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Another August, another accusation of transfer impropriety

15 August 2010

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner enjoys his club's win over West Ham in Saturday's league opener at Villa Park.

Last season it was Everton manager David Moyes leveling some very serious charges against City over their pursuit of Joleon Lescott. This time around it’s Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner, who seems suddenly incensed that City would dare to come back with an improved offer for James Milner.

Says the American:

Big, bad Manchester City came along and asked for Milner and we said, “No, he is not for sale.” And under the rules you have to respect that. And Manchester City respected that for two whole days. And then they violated the rules and came in for him again.

Lerner then goes on to tell the Daily Mail that there were no plans for file formal charges with the FA over the matter.

Three thoughts on this:

1. If you really think an offense has been committed, go file a complaint with the FA. Whining to a paper and then refusing to actually do anything about it is just silly.

2. In the future, if you don’t want to sell a player, slap a £100m price tag on him and the matter will be closed. You know what’s not a good way to hold on to a player you don’t want to sell? Agreeing to a fee that’s a few million pounds more than the potential buying club’s original offer.

3. As much as I want to see Milner in light blue this season, I would love it if City were to just walk away from the deal right now and leave the player unsettled — despite yesterday’s goal and standing ovation from the Villa Park crowd — and Lerner’s pocket short of the funds he apparently needs to balance the the club’s books. That would certainly teach a lesson about running one’s mouth and making stupid accusations to the media while negotiations still are open.

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