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.
Share Holders Association Press Release - 31st July 2004.
Downsizing, the new football phenomenom?
Although the Aston Villa Shareholders Association welcomes some of the positive aspects of the annual report we remain convinced that the current board are moribund and lack the vision necessary to improve the results greatly on or off the pitch. Mr Ellis has once again changed the personnel on the Board but he still remains the king pin at the club. Whilst other clubs are moving forward with their strategies, ours, (such as marketing to the Indian sub continent and America) are, in his words 'in the planning phase'.
The 'strategic changes and commercial strategy' the Chairman has spoken of should have been in place a long time ago, as highlighted by the Hodgson Report. He has had 22 years to bring success to the club and seems no nearer now than at any other time.
We note that for a third year in a row the club have announced a loss and that the shareholders will receive no dividends. We very much hope that this means the directors will forgo their annual bonuses as they have once again failed to balance the business and playing side of the club.
The very fact that Mr O'Leary, beyond anyone's expectations, was able to achieve sixth place whilst having to offload so many players should mean that he is now receiving the sort of backing that other clubs appear to be in the position to offer their managers. Instead it appears Mr Ellis feels better qualified than our manager to judge the potential of our youth players and sees them as an excuse not to invest like our competitors have.
Our worry, as shareholders, is the Boards inability to provide the correct balance in order to achieve decent business results. We are now in a position where we have reduced our squad to the bare bones, thus reducing the wage burden, and yet have still not been able to register a profit. All this whilst making the stated target of 4th next season an impossible task for the manager.
Mr Ellis has repeatedly failed to make the correct business decisions in order to bring stability and success to Aston Villa. Aston Villa Shareholders Association and Villa Fans Combined have taken positive action - news of which will be released shortly.
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