Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says that despite putting the club up for sale, owner Randy Lerner is still very much in love with Aston Villa. The American businessmen arrived at the club in 2006. At the start of his regime, he was willing to put in a lot of money and this was demonstrated by the signings of players like Darren Bent and James Milner for large sums of money. They were also able to retain star names like Gareth Barry despite interest from the likes of Liverpool. The huge investments made under Martin O’Neill’s managerial leadership, though, did not pay dividends as they were unable to qualify for the Champions League.
Qualifying for the European Champions League will have helped Villa to build on the success due to the substantial revenues provided by this competition, but the failure to do so saw the club enter into a period of recession. Lerner substantially reduced the investments over the last few years to the point where Villa no longer sign top names. They have been keen on producing talent from the youth academy and this has had an effect on the team’s performance on the pitch. Lerner recently put up Villa for sale, but he has been unable to find a buyer. Lambert, though, has reiterated that the American still likes Villa a lot.
“He always has loved the football club. The situation is that the club is for sale and that is the same, but he has been great since the players came back for pre-season. He has always been great with me and, since we came back, the feelgood factor has been due a lot to him. The football club, for all that doom and gloom that was out there before a ball was kicked, is in a really good place at the moment,” said Lambert.