Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has admitted that the club are in deep trouble after a disastrous attempt to get out of the Championship at the first attempt.

Desperate to return to the Premier League gravy train, just like Newcastle, the Aston Villa boss approved massive spending in a gamble to bounce back instantly.

Under the brilliant management of Rafa Benitez, Newcastle have finished as champions with 94 points, a total only beaten by one other club (Newcastle also did it with 102 points in 2009/10) in the previous 10 seasons.

However, Aston Villa have struggled all season and looked at one point as though they were going to go straight through to League One.

Roberto di Matteo was allowed to spend big money last summer only for things to fall flat and the Manager sacked, then Tony Xia backed Steve Bruce in January and he made further disastrous big buys that failed to significantly improve anything.

Villa ended the season a massive 32 points behind Champions Newcastle but only 11 ahead of the relegation zone.

Things just get worse for Aston Villa though, as strict FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules in the Championship mean that even if Tony Xia wanted to plough more of his personal money in on transfers, Villa would face potential fines and a transfer embargo as punishment.

After an expensive season (approx £57m spent) trying to keep them in the Premier League, Tony Xia gave the go ahead to spending of around £72m in the last two windows to try and get out of the Championship.

This has massively added to the wage bill with 15 permanent signings made (plus one loan), along with a net spend of around £33m.

Newcastle have also spent big (approx £50m) under Rafa Benitez but that happened at the same time as he sold players to a value of around £90m, with Newcastle United confirming when they released their latest accounts, that there had been a £40m transfer surplus/profit so far under Rafa.

The Mirror have reported that Steve Bruce was shocked to be told at a meeting on Thursday that he had no money to spend and that only £1m had been set aside for potential loan signings next season.

If you don’t believe this particular media report then elsewhere Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has said this:

“We need well prepared for the FFP as we inherited heavy burdens.

“If we get more ins but can’t succeed in outs, we’ll have headache with FFP.

“Even not bothered by FFP issues, we won’t burn money 2try getting success.

“We need build sustainable model &have2learn 2be smarter anyway.

“Bottom line is that we won’t have panic buys or sells any more!”

Basically, Tony Xia has admitted that Aston Villa will need to sell before they can buy, due to the FFP rules.

The Villa owner putting a brave face on it by claiming this is a positive situation, saying they won’t ‘burn money’ in order to try and get success anymore, there will be no more ‘panic buys’, and that they can build a ‘sustainable model’.

The truth is that a ‘sustainable model’ is only really achievable if returning to the Premier League.

With parachute payments now front-loaded and reducing each season for Villa, they really need to get back up ASAP to avoid complete disaster.

With no net spending allowed on players, can they really improve that much on this season’s 13th place in the Championship?



  • Andynufc

    Just highlights what an achievement it was for Newcastle to get out of the championship at the first time of asking. Newcastle or Rafa havnt got the respect they deserved for it. Check how many teams have bounced back at the first time of asking. money obviously helped but if it’s not spent on the right type of players then it’s meaningless.

    • Grahame Johnson

      Rafa had a job to do Hanley and Murphy allegedly verbally and by example created a more committed squad attitude, Jesus brought a professional footballers life style Rafa chose them and has said plenty about the whole squads attitude. The tea party the lads had sums up Rafa’s plan, a group of players enjoying life and having a laugh, no drink,drugs or women just tea and cake. I hope Newcastle United’s squads in the future keep this attitude and our support look at Leicester City’s treatment of their manager Rafa first always he deserves our commitment, yesterday,today, tomorrow and forever

      • Andy Mac

        You havent read the latest then ? 🤔

  • Albert Stubbins

    Another negative Villa article dressed up as a tribute to our successful transfer model. Maybe Villa fans ARE correct when they say we’re obsessed?

    • rotter82

      Yes they are

    • Whickhamrobbie

      Agree Stubbsy . Leave the Villa to plough their own path .What does Prutton think ?

    • Guest 2

      Financially successful – but certainly not in relation to football matters. 2 relegations and several near misses confirms that.

    • Mal

      Agreed. This is of no relevance to nufc.

  • Lord

    Net spend of £1m isn’t far off what other clubs such as Reading and Leeds had this season. That’s life in the Championship once you get stuck there, you have to wheel and deal and rely on loans.

    Villa will be ok with a decent manager. I reckon Bruce will get them into the playoffs next season (or higher).

  • Phil K

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving pack of ars*holes of “supporters”
    Division 1 after next season I hope

    • rotter82

      That’s another one reeled in

  • MadMag83

    Villa have the foundations of a decent Championship team. A few sales and canny buys and they’ll be in the mix next season.

  • Wor Lass

    I actually think this is a worth-while article, rather than just a sly dig at Villa, because it highlights what a good job it is that we got up at the first attempt. It should give everyone a boost to think that we`re back in the big-time with the financial means to improve our squad and a manager who has the ability to start making us a force to be reckoned with. I reckon Villa will be OK if they wheel and deal wisely and stick with Bruce. I`d like to see them get back up because they`re a big club and it`s always good to have fixtures with a bit of an edge to them – even if it is a bit manufactured. After all, we probably won`t be playing the mackems in the forseeable future unless we draw them in the cup.

  • MFD

    The article completely misses the point for the reason the amount of money was spent at Villa. It wasn’t about getting back first time. It was about getting a completely new team and to get rid of those who were stealing a living for the last 5-6 years, some of which still remain and will hopefully be gone this summer. Getting back into the Premier League was a “nice to have” rather than a requirement. Maybe it won’t happen for years, who knows? Things however were not as bad as the picture painted above. Villa were the form team in the Championship several times.

    As a non-bed sheet waving Villa fan I wish Newcastle nothing but success next season.

    • Andy Mac

      Yet one of the Villans stealing a living was Ciaran Clark who some say was NUFC player of the year ? Baby out with bath water ?

      • C J

        Clarke wasn’t one of them. Well I certainly didn’t think so anyway! Always thought it was a mistake selling him, you’ve got yourself a good player who is able to play in a higher league.

  • GToon

    Villa have a good side and a decent manager. With a couple of wins at the start I reckon they could go on a run and win the league. But. And it’s a big but. The mackems, smoggies, Leeds, Fulham/Reading/Sheffield Wed/Huddersfield, Wolves, Birmingham will all think thy have a chance too so it will be a tough ask for Villa or any of them to run away with the league.

  • LOKI

    We will struggle next season without strikers, Kodjia injured, McCormack and Hogan tap in merchants who can’t operate because we have no target men or wingers to lay it off for them, Gabby over the hill, Kozak gone, Gestedt gone, Hepburn-Murphy and Davis untried novices.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      You’ll borrow a few experienced players and that will pull you through. One big issue is you will be a scalp for visiting teams in the way both you and ourselves have had to play most teams cup final this season.