Soon it will be the football awards season where awards will be given for the PFA Player of the Year, the Young Player of the Year and even the LMA Manager of the Year. But what about that often overlooked and much-maligned individual? No, not the referee - the football club owner.
Last month in the United States, Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke was nominated for a ‘sports executive of the year award’, so maybe it is time for a similar award in this country.
Maybe it is time for a Football Owner Of The Year (FOOTY) award to go to the outstanding Premier League club owner over the past season.
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There could be two categories; best and worst.
So here, in alphabetical order, are the potential four nominees for Worst Football Owner Of The Year 2016:
Aston Villa - Randy Lerner
Lerner bought the Midlands club in 2006 but still has his L-Plates as far as running a Premier League football club is concerned.
Aston Villa sold their best players Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph last summer and even managed to let Marc Albrighton go to Leicester City for nothing in 2014.
The Villains had been flirting with relegation - finishing 16th, 15th, 15th and 17th in the past four seasons - but are now rock bottom and sure to go down after losing manager Remi Garde amid numerous board changes.
The club has been up for sale since May 2015 but so far no buyer has been found.
Chelsea - Roman Abramovich
Chelsea went from champs to chumps inside four months with the worst title defence in Premier League history after failing to strengthen while ahead and awarding a winning manager a new contract when evidence suggests that it is not necessarily a good idea.
The West-Londoners proved that “money can’t buy you Stones” and it increasingly cannot buy a top-four position as the sale of Romelu Lukaku has come back to haunt them.
Roman Abramovich has just announced a tough disciplinarian in Antonio Conte as his new manager in order to get their highly-paid players performing to the best of their ability.
What could possibly go wrong?
Manchester City - Sheikh Mansoor
Paying £49million for Raheem Sterling and £54m for Kevin De Bruyne plus winning the first five games without conceding a goal should have equalled the start of a new era of dominance for Manchester City, but prematurely announcing the services of new manager Pep Guardiola has backfired and affected results.
Sheikh Mansoor may have ambitions of global expansion, but the Citizens are currently in real danger of being relocated out of the top-four.
Newcastle United - Mike Ashley
They may have an average attendance of over 50,000 but the Magpies are threatening
to become a yo-yo club as they face relegation once again with owner Mike Ashley recently admitting that the money has “run out” and that he “regrets” buying the club.
Rafa Benitez (with a relegation release clause) is the latest in a string of strange managerial appointments, but maybe they need someone who understands the club and the Geordie mentality; someone who can spot a good player and get the best out of them.
Former coach and assistant manager Nigel Pearson would have been an inspired choice.
Which one would win your vote as Worst Football Owner? Comment YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!
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