Whatever happens today, Aston Villa remain in good hands.
Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
Today Aston Villa will play their most important game of the season. It may even be the most important game since winning the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final just over a year ago.
The Villans take on West Ham in a final day of the season effort, with a number of scenarios able to play out. Aston Villa supporters from all over the world will be holding onto their beers with sweaty palms and panting through dangerously elevated heart rates.
No matter if Villa maintains Premier League status or not, Villa fans should all understand they are in good hands with the partner ownership of Nassef Sawiris & Wes Edens. These two men are not only known for their extraordinary wealth but also known for creating innovative solutions for the most common problems. And one of these men is notorious for putting his money where his mouth is.
According to Forbes India, Wes Edens has a grand idea that train travel will be the next preferred method of transportation in the United States. So much so, he’s shelled out $100 million of his own money in tax-exempt bonds to attempt to introduce high-speed train transportation between Orlando & Miami and Las Vegas to southern California’s Apple Valley.
To be frank, the United States is miles behind the curve in terms of travelling via train. Amtrak, the United States leader in train transportation has never turned a profit since it’s inception in 1971. A $30 million operating loss in 2019 was considered Amtraks “best year”. Edens not only sees opportunity in his mind, he also has a little bit of experience here as well. Edens is the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group. Combined, Fortress and Edens acquired 19th-century industrialist Henry Flagler’s South Florida rail line for $3.5 billion in 2007.
Speaking with Forbes India, Edens admitted:
“It’s not like I had Lionel train sets in my basement. I wasn’t a train nut, but I love riding on trains. It’s my favourite form of travel.
The lack of passenger travel by train in this country is a travesty. It’s a gigantic opportunity.”
It is a giant opportunity that will undoubtedly take time to come to fruition, but Edens is determined to see it through. Regardless of how Edens’ train transportation will play out in the United States, the ambition and fruitful ideas don’t seem to be few and far between for the Montana native. This will undoubtedly translate to Edens being part-owner of Aston Villa for years to come. Edens himself has made mistakes financially in the past, but he always seems to find crafty and innovative ways to turn things around in almost every venture he has undertaken.
“At this point in my life, I’m more of a builder,” Edens says, adding, “upgrading our nation’s infrastructure and building high-speed trains can be this generation’s Hoover Dam and Tennessee Valley Authority.”
Aston Villa’s success on the pitch will be a building project of sorts and with the combined wealth and cunning guile of Wes Edens & Nassef Sawiris, the Midlands club is currently in great hands. The club itself has never seen owners like this before. Football has rarely seen owners like this before. Regardless of where Aston Villa finds themselves on the opening day of next season, Edens seems the type of person to not get down about difficult times but more so find ways to get through those hard times and come out shining on the other end.