Dr. Tony Xia’s uncharacteristic silence and reported stubbornness helps no one in this time of uncertainty.
It’s hard to find anything to boast about at Aston Villa in this present time; star players Jack Grealish and James Chester almost certainly will be sold in light of the well-documented financial trouble the club is in. There’s also the small matter of who is currently running the club with reports of a quartet intact following Keith Wyness’ dismissal. Dr Tony Xia’s short-term cash flow issues are making his 100% ownership of the club unlikely to last much longer. Reports indicate Xia has knocked back half-a-dozen buyers with offers in hand.
Amidst all this uncertainty at the top, the Villa players are due back in for pre-season training this coming Wednesday (July 4) to compete in a 3rd successive season in the Championship. This summer was hardly going to be one of great optimism among the fanbase following the Play-Off final defeat to Fulham but July is upon us and the fans are being left in the dark about the status of the club: ‘Is there enough money for players?’ ‘Who will the manager be?’ ‘Is Tony Xia staying or going?’
These are the burning and so far, unanswered questions on the minds of every single fan at the moment. This uncertainty helps nobody at the club, not least the players, who must not know whether to laugh or cry.
This was a squad of players who forged a real bond with supporters for their effort and commitment, who got so close to the big-time. This squad has already been stripped of its core: Sam Johnstone was one of, if not the best goalkeeper in the league last term. Robert Snodgrass was a creative maestro, and Lewis Grabban’s goals kept Villa afloat in the play-off push. All of these players, along with Josh Onomah and Axel Tuanzebe have left, more than likely not returning. John Terry has gone too after his one year deal wasn’t extended. These exits and the possible ones of Grealish and Chester will make a promotion challenge very challenging this season, especially if the mounting cash issues continue which as a result would make any new signings unlikely.
Either way this situation needs to be resolved serious questions need answered from the club’s executives. Tony Xia needs to end his silence and show some leadership by communicating what his intentions are for Aston Villa Football Club.