According to the Daily Mirror, Aston Villa have stunned boss Steve Bruce by only handing him a budget of £1 million to plot a Premier League return next season.
With many expecting Villa to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, manager, this proved not to be the case with the Villans ending the season in a disappointing middle-of-the-table 13th position.
Villa’s aspirations were on a quick return and they brought in players such as big-money buys Ross McCormack, Jonathan Kodjia, Scott Hogan and James Chester whose transfer fees alone are thought to have been in the region of a combined £40 million.
If you add in the purchases of players such as Aaron Tshibola, Pierluigi Gollini and the rest of Villa’s intake of players ahead of their first season after Premier League relegation and you are looking at a transfer outlay in the region of around £70 million.
Sales of players such as Idrissa Gueye, Adama Traore and Rudy Gestede, amongst others, brought in a combined total of around £40 million.
However, as the Mirror indicate, Steve Bruce will have to adopt a ‘make do and mend’ policy with what he has available, the popular daily newspaper saying that Bruce was “stunned to learn the details of his summer transfer kitty” when told by the club at a meeting last Thursday.
Whilst Bruce has a range of weapons at his disposal, the £1 million ‘war chest’ is not for player purchases – Bruce having to operate a selling policy to garner money for that purpose. The initial kitty of £1 million is, according to the Mirror’s report, “money that has been set aside for loan fees.”
The Mirror go on to mention that the reason for this relative pittance of a provision is that “Villa could be in huge trouble with new Financial Fair Play regulations that govern the Championship.” The new rules governing Villa’s demotion mean that they can incur losses of up to £83 million across three seasons without any form of penalty such as a transfer embargo.
However, as pointed out by the Mirror article, Villa’s last accounts show a shortfall alone of £83.1 million meaning that the Villans could feel a definite hit should this trend remain unchecked.