Football News

Aston Villa CEO defends spending “year’s worth of TV money” on new signings

By Steve Jennings

Published: 18:24, 14 August 2019

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has defended the club’s £145m transfer spree this summer following suggestions of overspending.

Newly-promoted Villa spent £145m on new players in the recently-closed transfer window, earning comparisons to Fulham, who were relegated last season after spending big in the summer of 2018.

Aston Villa’s busy summer: Five key things to know…

  • Villa spent £145m on 12 new players over the summer.
  • Only Man Utd spent more (£1148m) among Premier League clubs.
  • The Villains needed to replace a number of players after 12 departures at the end of last season.
  • They broke their transfer record by signing Wesley from Club Brugge for £22m.
  • Five players made their debut in the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham on the opening weekend.

Many of the club’s promotion stars were either on loan or nearing the end of their contracts last season, meaning Villa required a number of new signings for their first campaign back in the Premier League.

And Purslow says the money spent is about the equivalent of a year’s TV money in the English top-flight.

“It is a lot of money, and I’m incredibly grateful to our owners, but a couple of important points,” Purslow told Sky Sports. “Firstly, at the end of last season we had 12 players leave Villa, so we would have been starting with 10 players had we not bought.

“With or without promotion, Dean Smith and Jesus Garcia Pitarch came to Aston Villa with the certain knowledge we would be rebuilding our club this summer.

“It’s essentially 12 out, 12 in. £127m (before add-ons) is a huge amount, but it is about a year’s worth of television money. My board and I feel strongly that in the Premier League, we have an obligation to be competitive, not to be promoted to the Premier League, spend no money, take some TV money, say thank you very much and go back down probably.

“We feel like we’ve invested to try and make our great club competitive in the Premier League. At £10m a player, that does not feel like an enormous amount of money spent.

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The chief executive went on to suggest the signings Villa have made all have the potential to increase in value while playing for the club.

At 33, goalkeeper Tom Heaton is, perhaps, an exception in that regard but Dean Smith has otherwise injected his squad with youth.

Purslow added: “We bought a goalkeeper at 33, Tyrone Mings at 26, the rest of the 10 are all 24 and under. Young players we hope will establish themselves in the Premier League and in doing so, grow their value.

“So far from being a liability, we are trying to invest in assets that grow their value, to protect the future financial health of our football club.”

Villa will be looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat when they face Bournemouth at home this weekend.