I'm listening to The Monday Night Club with Marc Chapman on BBC Radio 5 live now, which is how I heard this surprising bit of news.
Aston Villa owner, American Randy Lerner is clearly clipping Martin O'Neill's wings and selling players rather than strengthening team, with January's apathy in acquiring a player to move up a leading reason for why season ticket sales are down 40%.
O'Neill doesn't want to settle for mediocrity after bring team back to some semblance of quality, a view shared by hardcore Villa fans who don't want to be seen as "feeder club" for Big Four.
In listening closely, another thing that has clearly changed is that Lerner's no longer considered the 'Good American' owner by Villa fans -compared to the reviled Glazer family from Tampa at Man U- as his Greta Garbo-like mystery act has gotten old, esp. with local media whom he ignores but for one meeting a year.
Apparently, Lerner also refuses to speak to the Premier League's TV people, which is a nice bit of sabotage that you'd never see in the NFL, which does everything it can to appease the TV networks that pays the huge rights fees.
I guess having billions gives you more chances to be spiteful or stupid in unusual ways.
Some commentators on the show say that O'Neill may succeed Sir Alex Fergusion at Manchester United in a few months, while others openly wonder if his hands-on style and thin-skinned personality can handle the different expectation of the Man U fans and owners, where actual championships, not simply improving, is the expectation.
FYI: My promised analysis post on England's horrific 4-1 World Cup loss to Germany in late June, and all the sharp finger-pointing that has resulted from its wake, is close to being finished now that I've digested manager Fabio Capello's press conference this morning, which revealed that, in my opinion, things are, in fact, as bad as English football fans feared.
He even brought up the Frank Lampard goal that was dis-allowed.
Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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