‘Gambled in a big way’ This is what West Ham chief Karren Brady thinks of Aston Villa
Karren Brady is quite openly not the biggest Aston Villa fan in the country.
The vice-Chairman of tonight’s opponents West Ham United, has a long history with Villa’s second city rivals Birmingham City, having worked there for a large portion of her career.
And her disdain for the claret and blue half of Birmingham has seemingly travelled with her to East London and West Ham.
Speaking at the beginning of the season, Brady slammed Villa’s ‘gamble’ in the transfer window, where they spent over £100m and brought in a dozen players.
She felt that the tactic that Villa bosses adopted was the least preferable of all three promoted sides, with Norwich and Sheffield United opting for more low-key windows.
Ahead of Villa’s opening game with Spurs, Brady told the Sun, : “They’ve (Norwich have) used a rolling pin on the pundits who claim to know how to stay up and haven’t spent more than a few coppers on fresh talent.
“You might think they have drawn their conclusion from Fulham’s doleful experiment of splashing cash all over Europe in last season’s unsuccessful experiment to remain among the elite.
“Aston Villa certainly have not, though. Rarely does fifth place in anything earn more than £150million but that was Villa’s reward in winning the play-off final.
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“No doubt the board felt blowing the lot in pre-season was the best possible warranty against relegation.
“There must be many reasons why Canaries’ owners Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones have not pulled any plums from the money pie that the Prem is handing to them…especially at a club of unsteady state between the top two divisions, it’s spending well that is the problem. She’s become an expert parachutist.
“By contrast, Villa’s owners have gambled in a big way. They spent a whopping £140m in the window which puts them in the top ten of biggest transfer spenders in the world this summer.
“Obviously the potential of one of football’s fallen aristocracy is far greater in big-city Birmingham than it is among the flat East Anglian landscape. Ground capacity alone is a 15,000 difference.”
Brady added: “At Villa a brace of billionaires, chairman Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, turned to Jesus for help.
“Jesus Garcia Pitarch is their man on high and they appointed a manager far more down to earth, Dean Smith, a Villa fan forever.
“He shares the state of lifetime fandom with Chris Wilder, manager of the third promoted side — Sheffield United. Wilder has spent Yorkshire-style. Cannily.
“Villa, on the other hand have acquired 12 players, three of whom were already on loan. Whether this was a case of buying lots of sweets because they could, there must have been big doubts over a lot of positions.
“Smith has an excellent reputation but his task of integration in the early stages must be, and still is, enormous.
“Remembering and assessing all the new names and faces will be a fascinating game for supporters. Personally, I wish one of those clubs well.”
Villa welcome Brady’s Hammers to Villa Park under the floodlights for Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports.