Stan Collymore, former player and Aston Villa fan, thinks that the safest route for the soon to be relegated club could/should be to follow the Mike Ashley route at Newcastle United.

Stan Collymore is afraid that as Villa sink and decrease in value, they could then be bought up by an opportunist without the wealth to stabilise the club and then turn it around.

Saying that it might be ‘better the devil’ you know, Collymore thinks that sticking with Randy Lerner for the next ‘couple of years’.

The player turned pundit obviously is referring to Newcastle United’s last relegation when after the club went down in 2008/09, they immediately bounced back up.

Not wanting to spoil Stan Collymore’s reasoning BUT when it happened with Newcastle, we were fortunate to have a lot of players on lucrative contracts which no other club would match – so the likes of Coloccini, Gutierrez, Barton, Smith, Nolan and Enrique stayed and helped United (and Mike Ashley) bounce straight back.

Collymore is also picking and choosing which bits of the Newcastle/Mike Ashley scenario he wants to focus on, when he seems to be missing the point that now NUFC are hot favourites to join Villa in the Championship – this season being the third relegation battle for United in the last four years.

Stan Collymore writing via his Twitter account:

“Mr Lerner wants to sell, nothing new there, but it is my firm belief that there may be at least one interested party who is monitoring developments at the club, and an educated guess would be, are waiting for the selling price to drop to bargain levels before securing a purchase.

“This should be worrying to Villa fans as the lower the price gets, the chances of a cash rich billionaire decreases, and the possibility of a rogue buyer, with little real cash of their own comes to the table, so be warned.

“It may be better the devil we know for the next couple of years, and like Mike Ashley at Newcastle United, have a situation where Mr Lerner, with the right people in charge, gets the club back to the Premier League, finds his ‘love’ for Villa is stronger than present and he gets his 300 million back in installments by having a solvent, cash rich Premier League club on his hands once again.

“Not ideal, but preferable with no one out there with serious amounts of cash. We’ve had one rookie owner mess things up, another would see us off.”

More than one or two Newcastle fans would also see the above scenario of somebody trying to pick the club up on the cheap as the value falls, potentially applying to the likes of Freddy Shepherd – although of course Mike Ashley has promised/threatened never to sell…well at least until we win something which is pretty much the same thing!

Interesting as well to hear what Stan Collymore has had to say about the players who are taking Aston Villa down, with no doubt a number of these points also relevant to Newcastle’s current squad – though the one about players ‘commuting from abroad’ is very strange.

Stan Collymore:

“The playing staff is weak and need a massive overhaul.

“Players are commuting from abroad to Birmingham.

“Senior players are taking the p***, running the dressing room and working to their own rules.

“Young, very good talent is being poisoned by some of the seniors to the extent that one or two are copying the behaviour of their more illustrious elders.

“If we are being honest, there are maximum a handful of players we should retain moving forward, but we may not be able to shift them on.”