Ben, a Browns fan has sent this in and the words speak for themselves.
Ian, Didn’t know if you were interested in a Yank’s point of view about Lerner’s search. Im also a former journo who is very skeptical of Lerners intentions
As a Public Relations professional and journalist for a number of years, I’ve been behind the lines in the war over perception. And, I will say that the circumstances surrounding the courting of OGS tell us a lot more about the future of Villa than we may want to admit. I know there are supporters who decided to renew their STs, encouraged by the necessary action of Villa ridding itself of McLeish and interviewing OGS. I would warn the rest of you to hold off because I think this folly suggests not much is changing at VP.
Make no mistake, I do not support Randy Lerner. He has ruined my American football club (Browns) and is doing the same to my English one. Why anyone believes the OGS pursuit is a sign that he is now somehow capable of making good decisions is a mystery to me. Remember, he hired Alex McLeish a known failure with a wretched record. Randy’s actions in the last 3 weeks were simple PR moves. Admit you made a disasterous decision. Then, seek out a trendy solution and make a spectacle of the process. Surely, then, the faithful will renew STs. Where Randy failed again (he is really bad at PR) is not calculating what would happen if OGS said “no”.
Do you really think OGS decided to stay at Molde because of family? If so, I trust you also believe AMc “needed more time”. I firmly believe Lerner has no intention of significantly investing in the club. Surely OGS would have been a cheaper option than most of the other names being linked with the club. This move would have been a no-brainer for an aspiring manager wishing to return to the EPL. What happened? I think OGS was tasked with creating positive, free-flowing play with the current inept pool of players and limited financial support. As an American, I can tell you that Jurgen Klinsmann tried that with the USA’s player pool when he arrived and it failed miserably. So, he sought out new blood in the form of players with dual-citizenship that are used to playing a free-flowing style.
If OGS was guaranteed the resources, he would have moved to Villa. His kids didn’t prevent that. Working in a career field where advancement means relocation, I can tell you that the conversations between a husband wife about “what ifs” have been worked out long before Lerner came calling. OGS knew he would struggle to succeed at Villa.
Lerner didn’t balance the books for a year to begin spending like crazy the next. There will be limited investment. And, we know that significant investment is needed just to get this club back to mid table. Lerner’s lack of understanding of running a professional sports team (see Browns) has tarnished the legacy of a once successful club (also see Browns). As bad as he is at PR, he worse at running a sports franchise. That didnt change overnight.
A leopard cannot change his spots. Again, I plead, Lerner Out.
PS: Ian, I will be at the Villa exhibition match in Chicago with some sort of visual protest against Lerner either by myself or with others…I’ll send pictures.