Randy can’t keep his hands out of his pockets!
RANDY LERNER coughed up a mind-boggling £12MILLION in just 10 months to keep changing his managers at Aston Villa.
Lerner was forced to fork out astonishing costs to pay off both Martin O’neill and Gerard Houllier and then poach Alex Mcleish from bitter rivals Birmingham, in shock figures released yesterday.
Villa posted losses of nearly £54m for the 2010/11 financial year, including “exceptional charges” of £12m for the managerial merry-go-round that started when O’neill walked out in August 2010.
Houllier was then appointed in September before pocketing a £2m golden handshake in June last year following his decision to stand down on health grounds.
Villa owner Lerner then paid around £3m in compensation to pinch Mcleish from St Andrew’s and take him across the Second City.
Lerner has invested a further £25m over the last year to ease crippling debts at the club – but Villa last night insisted they had taken the hit to ensure future stability for the club.
Chief financial officer Robin Russell said: “Given the challenging economic environment we’ve been experiencing in the West Midlands – and indeed globally – we are pleased with the positive trends in our financial performance.
“The board are confident that the actions taken since the end of the 2010-11 financial year have galvanised the long-term stability of the club and given us a better platform on which to build for future success.”
Mcleish is facing a battle to avoid relegation on the field, with Darren Bent expected to miss the rest of the season with ruptured ankle ligaments. The England international also faces the prospect of missing Euro 2012, with Mcleish last night admitting he fears the worst for the £24m man.
He said: “He may miss the Euros as he’s going to have to possibly have an operation.
“I’m gutted for Darren. You don’t want to see any player have that bad luck. It’s a big loss for us.
“I’ve texted him a couple of times and I’ve also spoken to him.
“Right now he’s not at the training ground and it’ll be a couple of days before we see him, but I know he’s gutted.
“We have others players who will have to take the responsibility, players such as Gabby Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland.
“But it’s a great chance for them to show they can handle that type of responsibility.”
SHELLING OUT: Lerner