The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as the Curtain Begins to Fall for Villa


This may not be the most popular opinion, but what the game hammered home for me personally is that the club’s apparent acceptance of relegation to the Championship is perhaps prudent rather than neglectful. Yes, Villa’s relegation rivals have all spent big money in January, but the crux of the issue there is that ‘relegation rivals’ is a misnomer – Newcastle, Sunderland et al are not competing with us to avoid relegation; rather, they are competing not to be one of the two teams to be relegated alongside us.

We are doomed, and in reality we’ve been doomed we failed to get any kind of necessary points return from the Christmas fixtures against the likes of Norwich City and Sunderland. The reason those sorts of teams spent so much last month is because they are all attempting to get ahead of the rest of the pack in the race to stay up.

For us, it would have been more irresponsible to throw money around that it was to not do so. I’m sorry, but the time has come to accept that we must start planning for life in the Championship from this point on, and the club must do anything it can to soften the blow.

There is nothing we could have done in the January window that would have saved us, and though we could have brought in players in preparation for a first second-tier season since 1987-88, we will get better value in the summer than we would have done in the madness of the inflated, panicky winter market.


Four months of pain and humiliation await us now, until our relegation is mathematically confirmed (ok then, maybe only three months) and we can strip back and rebuild.

The image I am left with in my mind is that of a Coventry fan on the final day of the 2000-01 season, when Juan Pablo Angel’s equaliser and Paul Merson’s stunning late winner relegated the Sky Blues, ending a 34-year spell in the top flight. That fan held up a sign on which the defiant words “we’ll be back” were written. 15 years later and not only have they not even nearly been back, they have been in the third tier since 2012.

15 years later, here we are. We can only pray that from next summer, some things start to go right.

Follow Tom on Twitter – @tdnightingale

Follow My Old Man Said on Twitter – @oldmansaid




  1. So Villa are going to get relegated…. You’d think that would be depressing enough. I get an extra kick in the guts. Next season I will struggle to watch or listen to any of the games. I may not be a great villa fan, ive never been to a game…. I know some of the history but im pretty limited 20 years of support…… But I have stayed up late/got up early, taken days off work, got in shit with the Mrs a few thousand times. Ive spent a lot of money on villa merchandise to help support club at great cost in shipping I might add. I barracked, ive cheered, ive been raving screaming running down the hallway happy and ive several occasions ive woken the wife and 3 kids up at 3am in the morning. I digress, my point is …. I love this club and i don’t why I just do and so do thousands upon thousands of other people. We give you, our club everything we have whether that be going to every single game or watching thousands of miles away. I don’t know who or whom have completely stuffed this great football club up i don’t know enough to lay blame ….. But it really hurts to see what I see now it really makes me feel like crap everytime I think about. Whoever you are you have taken one of the few joys in a lot a peoples lives, this was our thing to look forward to….. Well you have taken this thing of ours, your fans…. You have taken this happy thing, and you’ve destroyed it, taken to it with a metaphoric sledgehammer and shattered it into a million pieces, and then you have taken your foot and rubbed the pieces in the dirt. Thanks whoever you are, for taking our club and destroying it…. Thanks a lot..
    I will really struggle to watch or listen to any games next season …. Thanks for that too
    Rant over…………..

  2. My personal thoughts are that villa are in deeper trouble than that which are on the surface when accountants are brought into companies its not because they want somebody who is a villa fan on the board all they have to do is get out and about on the stand they will find out all they need to know alongside paying villa fans no in my mind accountants are there for one reason and one reason only cut costs and if that fails help!

  3. The truly awful: Now we have the one of the guys who presided over the worst financial crisis in living memory on the board.
    If he was any good a) he would have stayed on thru the actual anemic recovery, not left in 2013, b) got a job at a bank, hedge fund, private equity firm, or even a cushy gov’t advisory position after leaving the Central Bank. Bernanke, Dr. Frenkel, and even the ancient Greenspan managed that much.
    How many jobs could be funded at Villa Park from the new chairman’s and board members wages we wonder? Normally I am not so communist but am quite appalled to the same as David Cameron, Mervyn King, Tom Hanks, and Randy Lerner as they say they are all Villa fans. Well except DC sometimes confuses us with West Ham.

  4. Leicester had similar points to Villa after the same games last season and stayed up and then pushed on this season to top of the league . They didn’t throw the towel in as Lerner ,Fox and the undertaker ( our new accountant chairman) have done . Shame on you Learner and Fox ,you have been the custodians of a great club and have through inept management and disinterest put Aston Villa in this precarious position . The sooner Lerner bales out and sells the club ,which I would think will be after he gets the relegation payout -the better .

  5. So you don’t think Charlie Austin a snip at four million would not have given us hope this season and benefited us next season? The White Flag was waved. Disgraceful.

    • If Austin was going to happen, it would have been the Summer. I’d guess Sherwood was after him, but £££ wasn’t right for board. In the January window, Austin was never going to move here with club looking like they were going down. Southampton, unfortunately is a better bet and he could stay further south too (although ultimately it’s about £ and which league he’d be in).

    • Somehow I think his £100k a week wage demands would have proved a sticking point with chief accountant Hollis

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