Tom Fox Strategy Shows Lack of Any Cunning & MOMS Media


So far this year MOMS has been approached numerous times from all kinds of media – TV, Radio & newspaper – for our views and insight into the crisis at Aston Villa. The collapse of the club this season has been quite spectacular and potentially Villa will be the biggest club to drop since the Premier League started, so their sudden interest in Villa is understandable.

MOMS turns down a lot of media requests, mainly due to the fact these things take time and while the media are happy to pay money to washed-up pundits who don’t know the club, the opinion of supporters who specialise in the club’s issues are apparently worth nothing.

Sometimes though it’s important to get views across to an audience outside the Villa universe, so that was the motivation for the below short article in the Times newspaper at the beginning of the month. I used to write regularly for the Times about 10 years ago (film interviews and reviews), so I know how much they pay (although it’s less nowadays), but this was for free.

I haven’t seen it online, so running it here in case you missed it, as it still rings very true.

Fox strategy show lack of any cunning

The Times – 4th January 2016

When the owner’s heart isn’t in it, it’s a recipe for disaster. Tom Fox, the CEO, who has been left with the job of smoothing Randy Lerner’s exit, is a marketing man who had admitted to going to only two ‘soccer’ games before working as commercial director at Arsenal for five years before Aston Villa.

That perhaps explains why he risked angering fans when he told BBC Radio: “It’s easy to look at the table. It’s clearly not where we want to be and it’s not good enough. We live and die by the results. But I look at everything. We’ve generated more revenue on both our shirt and kit deals and in our ability to control costs. We’re making progress.”

The team Fox assembled to get Villa back on track –  Henrik Amstadt (sporting director) and Paddy Reilly (recruitment director) – also have holes in their CVs that make it hard to justify their jobs.


The key reason for the dire eight-point (at time of print) return of this season has been that the inexperienced squad assembled in the summer, after losing club captain (Fabian Delph) and regular ‘get out of relegation card’ (Christian Benteke), was simply not good enough.

If the summer’s transfer policy resembled the film Moneyball, with the club gambling on players that offered no guarantees, Villa’s overall situation is like upcoming film The Big Short, which tells the story of four outsiders predicting the catastrophic mid-2000’s financial collapse, while the big banks were oblivious due to their lack of foresight and greed.

Villa supporters – some of whom protested at the Stadium of Light yesterday (and them Wycombe) – have been the outsiders who realised the likely fate of a club plagued by a lack of strategic consistency. Unfortunately unlike the banks, there will be no bailouts afforded to the club in the Championship next season.

The Sports Bar

In case you didn’t know, MOMS has a regular slot on The Sports Bar on Talksport, which we started doing last year for fun, as it’s less ranty and more humourous than the rest of the Talksport. It has guests like Noel Gallagher (who I used to go to some of the same parties as, back in the day), so if it’s good enough for him, then why not?!

Check out the latest one from last night, discussing Villa’s improved form, lack of transfer activity, false hope, ‘The Accountant’ and the FA Cup reply against Wycombe.



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