As the alarm bells of cost-cutting ring out in the corridors of Villa Park as the club hurtles towards the relegation trapdoor, if the playing staff didn’t receive a much-needed shake-up at the start of the year, the financial side of the club has.
On February 4th, in came chairman Steve Hollis and Mervyn King as directors, while on February 11th, Robin Russell, the financial director departed the club as a director and secretary from the club’s records at Companies House.
We’ve already heard about the general effect on the workforce of the current situation at chairman Randy Lerner’s second ‘Factory of Sadness’ (the first being the Cleveland Browns) from a frustrated ex-employee (see below interview), but we’re still waiting to see what both Hollis and King have been reacting to in terms of the black and white hard figures – the club’s accounts up to May 2015.
According to the Companies house website though, those accounts are actually overdue, which seems to buck the trend of the club’s normal punctual submission of them.
Of course, with the financial director recently jettisoned and the new economic guard of Hollis and King barely in position, that may explain any hold-up to some degree.
Speculation behind the scenes predict the figures from the next accounts up to 31 May 2015 may not make for happy reading. Despite the double-trip to Wembley and the prize money and extra TV bounty that the FA Cup run brought in, a substantial loss in the millions is predicted.
It’s not the ideal foundations for a trip to the Championship, although the increased parachute payments that the new TV deal bring will provide the monetary ointment to provide Villa’s finances temporary relief.
From the 2016/17 season, relegated clubs will receive 55 per cent of the equal share of broadcast revenue paid to Premier League clubs in the first year after relegation, 45 per cent the following year and 20 per cent in year three.
The biggest factor in getting Villa’s finances back on track though will be the football side of the coin. A mass overhaul of the squad is needed with huge question marks in terms of most of the players in the current squad.
The question is though can Villa turn it around within a two-season window, they’d realistically have a financial advantage to pull it off?
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