– Excuse me, sir…can you please direct me to the Recon Training Complex?
– To the what?
Lets start the week off with a Villa conspiracy theory…
Back in April of this year it was announced that Aston Villa’s training ground Bodymoor Heath was being renamed the Recon Training Complex.
Villa had signed a five-year deal making Recon the club’s first training ground partner and the whole of Bodymoor Heath was rebranded with signage with the Recon name (like the below picture).
While Recon obviously already owned the club at the time, it was a move for FFP reasons ala the kind of naming rights manoeuvres that have been rampant in the upper echelons of football by the likes of Manchester City and Paris St Germain to circumnavigate FFP restrictions.
This weekend an eagle-eyed MOMS reader drove past Bodymoor Heath and saw that all the Recon Training Complex signage had seemingly disappeared.
He messaged MOMS:
‘Just been past old and new entrances to Bodymoor Heath.
Recon signs have been taken down from the front.’
Now, of course, this could be due to relocation building works associated with the new £50bn HS2 rail link, which will run through the south-east corner of the Bodymoor site. But, that being said, as the photos show (the lead photo and the one below), Bodymoor Heath and Villa signage remains though.
With the new majority owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens firmly in place and the old adage that three is a crowd, what will ultimately happen to Tony Xi and Recon’s 45% share (or whatever it’s been diluted to now) remains uncertain.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Recon’s five-year naming rights deal of Bodymoor Heath, if Recon’s stake in the club is sold a head of that deal expiring.
Does this disappearing signage mean there’s already been movements behind the scenes? Or have the signs just been moved by construction staff as part of the redevelopment of the training ground?
The plot thickens.
MOMS has contacted the club to confirm what the reason is and we’ll update you accordingly, although it will no doubt become clear at the FCG meeting at Villa Park with the club on Tuesday evening.
Update: The Recon signs were removed and not for the purpose of redevelopment of BMH. More to come…