Christian Purslow
Aston Villa’s new CEO Christian Purslow provided something that fans need to hear during today’s press conference – that we’re not entitled to anything and need to work to get there.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)

In today’s Aston Villa press conference with new managerial appointment Dean Smith and Chief Executive of Operations Christian Purslow, there were a number of things that stood out.

Of course, Dean Smith said everything that Aston Villa fans wanted to hear – that he’d be bringing an attacking style of football, that he was looking forward to working alongside John Terry and that he knew the size of the job that stood before him.

But there was a key point in the press conference where it wasn’t the new manager that impressed, it was Cambridge and Harvard alumni Christian Purslow, who was appointed around a month ago, who said something that really hit home.

After taking turns answering questions from the local and national press, Purslow was asked about the system that would include the new Sporting Director. His response was lengthy, but there was a key take away from it.

“I don’t buy into the whole sense of entitlement.”

That one statement is something that Aston Villa fans needed to hear. Since the club’s relegation to the Sky Bet Championship, former owner Dr. Tony Xia, former CEO Keith Wyness and the number of players and managers to have stepped foot onto the hallowed turf of Villa Park, all we’ve been fed is that the “club deserves to be in the Premier League.”

And that’s not true. We don’t. Our club has been run incredibly poorly for well over a decade and that has shown with our relegation and subsequent lack of success in the second division. 

“I don’t like the whole thought of we could be, or we should be – you have to earn it – through hard work and thoughtful organisation and planning. And the most important part of thoughtful planning is making excellent appointments.”

Rather than spouting the nonsense that came along with the appointments of Wyness, Bruce and Di Matteo, Purslow was peddling a different kind of story.

And he’s exactly right. The appointment of a successful Sporting Director in Jesus Garcia Pitarch and a manager that knows the league but isn’t a “master” at getting promoted at it, or has the media lapping up his every word, is important.

These appointments should have been made a number of seasons ago, but of course, with different owners and different outlooks for the club, come different styles of running such a prestigious organisation.

Some fans will look at the fact that we’re the oldest club in Professional English football, or the fact that we’ve won the European Cup, and think that gives us a god given right to be in the Premier League. But that’s not the case, at least not in the modern game.  



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