Finally, the wheels of Aston Villa’s future are whirring into a forward motion after recent seasons of drifting in limbo. Current Villa chairman Steve Hollis has mere weeks left in his post, as he oversees the changeover on behalf of Randy Lerner of the club to Tony Xia and the Recon group.
Hollis conducted a radio interview today and spoke about some of the potential plans of the new owner. Some of what he said echoed what he had told MOMS at the last supporter consultation meeting – in regards of the Villa takeover having potential synergy with the bigger picture of a Chinese determination at governmental level to make serious inroads into the global football market and boosting its domestic league.
In the radio interview (embedded below) Hollis also hinted at Xia’s potential plans of regeneration of the Aston area and building a stronger connection of the club to the area.
On the more pressing matter of the next Villa manager, the Villa chairman detailed that an initial list of 50 had been whittled down to a short-list of six and Hollis met with three of them. If the new ownership hadn’t gone through by now, then Hollis said the club would have announced a new manager next week.
It’s expected, as soon as the FA are happy with Tony Xia and the Recon group, there will be a new manager announcement next week anyway. Who it will be, doesn’t seem to be the closed shop on Robert Di Matteo, as the bookies had made it out to be. When pressed in the below interview, Hollis seems to suggest it will be a British manager.
Maybe who Hollis and the previous Villa football board considered the best man for the job is at odds with team Xia’s views though?
Now, considering the team that brokered the takeover deal, includes ex-Everton CEO Keith Wyness and Christopher Samuelson, who was behind two failed investment ventures into Everton, then David Moyes shouldn’t be ruled out at this juncture, especially since he previously worked under Wyness.
Hollis spoke enthusiastically about the Villa crowds impact in helping the sale and MOMS actually saw Tony Xia at the Newcastle game mentioned in the above interview, sat in the exec box in the Trinity closest to the Holte End and he was certainly keenly observing events in the Holte.
The devil is in the detail of this deal. Tony Xia has made some bold statements in recent interviews on top of the welcome expression of ambition for the club, that will no doubt please a lot of Villans, but caution should be exercised until we see the assembled board, the manager and ultimately the team.
There are factors that do raise an eyebrow, such as the involvement of Wyness and Samuelson, but more of that later. In the meantime, at least we are now in a period of interesting times for the club, where the ceiling of possibilities hopefully is a lot higher than it has been.