Preface to Stan Collymore Statement

As every day passes I find it harder to make the correlation between the Aston Villa FC of today and the one I first started supporting as a kid.

In over three decades of support, it’s never been all hunky dory. From the dismantling of Villa’s great early 1980’s team that ended in relegation five years later to the frustrating limited ambition of Mr Ellis, it was all part of the tapestry of supporting this great club and made those occasional moments of happiness sweeter.

What I’ve witnessed and experienced over the last five years is numbing. The only thing I recognise about the club from the one I first supported as a kid is the name and the colours. The identity and pride have been washed away by people who quite frankly have let the club down.

I could go on with many, many, many examples of how the custodians of the club from the chairman to middle management have let the club’s supporters down with their attitude and mismanagement. MOMS will expand on this at a later date, but at this point I just wanted to support the statement released today on Twitter by fellow Aston Villa supporter Stan Collymore, who has spoken uncensored and passionately about the state the club is in.

 

‘The club I have supported since childhood have become the laughing stock of the Premier League’ – STAN COLLYMORE

 

Collymore’s thoughts on Aston Villa are echoed by MOMS, other Villa websites, ex-players and many other supporters we’ve spoken to over the past few days, months and years.

His statement in full is posted below in its entirety.

 

Stan Collymore Statement

20th October 2015

After 6 years of doing an official Aston Villa programme column, today I’ve been notified by the club that they no longer wish me to continue due to my support of Tim Sherwood and fierce criticism of the ownership and club structure.

The club felt is essence that it would be inappropriate for me to write positively in a column whilst being critical on air or in a newspaper.

The column I have written for 6 years was at no charge to Aston Villa, but the club kindly gave me 4 or 5 tickets a season for games. I’ve asked for two which the club kindly have given for the Swansea game.

I am firstly a broadcaster, and a broadcaster who treats every club in the country the same. So if ownership is letting fans down, as proven last night on perhaps the only football show in the country which actually addresses issues rather than ignore them or pretend they don’t exist, we debate them and criticise or praise where necessary.

This has and always must be my objective as a broadcaster, to treat Aston Villa the same as any club. I do and I will.

On the watch of Mr Lerner, and laterly Tom Fox as Chief Executive, and Paul Faulkner before him, the club I have supported since childhood have become the laughing stock of the Premier League. This, Englands 4th most successful football club.

So do I pretend on sir everything is great? Or do I broadcast justifiable criticism alongside one of the best in the business, Mark Saggers, echoing the concerns of a huge fanbase, as they come to terms with a 6th year of complete and utter dross on the pitch, and ineptitude of the highest order off it?

I met Tom Fox in the summer and said to his face that I wanted to do anything, anything to help my club moving forward. Get on a plane, train, in a car, watch players, report back, anything to help my club.

A smile , a coffee and a patronising “we’ll call you” came and went. At the same time Aston Villa were employing a marketing man, that’s a marketing man as Director of Football. And we wonder why we are in the mess we are in. Industry professionals ignored when offering help, a man who can put a glossy Arsenal pitch together made Director of Football at my club.

The line is drawn now for me. It took an embarrassed Rob Bishop, programme editor and friend for over 18 years to tell me over the phone that my column had ended “for now”, but in reality for good.

I believe this treatment is symptomatic of how Villa fans generally are treated by the current owner , with disdain.

I will now join fan groups and individuals actively looking to other potential owners to come in swiftly and hasten change at Aston Villa Football Club.

Mr Lerner, Tom a Fox, the current Director of Football and technical staff are not fit for purpose. They all should go, now.

As for Tim Sherwood, he gets my unequivocal support and should get the same from every Villa fan. He really could have had no idea what mess he was coming into or some of the major decisions that he would have no hand in. An incredibly tough job.

I’ll walk into Villa Park soon with chest puffed out as a fan or broadcaster. It’s my club and I was here before this current ownership, firstly in the Doug Ellis stand aged 6, then on the pitch aged 27, then in the broadcast booth aged 35. I’m going nowhere.

Our great club will be back, but only with new ownership. So please Mr Lerner, instead of petty sackings of columnists who tell the truth about our club, please sell up and go.

Stan Collymore.

Follow Stan on Twitter – StanCollymore

Follow MOMS on Twitter – oldmansaid

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent comments by Stan. I genuinely think not going to games may be the best way forward now. The club has had several managers since 2010 but only one owner. Which tells you all you need to know really. If we do stay up the tv money won’t be spent on players, so where will it go I wonder?

  2. “At the same time Aston Villa were employing a marketing man, that’s a marketing man as Director of Football. And we wonder why we are in the mess we are in. Industry professionals ignored when offering help, a man who can put a glossy Arsenal pitch together made Director of Football at my club.”

    That just seems bitter…

    If you were to subscribe to the view that the root of our probs all came from appointing bad managers then i’ll agree that all the fault goes to the management from appointing them in the first place. However, as Andrew in the comments have said, other clubs have the same sort of structure as us and they don’t manage to be as crap as we are.

    furthermore, how does anyone know for certain tim unknowingly walked into this situation?? Just based on what the papers say?? Someone got delph or benteke on the phone and confirmed this??

    and Tim recently said before the chelsea game that every player that came through had his approval, so i don’t know why ppl want to keep keep saying tim had no control over the signings.

    • I think that Sherwood may have been aware of the moneyball approach, just not to the extent at which it has been employed.
      With regard to the Fox element, and despite the way other clubs conduct their business, its a shambolic state of affairs.
      That being said, when your clubs management structure has seemingly no passion for the game itself, yet a great deal for the development of their own business acumen, it speaks volumes about the general state of the modern game.

  3. I think it’s about time someone said it, Colymore fan or not…
    The utterly blatant scams the season ticket buyers have fallen for over and over again are the work of cunts…
    Just go and watch one of those Cleveland Browns supporters YouTube posts…
    Every new manager looks good until he’s told how it is…. Tim sits on the bench looking utterly devastated this season. The players are either paid off or too scared to play… I mean, seriously… Sunderland are just awful, Newcastle found the goal suddenly, and Villa continue to gift goals while looking vaguely un shit, sort of…
    We are a bloody disgrace… There’s very little reason to put ourselves through the torment, as there is no honest skipper at the helm…

  4. Comments that make cliched personal attacks on the writer of this statement will not be published. They have nothing to do with this statement and you should rise above such comments. Stay classy on MOMS please. UTV

  5. I said from day one of Lerners arrival that he would never be the man for our club. Six years of total crap have followed and the plight of the club currently does not surprise me. Problem now of course is I cant see us getting out of this sh….. Stan is correct, not Tim Sherwoods fault. He knows how we fans feel, he knows we will remain loyal even though the owner.and board members don’t give a stuff = THEY ONLY WANT TO PICK OUR POCKETS.

  6. Top man Stan, every word is true, your comments about Doug Ellis may have an element of truth, but in fairness he knew and knows more about running a football club than the present shower will ever know, Doug knew when to go,, when the billionaires came he couldn’t compete, unfortunately I think its already too late and there will be no great escape this season, God knows when we will get back again,what a disgrace.

  7. There seems to be a two fold argument for the suffering at Villa this season. The mismanagement at the club is astounding, yet not a unique scenario amongst other clubs in the Prem, yet also there is a mismanagement of current players. Neither are Sherwood’s fault (yet!).
    Firstly, when there is limited autonomy over signings made there big problems arise. Tim will want to play a certain way, with players that he knows that he can work with, and that fit the desired system. By not having control over the signings, he has to adapt both his plans and strategy, and learn what each player is capable of. This is why, 9 games into the season, there is a lack of coherence and understanding player to player, and player to manager, leading to a lack of consistency in results or starting XI.
    Secondly, the results driven nature seems to be affecting Sherwood, and where he was able to get a lot out of players last season, and play more expansive football with more intricate systems, he is having to start again.
    From an observational point of view, we have a group of players that would be well suited to playing 5 at the back. Bacuna and Amavi both possess traits that are highly desirable in a wing back, in that they are very good going forward, yet defensively naive (Amavi the better defender,but Bacuna the better stamina). Richards has the perfect criteria for a RCB being able to play as a CB, and cover at RB as and when, Okore or Clarke as a ball winning LCB, and Lescott as the covering defender (the position he has played excellently for most his career). In losing Delph, we bought in Gueye and Veretout. Gueye has the ability to play as a box-to-box CM and is an effective ball winner, meanwhile (though more from what I’ve heard) Veretout is also a ball winning CM with a good passing range to match (a poor mans Verrati if you like). We also are very lucky in that we have a genuinely creative CAM in Grealish, but the lack of high class GK and ST/CF is a problem, but not fatal.
    Sherwood tried 5 at the back last season with inadequate players, but is yet to try it this season, which must be because he knows that if he tries and loses with it, he will be signing his own death warrant.
    All in all, though I don’t see Tim as a tactical genius, he is still a decent manager, who needs to be given the license and backing by the management to play without fear, and as fans, we need to have more belief. I can’t see any other plausible replacements doing a better job.
    Stan is right in that sacking Tim would be madness, yet wouldn’t be a shock given the abusive nature of those in charge.

  8. “The frustrating limited ambition of Mr Ellis” didn’t prevent him from taking a £12m dividend at one go at a time when that would have bought half a team. Different ambition altogether, and shows you exactly why we got who we got when he claimed he would only sell to the right person ie another thieving sewer. Ask someone at the club who actually owns BMH, and what they paid for it, in effect (development cost only)

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