposedly been discussing with the Qatar Investment Agency (owners of PSG) over a buy out of Aston villa.Rumours have been circulating since November last year that Randy Lerner was Growing tired of Aston villa and was ready to sell up, but later told the press he had no intentions of selling the highly succsesful club and his love for the club was as strong as ever.

    It is believed mr Lerner is getting closer to agreeing a fee for the club and could be announced in the media from late febuary to the end of march if me Lerner and the extremely rich and ambitious Qatar Investment Agency;

  16. I would respond to this by saying don’t get your hopes up. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

  17. F this does happen then its a good thing for aston villa because villa need a big re development of the squad but this is bull because how can a company own 3 clubs doesnt that mean that there is a conflict of intrest remember the cska moscow and chelsea thing so if they did buy into villa in would be a maximum stake of 49%

  18. Still doesnt look probably, wished it would have happened but why would they want to take over a club who was near relegation wouldnt it be better to ensure safety and buy after the season also

    “Lerner has done all Villa fans proud with his actions recently. If you don’t wish to believe any of this I fully appreciate that, I’m not here to cause an arguement whatsoever. If you can understand recent decisions by Lerner in any other capacity that’s entirely your choice.

    Regarding the manager, I can’t really comment on his position. For people wanting him sacked, he won’t be sacked before a sale. With new owners anything can happen. One thing is for sure though, Ancelotti won’t be involved””

    There wont be any sacking until the takeover, McLeish hasnt been sacked.

    Also ETA was febuary which was about the time we was flirting with relegation, still a possibility but very very doubtful.

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