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?