I gather there was a Villa board meeting today, in London, with Xia taking part via a video conference link from China.  It's likely to set the tone for the next few weeks. For a start, probably tomorrow, Bruce will know if he's staying. He'll also (if he's staying as I think he will) know what sort of squad and what sort of budget he has to work with. Testing times!

Think it can go two ways. The optimistic one is that our main problem is a short term cash flow crisis, and there are ways of dealing with that. We need to cut player salary costs, but a start has effectively been made with the players due to leave this summer going. A few more surplus to requirements going might do the trick. Selling Jack and Chester wouldn't bring much in in the short term because sales are always done with staged payments, so there's no great advantage in selling them, and they could stay.

The pessimistic one doesn't bear thinking about. Not only might the cash flow crisis be difficult to solve, it might be an ongoing problem. As well as that, we might be facing serious long term losses which can't be allowed to continue. We might have to sell a lot of players just to stay afloat, and even then might face administration. We might be lucky to stay in the Championship.

Those are the extremes. My guess is that a lot depends on whether Tone is crocked financially. If he is, then he has to get in a willing partner or even sell the club, which takes time.

I'm optimistic. I suspect our immediate problems can be solved (I gather they already have been for a few weeks) and although cuts will be made I think we could end up on a sustainable basis with not too much pain. If so we can all look forward to the coming season, and the pre-season which precedes it.

Hope so, desperately! UTV

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I realise that its difficult us not having any money but why keep the very man who was backed with millions and failed. What makes any of you think it will be any different next season?

When we played attacking football we won and played well, Wolves game for example but its against his nature, as I said what makes you think this year will be different, he has lost his loan players in particular Johnston and Snodgrass, he has lost Terry, Graben and we still have McCormack, I'll bet Fulham are laughing all the way to the prem using our £12m in the process and leaving us with a liability. It is reported that Hogan is on a 4 year at £40,000 a week and Bruce doesn't play him.

I ask again what makes you believe it will be any different if we keep him? We are in danger of becoming another Leeds or Notts Forest, once great but now behind the times.

Frustrations there were aplenty last season; too many matches we didn't turn up. However, Bruce only failed in that we didn't get promoted; we came pretty close, and you could argue it was a good season, in spite of the frustrations.

Can he do as well in the coming season. Think it's possible. We need to sort the GK position. Terry will be a loss because of his overall influence; however, I think all the players will have benefitted from last season, and that is a plus. But we need a CB to replace Terry.

Grabban and Snodgrass? Maybe Green is ready for a comeback, and Davis can only improve. We have players like RHM and O'Hare who can play a role. So can Hogan. So could McCormack if only Bruce would play him.

In midfield we have Jedi, Whelan, Barney, Adomah, Lansbury, Hourihane, and hopefully Grealish all looking to play.

So I think we still have a decent squad, and maybe those who Bruce was reluctant to play are more ready to step up. Me, I'd have sacked Bruce last summer and started again, but as it stands I think he can do a decent job, with players he now knows well, and unless our squad is really decimated I think we can challenge again for promotion. There are a lot of problems with changing, not least with a new manager having no funds to bring in his own players.

Contract lengths are given here:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/aston...

Hogan, Lansbury, Taylor and Bree all on 4.5 year deals. WTF

Well done England.

No Villa news!!!!

No. Plenty of wild media speculation. But nothing new.

It is reported that the Dr is in discussions to sell the club, it is also reported that we are to sign this player or that player and we have given another year to Hutton.

The madness continues, hopefully it’s just paper talk and nothing will happen until ownership is settled.

What a mess and it has lasted for 10 years. Enough is enough.

Settle the ownership and then have a good clearout starting with Bruce and let’s get a manager on the understanding that if he signs a big money player he plays him.

Hutton defo has another year. There's talk that Elphick may not be sold.

As far as I can tell re the ownership, Villa have recently issued 57m new shares. This is effectively 40% of the new total. This sort of thing is done when somebody is going to put new equity into the club, by buying shares. If this has been done with a buyer in mind, then it suggests somebody is willing to take a minority stake in the club. Or, the person could also buy some of Xia's shares and have a majority holding. My guess is something is definitely afoot.

The birmingham mail claims that a bid from Europe has been rejected, even though it satisfied what Xia wanted financially. They claim that there are two front runners being talked to. And also two other interested parties, one is the rumoured American, one is said to be somebody who talked to Villa in 2016.

Make of that what you will.

This a farce. Rumours abound of interested parties. Rumours abound of offers being rejected. While they are only rumours things need to be sorted fast; things are getting far worse than I thought. Beginning to think administration might be a good thing.

Albion sign Johnstone

why is Bruce still at the club?

Because it will cost £3m to get rid of him, we don’t have that money and Xia is fannying around, getting nothing sorted and, in the meantime, we are missing out on any players whilst our rivals strengthen.

It’s going to be a bad year...

Yes you’re right it’s going to be a bad year all the more reason to get rid because it’s his f*****g fault.

He has failed big style and I wouldn’t trust Bruce to run a bath never mind our club he is culpable.

I've been one of Bruce's biggest critics; he could and should have done better. Even so there were a lot of positives from last season.

But it's gone way beyond what's the best manager for us. We're heading for the rocks, and maybe Bruce is a bod who can keep us afloat. If he's given the chance. But the big issue is money and ownership; everything else is tiny.

By the way, Round was sacked today.

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