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Some fantastic reasons for wanting to buy Aston Villa, and Liverpool find it hard to say goodbye...

Last Updated: 21/07/14 at 12:32

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Hard To Say Goodbye
Someone at Liverpool might want to take a look at the adverts for the new away shirt on the club's website.

As one wag on Twitter suggested, should that be the want-away shirt?

It's a quiet day in the papers after a weekend dominated by golf, cricket and Formula 1, so Martin Samuel returns to one of his favourite bugbears in the Daily Mail - Michel Platini and FFP.

What has Platini done to annoy the Mail on this occasion, you might wonder. Did he attend a friend's funeral without their permission again?

Not this time - according to Samuel, Platini and the 'members of the UEFA brains trust' have prevented Aston Villa from finding a new owner to buy out Randy Lerner.

It's an argument that conflates several different issues, with Samuel first questioning why no local billionaires are interested in investing in what is supposedly an attractive Premier League club.

'Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, prefers collecting vintage Ferraris. Sir Peter Rigby, founder of what is now Europe's largest independent IT company, likes to fly helicopters and listen to classical music. Steve Morgan already has his hands full with Wolverhampton Wanderers. These are the breaks,' writes Samuel.

'Even so, considering the Premier League broadcasts to a global market, one would think a buyer for the biggest club in Britain's second city would not be so hard to find.'

The reason it is proving so hard to find a buyer, in Samuel's view, is that FFP precludes a potential new owner's aim to splash the cash in an attempt to catch the big boys. However, when trying to think of reasons why someone would want to buy Villa, Samuel hardly provides a convincing case himself:

'Prince William supports them. So does Tom Hanks,' he writes. 'They are centrally located in England, next to a major motorway, and easily accessible, and are the first, best-supported club of a major European city. They could be very big.

'There is a French pop group called Aston Villa, just as there are English groups called St Etienne or Kaiser Chiefs. Why? It's a cool name. That's why Tom Hanks took an interest in it, too.'

So, a couple of famous supporters, a French pop group named in their honour and easy access to the motorway network - it's a surprise no-one has bitten Lerner's hand off.

But of course, Platini and his silly FFP are the real reasons no-one has made an offer for Villa.

Oh When The Saints Go Marching Out
As Liverpool close on a deal for Dejan Lovren and Southampton prepare for a fourth major departure this summer, Mediawatch thinks it's appropriate to re-visit this quote from Saints chairman Ralph Krueger in April:

"We feel very comfortable that we have a plan that can deal with the situation and we are definitely not factoring in a big player sale. We're pretty sure that there are no more surprises and that being the case, we feel comfortable that we're going to be good. And that we will be able to keep this group together."

That went well.

Moving Targets
If you thought David Moyes' failure to comprehend the magnitude of his role was the sole reason for Manchester United's slump last season, these two quotes from Ed Woodward may cause you to think again.

Said the club's executive vice-chairman on Sunday: "It's also worth commenting we're not in Europe this year, there are less games, maybe the manager takes the view he wants a tighter squad to bed in. Last year, Liverpool performed extremely well with a smaller number of players, but that's a decision for the manager."

And in February: "Some of our competitors haven't won the league for a long time but still sell many shirts, including one down the road."

From knocking Liverpool off their f**king perch to regarding them as a yardstick in 12 short months.

I'll Scratch Your Back, And I'll Scratch Mine
"He is a very, very good coach. He'll be great for Manchester United. We are both great coaches. It's what we were born to do."

Jose Mourinho never knowingly misses an opportunity to massage his own ego.

Said Bryan Robson on Manchester United's wingers: "When you look at our wide players, I think the balance of that is pretty good. Antonio Valencia is as good a right-sided midfielder as you are going to get.

"There is more to come from Ashley Young, Nani had a disaster as far as injuries were concerned and Adnan Januzaj is going to get better."

Excluding the impressive Januzaj, United's wingers provided a combined total of just four assists in 60 appearances last season - fewer than Roberto Soldado, Jordon Mutch and Kevin Nolan all contributed on their own. The balance is 'pretty good', but only because they're all as bad as each other.

Laboured Intro Of The Day
'CHRIS Martin shares the same name as the lead singer from Coldplay and the Derby striker was certainly on song' - The Nottingham Post.

'Morgan Schneiderlin wants to join Tottenham over Arsenal because he loves their MP - that's Mauricio Pochettino' - The Sun.

Worst Headline Of The Day

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A frustrated husband who created a spreadsheet charting the excuses his wife was using for not having sex saw his plan backfire when she posted it online.

'The man spent a month compiling the list of reasons, which included "I'm watching a show" - which was a re-run of a Friends episode.

'Other excuses from his wife were "I have to be up early", "I'm not feeling good, I ate too much" and "I might be getting sick".

'Another excuse is "I'm too drunk and I ate to much" followed a few days later with "You're too drunk." The man, who has not been named, wanted to make a point after having sex three times in two months.

'He put the information into an excel document and e mailed it to his wife at an airport ahead of a business trip' - The Mirror.

Thanks for nothing. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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