Supporters and shareholders of Aston Villa have joined together to fight what they see as the “endless cycle of under-achievement” their club has suffered for the past 20 years.

Press Release - 27th October 2003.The Decline Deepens

VFC have noted with some alarm that Doug Ellis has thanked our fiercest rivals Chairman for his support during our campaign to bring about radical change to Aston Villa.

Doug has said “I am very appreciative of David because he has come out in the press and said ‘hey get off Doug’s back, he is still trying to do good for Aston Villa’ and I appreciated that”.

VFC spokesman Jonathan Fear says “VFC will not get off Doug’s or the board’s back, not until they signal their intent to listen to reasonable offers from potential investors who can take this club forward. If I was David Gold I too would want Doug Ellis in charge of my rivals, not only has he allowed Blues to catch us up, he has let them overtake us, and this without a murmur. The manager can see the problems, the fans can see the problems, it seems only the board are happy with our clubs situation. The board seem happy to draw with a team that wasn’t even in the same league two years ago, the fans aren’t, and we expect so much more”.

Even more alarmingly is Mr Ellis’s declaration that he is ready to spend. He admits they don’t have a clear strategy or budget and I quote “It’s an overall situation. I know we are going to do something. We never set money aside as such. I look after all the finances, despite us having a finance director.” Mr Ellis has admitted that there is only one person who runs this club, him. Maybe he can answer why he paid Mr Ansell £241,041 this year if it is in fact the Chairman who looks after all the finances?

The whole philosophy of the club is panic management. The fans and managers have predicted a long hard season; Mr Ellis has waited until now to decide the same, thus wasting yet another season for the club. “As Mr Ellis has now admitted he is in charge of the finances; along with everything else, VFC want to make sure that he knows he therefore has to be accountable for the situation Aston Villa are in. Unless we want to be the next Sheffield Wednesday Mr Ellis has got to actively seek new owners”.

VFC very much hope that the early termination of the NTL deal has been completed in order to aid a takeover without the complication of a third party owning commercial and media rights. If it has been done to strengthen the boards position, then this will end up with direct action from the fans, a situation everyone should want to avoid.

David O’Leary has stated that he inherited a club ‘in a right mess’ and also states “If we are to improve we need the finance and better players”. “What we have got to do now is to try and improve the product”. After 21 years in charge VFC don’t believe we have the right Chief Executive to bring about this improvement having missed several golden opportunities to push on and compete with the best season after season.

VFC now call on Mr Ellis to take on board the criticisms of his tenure, listen to what the managers, former players and the fans have said and make his intentions crystal clear. VFC want a statement from Mr Ellis (as the majority shareholder) that he will listen to reasonable offers from potential investors who can show they have the money and the expertise to take this club forward. Taking this further we would ask Mr Ellis to actively seek advice from a merchant bank to broker a deal to bring in the new investment and professional board that this club so desperately needs. VFC are more than willing to put the Board in contact with suitable merchant bankers.

VFC were impressed and deeply respected Sir Jack Hayward’s statement of intent and note he is willing to write off £40 million worth of debt in order to facilitate possible takeover bids for Wolverhampton Wanderers, this gentleman clearly has his club at heart. We now call on Mr Ellis to do the same at Aston Villa, prove he loves the club, and signal his intent to leave by actively encouraging new investors. He has had two decades to bring about the success the club so richly deserves, it is now time to hand over the torch to a younger and more dynamic set up and maybe enjoy the role of non executive President instead.

“Mr Ellis, 21 years is too long, the club is in a perilous situation, your panic management has brought the club close to danger one too many times and we as fans of Aston Villa implore you, step aside for the good of the club and allow new blood to take us forward”.


Jonathan Fear
Navid Nazir


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Reaction from first meeting:
Paul's response: Remember the day - the 24th of May.
Previous Press Releases:
9th September 2003: When VFC met Doug
9th August 2003: Open Season
1st August 2003: Annual Results - Hang Your Heads In Shame!!!
27th July 2003: Sell, Sell, Bye Bye - Is there a takeover in the wings?
11th July 2003: Football Fans Census - Villa Fans Survey
26th June 2003: Second Rally - The Hodgson Report
18th June 2003: Fans Testimonial for Ian Taylor and Alan Wright
6th June 2003: Second meeting announced.
20th May 2003: New Manager, same core problems.
20th May 2003: Rally 24th May - Update.
18th May 2003: Potential investors identifed - Report commissioned.
14th May 2003: GT Resigns. The Board Must Go Now.
12th May 2003: Another wasted season, another opportunity missed.
4th May 2003: VFC Update - The right moment?
10th April 2003: Treffick Shareholding, Uncertainty and the Fear.
4th April 2003: Club for Sale - Time For Change.

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