Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The new Aston Villa badge confirms the disconnect

As Aston Villa embark on a new life in Division 2, it's time we tweaked the badge, eh? Yep, lob the "Prepared" in Rennie McIntosh-font-for-no-reason-at-all off the bottom (as Villa have been ill-prepared for at least six years)  and lumber on with the colours of Manchester City instead.

Villa have reportedly spent £80,000 on removing Prepared, sticking high-res claws on the lion - and we've been laughed at on talkSPORT. We look like a ship of fools.

It's in sky blue so the claret of the shirt is required to give it context. Trouble is, our colours aren't blue and claret - they're claret and blue.
If I want a Manchester City badge, I'll commission one
It was under the stewardship of Richard Fitzgerald as CEO when this half-baked badge first appeared. I challenged him once about how inappropriate it was - and why the iconic round badge was shelved - and he passed the buck, telling me it wasn't his idea. Yet it was on his watch.

There's no recourse to history. The lack of boardroom continuity results in these sort of decisions.

No, there really is only one badge that should be used and it's the one of Peter Withe, Brian Little, Gary Shaw, Andy Gray, Sid Cowans - even Keith Leonard and Charlie Aitken. Of Rotterdam. Of Highbury. Of Penarol.

Stick a European Cup star discreetly above this.
Some might say, it's the guys performing under the shirts that count. That this doesn't matter. To those, I say yes, but you've heard of playing for the shirt, playing for the badge?

We have enough history in the locker to go back in time. Sometimes that's the only solution. We might've spent considerably less than £2m and stuck a European Cup star above the famous badge instead. But now let's bloody well get on with promotion.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Hired hand Bernstein bigs up loser Randy

New Aston Villa board member, the former FA chief, David Bernstein has given effusive backing to owner Randy Lerner. 

As Villa slumped to another home thrashing - 4-0 by Chelsea, Bernstein claimed, "Randy's been a terrific owner in his own way even though we are where we are." 

What an unnecessary comment from Bernstein. He's a good football administrator with sound judgment. After the parade of duff FA bosses, he cut a thoughtful, measured and intelligent figure at Soho Square and Wembley.   

But this is Aston Villa. A club where the board and fans have never been as far apart as this. 

Frankly, we don't need anymore hired cheerleaders telling us what a great guy Lerner is. He may indeed be superb company, a chap to laugh with over a wee dram or two. 

But most of us will never ever know this because he's never ever coming to Villa Park again. He wouldn't dare show his face. 

In reality, Lerner is an absentee landlord chasing his losses (£300m and counting) like a pathetic gambler.

Aston Villa is a passion centre for hundreds of thousands – not a vehicle for his commercial-negligence-cum-half-interested-attention.

He should sell as soon as possible to a more committed owner. 

The board which new chairman Steve Hollis has created with Bernstein, Adrian Bevington, Brian Little and Mervyn King MUST deliver promotion back to the Premier League in twelve months - it's the only way Randy can recoup his massive personal losses. 

That's what this latest besuited "dream team" is all about. Short-termism with no other option on the table.

If promotion doesn't happen quickly, our  great club's sidelining will be complete.

Randy Lerner deserves nothing more for his cursory custody over the last six seasons.

We all know part-time Bernstein would be out the door with a club sale - so please, spare us the unrestrained (paid-for) Randy love  - and halt the slide. You have twelve months.