Don’t be shy Mr Lerner…
‘I’m the invisible man,
I’m the invisible man,
Incredible how you can,
See right through me.’
– Freddie Mercury, Queen
Personally, I’m not too concerned if Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner watches many games at Villa Park or not. If I lived the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, had multi-million dollar business dealings there and also a family, watching most Villa games on the box would strike me as the sensible option.
Getting a bus, train, or even walking to Villa Park, to see some of Villa’s woeful home performances of recent years is bad enough, never mind having to take a plane. Still, I had to chuckle when I read Paul Lambert’s recent defensive remarks when asked about his chairman’s alleged truancy from Villa Park.
‘How do you know he doesn’t attend games? ‘ Protested Lambert. ‘He comes to games. He might not sit where you think he sits. I’m not going to tell you where he sits. But you can’t go with the word on the street. You’ve got to go with facts. Randy watches games.’
The facts are… the last sighting of Lerner sitting in the Villa Park director’s box dates back to December 2012.
So has Lerner been visiting Villa Park incognito since then? Maybe he wears glasses and a fake moustache? Maybe the Villa chairman has had a secret tunnel from Birmingham International built, so he can get in and out undetected? Hell, maybe he’s been wearing a paper bag on his head like other American sports fans have been known to do.
Maybe the journalist asking the Villa boss the question should have got Lambert to swear on a bible? Like witnesses have to do in court.
The Daily Mail journalist Neil Moxley proposed in an article he wrote about Lambert’s seemingly blind defence of his chairman that Lerner, takes advantage of a private box to watch games on his own.
Is there a box at Villa Park with blacked out windows? I mean, surely Prince William might have used it on his recent visit, if there was.
Increasingly, more and more is made of how private Randy Lerner is. Why then did he buy a football team half-way across the world, if he likes to keep a low profile? Why not just buy an island to facilitate blissful solitude? That’s what billionaires normally do.
Going back to December 2012, allegedly the last time Lerner visited the UK. On December 11th 2012, MOMS went to Parliament to a MP forum on Safe Standing in football, before bolting off to East Anglia to watch the League Cup quarter-final against Norwich City that evening.
I mention this because Villa’s CEO Paul Faulkner was meant to be on the panel at Westminster, with Aston Villa the only Premier League team at that time publicly backing the campaign.
Literally an hour or so before he was due to arrive, Faulkner cancelled. The word was that Randy Lerner had jetted into the UK and Faulkner had been summoned to urgently meet him.
This struck me as odd on several levels. Didn’t Faulkner already know Lerner was coming? What was so urgent that a trip to Parliament had to be cancelled at the 11th hour? Surely it couldn’t have been the prepping of the January transfer windows pursuit of Sylla and Dawkins?!
Seriously though, whatever happened back in 2012, it either put Lerner off from visiting AVFC or meant that he could only do so anonymously, out of the eye of the media and Villa fans.
To me Mr Lambert, it all seems a bit odd and a little more than just ‘the word on the street’? UTV
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