Striding along with tinted glasses

Creative blogging juices have returned after reading some comments last night.

During the last 12 months I have read a lot about how much better it would have been with Steve Stride at Villa Park.

People do remember Steve with a kind of fondness few administrators get. In fact I believe him being a Villa fan covered up a lot of his failings. To claim if he had been at Villa Park the past few years we would not have got into the mess is just plain ridiculous.

Sometimes the passing of time makes people forget how people were and how they acted in situations. I will not deny that Stride was a capable secretary but at the executive level he was a flop. Many who use this argument use it to deride Faulkner and what he has appeared not to do. In some ways Faulkner with his promotion to the FA council is following the same path.

Faulkner has been very good at the business side, check the deals with Genting and Macron, Stride whilst at Villa never had that power or ability to do those deals. Yes they messed up with the last manager but how many managers did Stride advise Ellis on and how many were good advice ? In fact did Stride have any real power over the managerial appointments at Villa, maybe John Gregory who at the end was disliked by a large section of the support.

However Stride for the last section of his Villa career was an executive on the Villa board. He was also part of the FA panel that allowed the creation of MK Dons and he voted for it. That action alone should shame himself if he looks back at this now.

As an executive at Villa he was a failure in the role he was supposed to do. Anyone who went to the AGM’s would have seen how ineffectual he was there. It is easy to say he was Ellis’s lackey but he was not executive material. At AGM’s he had no grip of the details (you could never say that about Ellis in general) and no authority, often he was laughed at, it was embarrassing for him.

I was once in a meeting with him and Mark Ansell and I will not give the details of it but it showed who was the executive with the authority.

I know some might say why drag this up now but using Stride’s name is often in association with digs at Faulkner. I am saying that looking back many have Stride tinted glasses. I was delighted when Stride left, he did not have the progressive thinking needed.

So whilst Faulkner has been learning on the job he has shown in the last 6 months a certain ruthless streak and backbone in his dealings. When Randy came in 2006 there was no change I was not unhappy with, the old guard were out and good riddance to them.

22 comments on “Striding along with tinted glasses

  1. I’ve grown to like Faulkner of late, he and Randy have realised errors and corrected them, mainly the unsustainable wage bill that was on course to cripple the clubs long term future. No one is perfect and considering they had zero footballing knowledge, they have for the most part done the right thing for the club, Randy especially, he didn’t have to throw hundreds of millions at something, he chose to with some passion. I think they realise now that you have no friends in football and letters from Sir Alex aren’t worth the paper they are written on. Faulkner speaks well in interviews and seems pretty straightforward to me. MON run riot without constraint, Faulkner will work wonders for Lambert and help him become very successful at AVFC…. UTV

    • It shoudl be mentioned that every step of any transfer or manager search is followed in every detail on the web. Stride never had that kind of stuff and if he had I think he would have come up well short.

      I will never forgive him for voting for the MK Dons move.

  2. Ian I worked with Steve and Arthur Moseley for a great number of years, Steve I found was a good Secretary along with Arthur, OK Ellis did rule the roost but did not get all his way and I’m talking generally, As for the board room that may have been so. But I know this Steve was on the ball with the rules of the game and laws that had to be applied, and can you remember the time that Steve though the towel in and left the club ? Doug was glad when he went to his house to ask for the job back,

    • No I don;t remember that and I said Stride was a good administrator.

      However we are talking at executive level when people compare to Faulkner and that is an whole different ball game.

      Ellis needed Stride as cover because few would have worked with him, no one stayed long unless they towed the party line, even Ansell had enough.

  3. Sorry my computer closed down when writing the article on Steve, OK got the point about office computers and that was not around in 80s and 90s like today but Steve was on top of football matters. I remember his marriage breaking down because of the time he spent at work Doug did 16-18 hours a day and expected others to do the same..

  4. Ian Steve was pulled onto the Board because he was ready to go, OK he may have not been the best at Doug s level but he knew the rules.

  5. Thats fair enough but Faulkner hasn’t grasped onto the football side so why not leave him to do the money/sponsorhips etc side of the club and bring someone in to do the other part, dealing with agents and clubs regarding transfers etc?

    • in which way has he failed at that ?

      He got Bent as a shock

      Sorted Lambert out quickly enough

      got the wages down.

      His major problem was he failed to grasp how bad the other manager’s appointmemnt was going to be, that nearly cost us and now Lambert is the opposite.

    • Quite right, weigh the good sponsorship deals against the compensation to MON, Houllier, AMc (as well as the compensation to Blues to get him), so it wasn’t just the last manager!
      For all the good work he may have done, he will in my eyes be the man who was involved in appointing AMC, alienating thousands of fans, and if you believe what you read his fate was decided against Bolton at home, up until that point he was safe.
      If that’s learning on the job then in my eyes he is a very slow learner.

  6. Lerner and Faulker had an easy ride at the start of their football education – Ellis left them with a good manager. However they were niaive and gave MON far too much freedom – freedom that resulted in some terrible buys, spiraling wages and utimately a walkout at a very inconvenient time when they finally tried to wrest control of the club back and put it on an even keel. Since then they have made to poor to appaling managerial choices. If they’ve learnt from that lot then we may be alright – but if those 6 years have taught them nothing then God help us…

  7. Typical Villa fans, always have to have someone to complain about, always looking for a scapegoat! How little so many of you really know. Lerner was the driving force behind the appointment of McLeish, not Faulkner, that is fact, Faulkner just made it happen. Paul Faulkner has unfortunately become the fall guy for our miserable bunch of moaning fans, yet he has done a great job. David Gill at United had no football experience, pretty much all CEO’s within football are qualified bean counters firstly, and the football expertise comes later. Get off his back and try supporting the guy, he is destined to be one of the very best, he is a young guy still, and certainly learning, but this guy will do well for us.

    • Well said that man. Get off his back, he’s worked wonders on the commercial side. Nobody was complaining when we were doing well under MON. MON was just irresponsible with the money and his stubborn stupidity. Houllier would have done much better last season, you saw the signs at the end of the season before. We’d have made top 8 last year with Houllier still in charge and would have played great football. Nobody could foresee him having to retire through ill-health (well maybe they could, but the odds were slim). McLeish was a massive mistake, but that wasn’t totally Faulkner’s doing, he’s helped to rectify it now with the Lambert appointment. So people seem to hate Faulkner because of one mistake that wasn’t entirely his doing anyway.

      Macron, Genting, the excellent corporate hospitality, how many other commercial deals that we don’t know about, all down to Faulkner. Give the man some well-deserved credit.

    • The job he has picked has put him on the front line in regards to Villa fans, being on the front line means if you are not doing well as a business you take it on the chin and then if you are doing well you take all of the plaudits. It is a part of his job description and it is also a well rewarded job.

      My opinion is he has done some good things on the commercial side, but he has been advising lerner the whole time he has been chairman of AVFC, a lot of good things have happened but a lot of bad ones have as well

  8. What you saying Nick? your not a Villa Fan or what? This is what this forums about its not about moaning its about freedom to say what you think please don’t judge everyone that’s a Villa fan as moaners.

    • My use of the words “our” and “us” should confirm my support of Aston Villa. I’ve supported the club for 40 years, it was a birthright, my father decided I was to be a Villan, his father before him. Villa fans are notoriously a moaning bunch, fickle, and they enjoy it. Freedom of speech is fine by me, hence I used that freedom to air my views.

      • Great Nick, me 65 years, born next to the sacred ground all my family Villa mad, especially my lad even has the number plate, sorry not to pick up on choice of words but understand now. Now for a great season…

      • Most football fans are moaners and fickle but its only Villa fans who get slagged off for it

        • Yup. I might support Chelsea next week. Then come back to Villa. Then ManU. Then Villa….etc…etc…
          EVERY CLUBS FANS MOAN!!!! It’s part of the game!!!!!!!!!!

  9. It strikes me Faulkner is good at getting the money in.

    If that’s his forte, he’s undoubtably done a good job.
    The increase in turnover proves that.

    If his job involves choosing managers, his record is quite simply crap, if he appointed GH and AM.
    I suspect Lerner makes the choices and Faulkner just does the deal, fwiw.

    • I beg to differ, slightly.
      He has a proven record at hiring and firing the people most suited to the Lerner ideals, whilst using what experience he has to bringing the best out of those who work under him.
      They, Lerner and Faulkner, have contacts within financial circuits, Legal and Accountancy areas and have good results at finding and using both capital investors and financial players.
      What he hasn’t had is a proven record in football administration, but for a bloke who helped run a big financial institution, with the right education and being mates with the clubs owner, how hard can it be.

  10. Who will choose our/ Lambert’s staff now with Norwich retaining his previous coaches. Lerner / Faulkner or Lambert (who will surely know many suitors from his playing career)?

  11. Steve was a good administrator but that’s all. Another case of somebody being better the longer they are away from the club.

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