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.