Di Matteo Buzz Backs up Talk of Potential New Aston Villa Owner in Due Diligence

New Favourite

The first clue that a new Aston Villa owner was potentially on their way would be an announcement of a new Villa manager… or a sudden bookies favourite out of the left field.

With a sudden rush of bets on Roberto Di Matteo, from out of no where, he’s suddenly the 4/6 favourite for the Villa manager’s job (Paddy Power odds), with the previous favourite Nigel Pearson slipping to 5/2.

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Di Matteo was originally linked to the Villa manager’s job back in January 2013 to take over from an under pressure Paul Lambert, after his Tony Barton routine at Chelsea, taking over in the second half of the season to lead the club to their first Champions League win (as well as an FA Cup win).  Of course, ala Barton with Villa in 1982, it was with an already well-established team.

Long Haul Guy?

Di Matteo only lasted eight months at Chelsea and he’s yet to manage two complete seasons at any club.

He was at MK Dons for a year, where they were a losing play-off team, before taking over at the Baggies and getting them promoted from the Championship, but he was sacked in February the following season, after poor form in the Premier League.

He lasted just one season at Schalke too. He resigned despite finishing sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.

If a new owner really wants a manager to build something at Villa from the root up and see it through, is Di Matteo the man for the long haul?

That is a debate for another day, if he ends up the Villa boss. In the meantime, his appearance in the managerial race does add to the clues in unravelling who the potential new owner is…


New Owner Link and Progress

What gives credence to Di Matteo being a serious candidate for the Villa job, from a MOMS POV, is MOMS received correlating news in the last 24 hours that due diligence and financial checking is currently taking place of a potential buyer of Villa (this is not a swift process, hence the recent radio silence on any new owners). From the scraps of info we’ve been told about it, in summation, it potentially looks like a revival of a previous European-fronted bid.

With this in mind, if you were doing a Sherlock Holmes and join some dots (and this is only educated guesswork), the most likely candidate is the Geneva-based fun IM 1872 who had allegedly previously lined up backing from the Asian arm of Barings Bank, based in Hong Kong.

However, it was previously reported in the Daily Telegraph that ‘executives based in the Chinese territory vetoed the deal over concerns that ownership of a football club carried too much risk’.

IM 1872’s offer was also understood to be below the requested £150m at the time, but the drop in price to £100m (which includes some debt payment) could have potentially perked their interest again.

The firm in 2014 became a major investor in German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin (a pre-season friendly in Berlin for Villa would be great!) to the tune of 61.2 million Euros and has actively been looking towards English football for further investment opportunities.

While it’s an admittedly a tenuous link, Di Matteo’s last job was in the Bundesliga with FC Schalke, where he did ok.

After yo-yoing in and out of the top tier of the Bundesliga in recent seasons, Hertha had enjoyed a bit of a renaissance since IM 1872’s investment partnership. This season, Hertha have featured in the Champions League spots in the Bundesliga for most of the season, until a recent late slump in form has seen them drop to sixth.


It’s an encouraging sign, if IM 1872 did become involved in a Villa takeover, that they have been a proven catalyst for change and improvement.

The scope of IM 1872’s ambition remains to be seen though. Are they the middleman for Far East investment into Villa, as was mooted with their original approach to Lerner? Who they would appoint on board level to oversea their investment, would certainly be interesting, as that would be the first indication to how serious they were and who will be the public face of the operation.



While this is all hypothetical at present, it does seem more realistic than some of the potential owners heralding from the United States that have been reported. At the same time, it dampens a little the current Villa chairman’s public optimism in terms of the potential scale of ambition of the new owners.

Whatever is at play, at least the takeover wheels seem to be fully spinning now.


Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid



  1. Still, could be worse….

    At least it isn’t the other Roberto …


    Glum in Brum if that happens.

  2. Hell on hell is correct, awful choice and been asked to leave where ever he has been employed( even in Germany- mutual agreement, ie sacked )

    Cant believe anyone in their right mind would sign Roberto as manager, this can’t be true !


    • Too right. What are they thinking of? Just happened to be in the right place at the right time in 2012. Has achieved little else.

  3. Please god nooooo, this guy has been sacked every where he has been employed
    and is totally inept, this is hell upon hell surely can’t be true.

    The champions league win was just minding someone else’s team as caretaker


  4. C GAle. Betting markets are in the main driven by money laid not bookies opinions – so for DiMatteo (omg) to even appear on the short odds list means that someone – or a group of someones – has placed a significant amount of money on it. Bookies opinions don’t come into it.

  5. Is Di Matteo a candidate or just another runner for the bookies to make maney on ?
    As for due diligence taking place well has Hollis not placed a deadline for talks to conclude allowing time for the new owners to appoint a new manager before the end of the month , or is that just another of those confusing rumours ,that perhaps make a little sense if Vila are to challenge for a immediate return to the Prem ?
    Rumour had it that it was the Luxor Hotel group who started the ball rolling , but why did they not complete last summer ? My guess is that they did not like the gamble the club took by attempting the impossible & trying to rebuild the squad whilest remaining in the Prem . There is also the possibility that they did not like the financial management of the club , which was something that Hollis also commented on by Hollis when he appointed the board presumable on the assumption that no sale was imminent
    But as we all know that suddenly changed when the club was relegated , presumably allowing new owners to make changes without the pressure of being in the Prem
    But all that is guess work but if I’m correct we’l see new owners before the end of next week & possibly sooner & interviews for a new manager sooner after

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