Lambert’s Aston Villa Transfer Fees Confession Places Question Mark on Other Signings

aston villa transfer fees paul lambert

Aston Villa transfer fees confession makes Lerner’s drive for austerity look thriftier


In the recent pre-Baggies press conference Paul Lambert admitted that transfer fees for some of his players were far less than had been reported by the press. Obviously, undisclosed fees do lead to guess work and the press do like to inflate prices to amp up the story (take the case of Darren Bent, constantly reported as Villa’s £22 million man, when £18 million and add-ons was more realistic).

Lambert hinted that Leandro Bacuna, Ashley Westwood, Matt Lowton and Antonio Luna all cost less than the million-plus figures reported when they joined the club.

 The fee for Bacuna was always pitched at around £880,000, so Lambert’s following remarks, when he compared a trio of players to that price, made for interested reading in yesterday’s papers.

“Yes, Leo was a bargain but Westwood was probably cheaper,” said Lambert.

“Matt Lowton was around the same mark. Luna was the same – around that mark.”

“When you look at it, I see figures that are bandied about with some of my players

“I think somebody must be getting a backhander because they’re nowhere near that level of money!”

What? Like the potential backhanders on the Villa transfers involving Bosko Balban and Juan Pablo Angel?!

Staying on topic, here are the prices that were reported to be the prices of the Villa trio mentioned:

Ashley Westwood – £2,200,000 (£1.4 million above actual fee?)

Matt Lowton – £3,300,000 (£2.4 million above actual fee?)

Antonio Luna – £1,760,000 (£800,00 above actual fee?)

If we take these figures supplied by the website Transfermarkt, which tend to mirror press reports at the time of the transfer and offer a decent ballpark figure, then Villa would now have roughly £4,600,000 more in the bank than expected.

With this in mind, a few transfer fees for other Lambert purchases now seem wide of the mark.

If the club paid less than a million for the above four players, do you really think Villa would have purchased a French Ligue 2 player for £2,112,000? I’d guess that Yacouba Sylla would be in the same bracket as the four players just mentioned…at the most.

So that’s another, lets say a £1,000,000, to add to the invisible spend – £5,600,000

Now to the curious case of Libor Kovák, who’s transfer fee was reported as everything from £5,000,000 to £7,000,000. For starters, I think the £7 million figure was the press getting their £ mixed up with €, but even at the £6,160,000 quoted on Transfermarkt, it seems inflated when you consider the similar outlay on Christian Benteke.

I’m thinking it would be safe to say we could easily shave off a million of Kovák’s assumed transfer fee, which would bring the tally to £6,600,000 that Villa haven’t really spent.

We could go on, I mean, Joe Bennett at £2,772,000 suddenly looks very dubious too.

Even if we play it safe and just take £400,000 from Bennett’s fee to round-up the non-spend to £7,000,000 , in Lambert spending terms, it’s a decent figure that technically he’s still got up his sleeve to spend (hopefully not on seven players!).

There’s a reason that the club’s press department doesn’t bother to correct transfer figures in the press, namely it looks better in the eyes of the club’s supporters to be seen to be spending money. After all, the common consensus is the price paid for a player is linked to his ability. Indeed, Villa’s press department may have even encouraged such inflated fees spreading through the media of Lambert’s thrifty shopping spree. After all, a Premier League club buying in a number of players at around £800,000-a-pop, doesn’t exactly smack of ambition.

There’s one way of Villa to prove their ambition though. Take that invisible £7,000,000 and buy a decent attacking-midfielder with it in January. We don’t mind if the club then pretend it’s a £10 million transfer. UTV

Can you think of any other Aston Villa transfer fees that might be inflated in the press? Comment below.


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  1. Yep I think Randy Lerners Fee was too much….Sell the club backto the fans and bugger off back to America, you don’t understand the game of football Mr Lerner Nor do you understand the passion of Aston Villa….I believe Mr ElLis never made a loss at the ckub, andlook how much he spent and look at his legacy…SELL THE CLUB MR LERNER

  2. Well if these fees are correct – the club are in serious trouble. The Club declared expenditure of £21m on transfer fees in the last accounts – obviously it serious fraud if they spent less than that.

  3. According to a recent fans meeting with the club we are breaking even this season, and could make money depending on where we finish in the league and cup. Of course, you don’t really know what to believe until you see the accounts. And they won’t be available for over a year.

    I’m happy that we are getting value for money with transfers. I don’t care how much an individual player costs so long as the overall budget is there for Lambert to use. I don’t think Lambert likes doing business in January. But i’m sure if the money is there he will use it. How much, we have no idea as he is always very secretive about the resources at his disposal (beyond “Randy and Paul have always been great with me”).

    If we say: Bacuna 880k, Steer 0(for now), Luna £1m, Okore £4m, Tonev £2.5m, Kozak £5.5m, Helenius £1.2m = £15m

    And the approx incoming fees we received: Bent £2m, Makoun £2m, Bannan £1.75m = £5.75m

    We’ve probably spent about £10 million net this window. You would hope there is a little left over for January if that is the case.

    • Yes, I think Lambert has got good value so far, for sure. We have increased TV money, wages are cut, and attendances are up. I don’t think we can really class ourselves as skint. If Lambert needs money, I’m sure he just has to ask.

  4. stupid read, if lamberts splashing so little on his players, do you think hes going to splash out 7mill on a player? can we as villa fans not just take each season as it comes and try our best to progress every year, you havent even given the new players a chance to settle in. Lambert is a magician, theres no questioning that. let us as fans not get ahead of ourselves if we dont see progress then start asking questions…

    • Who’s stupid? The £7 million on an attacking-midfielder was a humourous conclusion! TBH – though, if the right player was available, Lambert could and would. But players worth that and above, normally want to play elsewhere.

  5. So are we actually making a profit now? I think a few years of that a relative success (top half finishes) and we’ll have the old Learner back?

    • I don’t think we’ll ever see the “old” Lerner back. He’s intent on building Villa up at a sustainable rate. I still don’t know whether he wants to sell once we are in a good position, or if his heart really is in it and he is determined to take us back into Europe. Either way he won’t be spending vast amounts of his own fortune and getting the club into debt like he did before.

  6. That’s assuming the invisible 7m actually exists. What if the money spent is all the money PL was given? That would explain why clear problems with the squad haven’t been addressed.

    • Well, it proves that Villa haven’t spent what most people thought they had. I think there’s some money’s there for PL if he wants it (the improved TV money would suggest that). The question is does he want it? We know what he’s building for the long-term, but what’s his short-term goal?

  7. Who cares about transfer fees on their own? It’s the wages that have been killing us. All of Lerner ‘ managers have had money to spend

    • Wages are the lowest they’ve been for years now, plus, Villa like every other Prem team, got a vastly improved TV payout, so I don’t think the club are actually poor. I think it’s more a matter of not wanting to waste any more money like before.

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