Amidst Aston Villa’s woes this season, under-fire Randy Lerner has rarely reared his head above the parapet.
Despite the anti-Lerner campaign gaining ever more momentum as their season unravelled, the American rarely commented.
If his latest statement is anything to go by, it’s easy to see why he leaves his statements to his beleaguered managers.
Villa’s current “desperate existence is totally unacceptable”, according to the controversial businessman, who appeared to make a number of bizarre claims to the club’s official website.
The most pleasing to Villa fans will be that he has finally accepted responsibility for the current state of affairs, admitting “this relegation lies at my feet and no-one else’s”.
However, Lerner also said that he effectively gave up on survival as far back as January, when they failed to beat league leaders Leicester City.
“A nagging sense of inevitability set in against Leicester City”, he said.
To top it all off, he revealed he does have one fond memory of his time at the helm: ‘acorns on the shirt’.
Villa’s shirt held the logo of the Acorns Children’s Hospice in the 2008-2009 season, which was evidently a real highlight for Lerner.
Another was “Ashley Young scoring a late winner against Everton (which) still romantically nourishes me”, though no-one is entirely sure what that means.
Lerner put Villa for sale two years ago, but has failed to find a buyer who is willing to arrest the downward spiral enveloping the club.
A LONG TIME COMING
They were finally relegated with a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, but the reality is – as Lerner is happy to point out – that their downfall has been a long time coming.
“I will continue to try to put the club into worthy hands as I have, and also do my best to position Villa for the quickest possible return to its rightful place among England’s elite”, were Lerner’s final words.
The rebuilding process is not yet underway, but it may have to begin with some much-needed stability. Villa are without a permanent manager having sacked both Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde over the course of the season, but they are now being linked with David Moyes.