I agree with the comments made by Paul Ince last month regarding our media friendly and outspoken owners. David Sullivan and David Gold are certainly more active than some owners in the media. While part of it is good, there is a lot wrong with what they do.
Gold replying to fans on Twitter and wishing fans a happy birthday is a nice thing to do, it is very compassionate and shows class. I must admit I do like the fact that you can often get a lot of transfer gossip from Jack Sullivan, even if he shouldn’t be saying some of the things he says. But his father is the real problem and causes the most problems.
An unnecessary pressure is put on Bilic’s shoulders when naming players we could have signed. We don’t need that, and neither does Slaven. It is very easy to say after a poor result that a player like Renato Sanches would have done better. But we don’t know that,
Slav was happy with his squad and would have his reasons for not wanting certain players. Sullivan should respect that and back him (and keep out), rather than say what he did. A similar situation occurred with the Scott Hogan situation. Sullivan described the process that himself, Slaven and Tony Henry sit down and all must agree to sign the player.
I think this is a good policy, but we shouldn’t really know about it or who is to blame for not signing a player. This was another case of Sullivan passing the blame onto Slav, luckily Hogan has failed to impress at Villa Park so nobody is having a go. But nobody is praising our manager either.
Ince went on to talk about Slav’s love of the club and players, and he is right. Slav gives a lot to the club and the players, which is why the players are always backing him. The owners need to steer clear and keep quiet and let the manager do his job. Ince has a point that we don’t know whether Slaven will get the chop if our league position and results don’t improve.
One thing Sullivan and Gold don’t do, however, is sack a manager quickly. Avram Grant is clear evidence of that policy. But now Slav is going into his final year, the situation is unclear, and giving him a new contract isn’t necessarily the right thing to do.
The strong possibility, however, that we could part company at the end of the year, isn’t a nice thought and one that will play on Slav’s mind. All the little bits and pieces that come out in the media, the questions Slav has to dodge in press conferences are unnecessary distractions from his job at hand. So Ince is right, even though many will not like that.