As spring dusts the snow off its shoulders, the green shoots of recovery begin to creep out of the soil. Trees are growing their leaves and the sun is shining. I even felt sun on my neck today. I had almost forgotten what that felt like. Emerging from winter brings an air of optimism. The hope of a warm summer and long days with barbecues and beers with friends and bank holiday season is almost upon us.
In a stunning coincidence of timing news is filtering through that our saviour has returned. A deal is apparently on the table. Now none of us really know what the deal is but if reports are accurate it looks as though Ellis Short is to commit to servicing the debt for two years to allow a consortium that involves Niall Quinn. It feels a bit like the end of the 15-point season all over again.
At the end of that horrific season we had a remarkable sense of optimism. Leprechaun hats were all the rage at Villa Park as we went down with a conga. The reason for the optimism was clear. We knew Drumaville were on their way.
Now there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip, but in a dire dark season allow me to grasp at any loose straw of optimism. Indulge me a little. On the face of it this deal sounds perfect for all concerned. From Short’s perspective he gets a last roll of the dice to get his money back. If the team rebuilds and the club rises again he can make returns in two years. From the consortium’s perspective they can build a valuable asset up and then decide whether they can take it further or sell at a profit. From the fans’ perspective it is a huge lift. A consortium who only lose if they fail to invest in the squad and raise us up to the top tier again.
Assuming we get relegated this season, two years means promotion from League 1 followed by either promotion to the Premier League or consolidation in the Championship. That is a dream for us at the moment.
We all know that April showers follow March sunshine, but for the first time in a very long time I can feel the sun breaking through the clouds and just maybe we can have hope for the future.