As we welcome the New Year with our 14th league defeat in 20 games, our beloved club prop up the Premier League table at this stage for the first time since 1994, and the fear of relegation becomes more and more real every passing gameweek. We have been on the decline for a number of seasons, and it seems we're going down without a whimper this campaign.
Five months without a win in the division isn’t form we as Aston Villa supporters are accustomed to, and if you want to end your legacy as chairman with an ounce of positivity, we urge you to make one last splurge in the transfer window. The squad assembled isn't strong enough, and the recruitment team must share responsibility for bringing in sub-par players.
It's time we think much bigger than bargain buys from the French Ligue 1, and that will require significant investment. Under manager Paul Lambert we survived in the Premier League by virtue of having three worse sides below us. Now, we are the whipping boys other teams are targeting, and we can't buy a win it seems.
Back in January 2011, you sanctioned an over-the-odds deal to sign striker Darren Bent for £18m in order to keep us away from the relegation zone. The move paid off and it’s something we are eternally grateful for, but we can’t stand by and resign ourselves to relegation without one last push in this season’s transfer window.
We know you’ve cut spending due to our wage bill spiralling out of control as well as your desire to sell the club, but our value will diminish considerably if we’re a Championship side next season, let alone how much our income from ticket sales will dwindle as prices will be cut due to dropping down a division.
The rumour mill has been in overdrive about potential transfer targets being linked with Villa this month, such as Chelsea’s Loic Remy, and we hope that’s a mere drop in the ocean of what additions the club are willing to make to preserve our Premier League status. With the lucrative TV money in the Premier League set to make clubs a lot richer next season, it’s vital that we remain in the best division in the world.
We realise how much money is being expended on players out-of-form and out-of-shape, but identifying the right targets this month will make us a more attractive proposition for potential buyers to make a bid that meets your valuation. Since Martin O’Neill’s reign, we’ve had five managers in as many years, gradually declining with each one.
The end of O’Neill spelled the end of us competing in the upper reaches of the Premier League table, and now we risk becoming stuck in the second tier like former greats such as Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and Charlton. Many supporters are directly blaming you for the club’s demise due to the cutback in spending, but I know you have our best interests at heart and would hurt as much as we would if we suffer relegation in May.
We now need you to prove that by filling the transfer kitty for Remi Garde to bring in new faces to help turn our poor form around. Despite the large deficit to safety, I’m not giving up until it’s a mathematical certainty, and hope you share my same optimism to sanction some deals in January. The end of the season will mark almost ten years as Aston Villa chairman.
Do you really want relegation to cap your spell in the Midlands?