No smoke without fire: Lerner will sell, if the right offer is made

Just a couple of days after Qatar Petroleum dipped their toes in the water to see if anyone was biting, a story is out that Randy Lerner would sell if the right offer was made.

All things now point to change and it will be sad. Sad, but not unexpected.


Mr Lerner came in with good intentions. He wanted to do the right thing, because he knew doing the right thing was the quickest way to make money and if the report below from Charles Sale is true, then it really is all about an offer now.

But I'm using the no smoke without fire statement in the post title because Qatar Petroleum were never interested in Blackburn and the Blackburn owners even said they didn't know where the story was coming from and that there was no contact.

It is just a PR firm throwing it out there and watching what happens. Now this story. Just a coincidence? Maybe.

Charles Sale, Daily Mail
Aston Villa under American Randy Lerner are often given as the model for foreign ownership of a Premier League club. However, Lerner’s growing disenchantment with his involvement can be gauged by the fact that the first home game he attended this season was the win against Norwich 10 days ago. Friends say he would sell if he received the right offer.

A club spokesman said: ‘The owner’s eldest son has been switching schools in America which has meant that Randy hasn’t been able to come over for as many games as usual. But he watches every one live on TV.’

It really will be sad

Okay, I might have come across as negative towards Lerner but it wasn't him, much like it isn't McLeish, although his appointment does make sense now.

The thing with Lerner was all the PR that came with him and how it was clear he was only really here for what he could get out of the club from day one. With his resources he was never going to be able to really bring the type of success we all crave - but there was a PR machine behind him giving the impression it was going to happen, but I guess he needed to do that to get supporters on side and to 'buy into it'.

But they were just words and actions speak louder than words - a phrase used by General PR so many times, but I never 'really' saw it happening, I just saw a cover - but that is one way to do it too.

But if he does sell up, I'm sure he will always be welcome back and if he ever finds himself in my neck of the woods, he can pop in and he'll get an extremely warm reception. I write that to demonstrate that it was never him - just his methods, but that isn't his fault either - he gave it a fantastic go, things just didn't work out the way they could have done.

Another disclaimer

This is just speculation and if and this is a massive if, Qatar Petroleum are the company coming in (massive speculation), look at the bigger picture and try not to micro think it. Them buying into us is quite literally like us not picking up the 1p change left on the counter when buying something at the shop. It is nothing and actually it is less than the 1p.

The aim isn't Aston Villa, the aim would very much be about having a successful Premier League side and that is exactly the type of mentality we need. The simple reason; every byproduct of success is something we would happily accept and for them, they know they're not going to make money out of us, if they buy success, but £500mn for them is peanuts and quite probably within the budget of money they have to spend each year on frivolous expenditure.