Two weeks on from an agonising play-off final defeat at the hands of Fulham, once champions of Europe, Aston Villa seem to be facing financial crisis following another unsuccessful promotion push that sees them remain firmly in the Sky Bet Championship. Captain John Terry’s untimely Villa Park exit piled on the misery for Villa fans as their team were sunk by Tom Cairney’s strike but now club CEO, Keith Wyness has been suspended amid suggestions that a winding-up order has been called after a tax payment was missed.
With one of England’s oldest professional outfits in deep trouble, owner Dr Tony Xia could be forced to sell the club after they failed to regain their Premier League status. As rumours circulate surrounding what’s next for Aston Villa, we are questioning where it all went wrong for the Villains?
Having been relegated to the second tier for the first time since 1987 under Remi Garde, the Midlands outfit were sold for £76 million in June 2016 to Chinese billionaire businessman, Xia. However their maiden season outside of the top flight was a much needed reminder as to the nature of the Championship. In a campaign that saw Champions League winning manager, Roberto Di Matteo’s 12 game tenure come to an end, Aston Villa finished 13th despite significant summer investment.
Ex-Birmingham City manager, Steve Bruce succeeded the Italian and steered the club away from relegation but even a full pre-season of spending proved not enough for Villa as they fell at the final hurdle despite a much improved 4th placed finish. In two years that have seen high profile players including James Chester, Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan come through the door for commanding fees, Bruce’s men have very little to show for their efforts and understandably face a worrying off-season following their unsustainable dealings in the transfer windows.
With the departure of top performer, Jack Grealish looking increasingly likely, Aston Villa could be largely unrecognisable come August, with Bruce perhaps looking to move on too, in an attempt to rediscover prowess for promotion elsewhere.
Aston Villa fans, let us know what you think the summer holds for your club by commenting below, or tweeting us at @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF.