Aston Villa to Boldly Go into Next Season
Earlier in the week, Aston Villa stated in their communication to supporters that the background to the 15% (minimum) season ticket price increase was “the Club’s strategy is to make Aston Villa competitive with the very best teams in the country, on the field and off the field”.
“To do that we have to try to balance our revenues with our ever-growing costs,” they stated.
Whether it was justification for passing on a double figure percent price hike to supporters is another matter (as it equates to sub £3m extra for the club), but it echoed what MOMS heard Villa CEO Christian Purslow inform fans at the recent Villa Fan Advisory Board meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Purslow laid out what the mentality of the club would be next season. In short, they were going to be “bold” next season. Roughly translated, the gloves were coming off in terms of the owner’s ambition and goals.
After five years, Purslow reasoned they were now at the “best of the rest” level they had sought (knocking on the door of the established Top Six). So, it was a question of what next?
Villa Owners’ End Game Ambition
No doubt the owners have been encouraged by the great progress made by Unai Emery, who Purslow labelled a “Tier One” coach. They would have also surveyed the landscape of the so-called Top Six and had seen major cracks. Chelsea are currently in the bottom half of the league table, Spurs are wrapped in managerial uncertainty with their talisman striker unsettled, Liverpool could be in potential transition and Manchester United aren’t quite there yet.
In the calendar year of 2023, only Manchester City have amassed more points than Villa. Since Emery took charge, Villa’s point haul of 42 points is only bettered by Manchester City and Arsenal, although they only have two more points on 44 (Arsenal have played a game more too).
This would be certainly considered a decent sample size by the Villa owners to suggest that next season offers a real opportunity to have a crack at the Champions League spots.
Purslow confirmed that this boldness in attitude would of course extend to the summer transfer window. He said, that it hadn’t been possible to go so ambitious previously, as while they had a potentially talented squad, obviously the coaching staff hadn’t been realising their potential. It’s a safer bet now to speculate for success with a much more favourable risk-reward ratio.
Considering Villa have been already breaking the club’s transfer records in recent seasons on the likes of Ollie Watkins and Emi Buendia, and being no stranger to the purchase of £20m to £30m players, it will be interesting to see how “bold” translates in terms of incoming players in the summer window.
Summer Transfer Window Competition
Obviously, the emergence of Newcastle United in a top four spot, ahead of schedule, and backed by their sovereign wealth, will complicate matters for Villa in the summer transfer window. The aforementioned Top Six teams, who have recently fallen from grace, will also be extra keen to reinforce this summer.
The competition for players will certainly be fierce and it should be an intriguing summer.
Something for the Weekend
On the latest Something for the Weekend episode of the My Old Man Said podcast, we reflect on what Christian Purslow told the Villa Fan Advisory Board in terms of the club’s heighten ambition for next season. Before which, we of course, preview Aston Villa’s trip to Old Trafford, which on paper, is Villa’s hardest fixture left.
Listen here or on any good podcast app
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