We deconstruct the first interview by Aston Villa’s new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, and their comments on the club.
Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH) // Follow us on Twitter @claretandview
The Claret & View find it important and necessary to inform you, the great supporters of our great club, what was talked about in this interview and what it may mean moving forward for Aston Villa.
Shawiris talks about his early relationship to sports, exclusively football. He also talks about becoming a shareholder for Adidas and his ventures into sports marketing in the United States. Wes Edens talks about his co-ownership in the National Basketball Leagues’ Milwaukee Bucks and investor for a League Of Legends e-sports team.
After the short introduction, Shawiri and Edens are asked the very simple yet eternal question of: “Why Aston Villa?”
Shawiri answers the question brilliantly saying: “First of all, we’re appreciative of the fan base that has made Aston Villa the kind of club that people look up to. And we are attracted to the passionate fan base… this was our number one attraction, I believe.” Wes Edens adds, “It has an incredible history. 1874, this club has been around a long time and has had a tremendous amount of success. Obviously, the fan-base in the Midlands here and throughout England and throughout the world, it’s a big international brand. It’s an incredibly fortunate place to be for both of us.”
While lots of Villa supporters have been a bit curious as to why these two men would want to buy a club such as Aston Villa, so far they are saying all the right things in terms of building Aston Villa as an international brand. While Dr. Tony Xia also exhibited these ambitions, it is very pleasing to hear the two new guys on the scene speak about the very same ambition and the road ahead to arrive there.
There is no question that the club is not where it wants to be, and the new majority owners discuss that in the forthcoming question of: “Fans can be a bit concerned about a big change. What would you say to them at this moment in time?”
Shawiri claims, “We are here as custodians of this great club and we will do everything possible to bring this club back to where it deserves.” It seems as though Shawiri, who is supposedly a massive football fan, definitely understands that Aston Villa is one club that should never not be in the top-flight of English football. Villa are not as popular as some other clubs in the Premier League at the present day, but die hard and attentive football fans of any club can agree that Aston Villa not being in the Premier League just does not feel right.
Edens adds to Shawiris’ comments by claiming, “We think that nothing happens over night. With my experience with the Bucks, I think it will be consistent with what it is here. We have very lofty goals for the club, and the organisation, and the fans and we just want to be the best partners possible for them.”
Wes Edens is no stranger to this whole situation of becoming a new figurehead of a sports club. While I agree with him that his experience in co-owning an NBA franchise will aid him in his newest endeavour, there is no venture as exciting or terrifying as owning and operating an football club. There will be growing pains and changes, and I think Edens knows that in his heart of hearts.
The interviewer goes on to ask what they would like the fans to take away from this short, yet very promising interview, which Edens responds: “We want to see Aston Villa restored to the highest levels of English football and do everything in our powers to be good stewards of that.” Shawiri adds to Edens comments: “Support the club and we’re here to bring the club back to it’s original glory.”
The interview can be found on the Aston Villa F.C YouTube page for all to see.