BELGRADE, SERBIA - OCTOBER 14: (From left) Ruud Gullit, Stevan Stojanovic, Luis Figo and Kimmo Bellmann,UEFA Communications during opening ceremony of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour 2011 on October 14, 2011 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
As you're all no doubt aware, Aston Villa is subject to a takeover bid by Qatari interests that will commence in February of this year. Rumors of the takeover bid first commenced when Villa sold Ashley Young and Stewart Downing at a cut rate price of £40 million combined. Further evidence (as though any were necessary) came when Villa allowed core member of the squad Nigel Reo-Coker to leave after his perfectly reasonable demands of a significant raise of his paltry £40,000/week salary was turned down by Villa's miserly board. Clearly, these are the actions of a man who has reached the end of his rope and is content to count the massive profits of the sale of the club, one that he has made all the more attractive by the investment of tens of millions of pounds into the club's infrastructure and academy.
With rumors of Villa's imminent sale swirling, it was only a matter of time before the immediate plans of the new (and incredibly wealthy) ownership group were leaked. 7,500 to Holte has obtained these plans and is now prepared to give the public their first look at the coming sea-change of Claret and Blue fortunes. After the jump, we'll share with you the shocking revelations of what's to come.
- February 13th, 2012: Following Villa's 7-0 loss to Manchester City at Villa Park (during which Alex McLeish fielded a 4-6-0 formation with James Collins at attacking midfield) Randy Lerner announces the sale of Aston Villa football club to the Qatar Investment Authority. Several hours later, Lerner leaves a West Midlands tattoo-removal clinic with an Arsenal branded bandage wrapped around his ankle.
- February 14th, 2012: Representatives of QAI announce to the press than manager Alex McLeish has their complete backing.
- February 15th, 2012: Following an open training session, representatives of QAI announce that manager Alex McLeish has been fired and that his office at Bodymoor Heath will be purified via the cleansing power of fire.
- February 16th, 2012: The firing of CEO Paul Faulkner is announced; initial confusion is clarified after Faulkner's firing takes place via rocket into the sun. In related news, it is discovered that Qatar is in possession of a rocket capable of reaching the sun, leading to dramatic shifts is US foreign policy.
- February 17th, 2012: Kevin MacDonald is named caretaker manager of Aston Villa; in his introductory press conference, a visibly intoxicated MacDonald is noted to remark "Och nae this shite agin."
- May 13th, 2012: Aston Villa wraps up a tumultuous season with a 3-1 win over Norwich City, only just missing qualification for the UEFA Europa League. Villa finish the season in 8th place, 94 points behind title winners Manchester City and 78 points behind 4th place Wigan. (It was a weird second half.)
- May 14th, 2012: QAI representatives hold a public celebration at Villa Park, the culmination of which is an elaborate display of fireworks constructed entirely from money.
- June 12th, 2012: A press conference is called and Rafa Benitez is named manager of Aston Villa; after breaking down in violent fits of laughter, QAI representatives state "But no, seriously, it's actually Walter Mazzarri."
- June 12th, 2012: Kirsten Schlewitz of Portland, Oregon arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
- July 1st, 2012: Newly monied Villa flexes their new financial muscle by bidding £16 million for Gareth Barry.
- July 4th, 2012: Red-faced Walter Mazzarri explains to press that drunken idea of practical joke had horribly backfired, signs midfielder Gareth Barry under threat of violation of obscure "No-Takesies-Backsies" law.
- July 22nd, 2012: After intense closed training system, Villa defender Alan Hutton hospitalized with severe cigarette burns.
- August 3rd, 2012: New-look Aston Villa defeats reigning European Champions Bayern Munich 3-1 in a friendly match in the new European capitol of Athens. (Hint: buy Drachma futures. Trust me.)
December 23rd, 2012: Despite Ballon d'Or favorite Gabby Agbonlahor unavailable due to refusing to come out from under the bed and muttering something about "wot dem old new world geezers done said" Villa defeat Premier League title holders Manchester City 2-1 at Etihad Stadium behind a brace from striker Neymar. (Oh, we buy Neymar. I probably should have mentioned that.)
- January 29th, 2013: Aston Villa cap off a monumental spending spree by adding Porto winger Hulk.
- January 29th, 2013: Aaron Campeau of Seattle, WA arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
April 7th, 2013: Aston Villa secures their first ever spot in the Champions League with a 4-1 win over Birmingham City.
- May 24th, 2014: Aston Villa win second ever European Cup 2-1 over Barcelona thanks to a thrilling extra-time winner from Gabby Agbonlahor; Agbonlahor is awarded Man of the Match but is nowhere to be found during the ceremony due to his being frightened by the celebratory fireworks.