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