Has what’s happening at Aston Villa changed your mind over Norwich City’s ownership model?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City and Aston Villa have had similar tasks in recent EFL Championship seasons – and gone about them very differently.
City's Premier League relegation in 2016 came with two sizeable parachute payments totalling more than £70m, but little else by way of financial support to help them cushion a painful Championship landing.
Just 12 months in, cloth was being cut – arguably at the expense of a real promotion push at the second time of asking but with the hope that the future would be brighter, sooner.
Losing star assets like James Maddison this summer will underline the fact there is still a hole to plug – but at least filling that hole is a realistic aim, given the club's financial restrictions.
Contrast that with Villa, who have been bank-rolled by Chinese investors since their own top-flight relegation in the same season as City – alongside a forthcoming third parachute payment, by way of their previous prolonged Premier League stay.
As a result, Villa went for football broke come their second season – a boat pushed out so far, they lost sight of landfall.
Villa now have a £4m tax bill that was due last Friday alongside the threat of being served with a winding-up petition by HMRC hanging over them.
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That issue may well be sorted in good enough time but given Villa have been reportedly seeking insolvency advice in the last week, still owe a suggested £30m in transfer fees from the previous campaign and owner Dr Tony Xia has since stipulated the club 'will face severe financial fair play challenges next season', the problems are unlikely to go away quickly.
And Villa too look set to sell their prized asset Jack Grealish, as and when the right deal comes along.
But for a better performance against Fulham in last month's Championship play-off at Wembley of course, the gamble would have appeared to come off.
Norwich and Aston Villa. Two clubs and two examples of how to go about the fall from Premier League to Championship – with some similarities and huge differences.
The contrast has already stirred the debate over the respective clubs' ownership models – where some use geographical boundaries to judge business acumen: generalisations that do few favours or prove reliable.
While City's cost-cutting and bargain-hunting has had some significant bumps in the road, the plight at Villa Park offers the other side of the coin.
Which begs the question: Has it changed your view on how Norwich City are attacking their own journey from Premier League millionaires to self-funded pioneers in a brutal, money-rich world?
Join the debate and leave your thoughts below...
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