Featured Matches
Previous
Colorado
Chivas USA
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Atlas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Cruz Azul
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Argentinos Juniors
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Talleres de Córdoba
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Standard Liege
Royal Charleroi SC
3
0
FT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Berwick Rangers
1
1
LIVE 100'
Game Details
Grimsby Town
Mansfield Town
0
1
FT
Game Details
Morecambe
Preston North End
1
2
FT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
1
1
FT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Southampton
0
1
FT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Crystal Palace
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
West Ham United
Sydney FC
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Wellington Phoenix FC
Newcastle United
4:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Berwick Rangers
1
1
LIVE 100'
Game Details
Standard Liege
Royal Charleroi SC
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Vestsjaelland
Odense BK
3
1
FT
Game Details
UCD
Derry City
Postp
Game Details
Bohemians
Cork
2
0
LIVE 80'
Game Details
Shamrock
Drogheda Utd
0
1
LIVE 45'
Game Details
Colorado
Chivas USA
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Atlas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Cruz Azul
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Argentinos Juniors
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Talleres de Córdoba
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Altamira
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Necaxa
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
América RN
América Mineiro
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Boa MG
Bragantino
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Antofagasta
Audax Italiano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Garcilaso
Melgar
1
1
FT
Game Details
Nacional
Deportivo Capiatá
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Western New York Flash
Boston Breakers
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Summer transfers survey

Aston Villa 4 days ago
Read

Lambert's last in charge?

Aston Villa May 9, 2014
Read

The unwanted cup final

Aston Villa May 1, 2014
Read

An unexpected twist

Aston Villa Apr 15, 2014
Read

Villa in free fall

Aston Villa Apr 13, 2014
Read
May 11, 2014

Uncertainty looms as Villa are put up for sale

Randy Lerner didn't prolong the suspense any longer than necessary. Just after 10 a.m. BST on Monday and less than 24 hours after the end of the 2013-14 Premier League season, he confirmed one of the worst secrets in English football: Aston Villa are for sale.

The full statement from the club can be read here. From Lerner, it was honest, heartfelt and sincere; an acceptance and admission that he can no longer take Villa forward. That is fair enough. As has been said before, if Lerner no longer has the means, drive or will to restore Villa to top six contenders, he should hand over to someone who does.

The announcement did not go quite as far as many supporters would have wanted, though. It was hoped that Lerner would reveal a new buyer, thus quickly addressing the future of Paul Lambert as manager and moving on to strengthening the playing squad. For all concerned, progress would be welcomed. If Lerner is just beginning to inform parties that he's ready to talk, then this could be a lengthy process, stretching into next season and beyond.

- Report: Villa up for sale - Lambert: In dark over future

Let's hope there are already wheels in motion, for Villa need to move onward and upward, swiftly. A situation of limbo cannot be endured. There are contract issues to resolve -- Marc Albrighton's is about to expire, Fabian Delph, said to be a target for Newcastle, has a year remaining -- and other areas of the squad need improvement. If decisions such as these stall, the team will suffer. How long will Lambert stay in charge, and will he have the jurisdiction to make such decisions in the meantime?

If ever there is a club in need of fresh impetus, it is Villa. The team delivered a timely reminder of that on Sunday with a limp end to a season which degenerated into a series of desperately poor performances. The 3-0 defeat at Tottenham epitomised the weary state of the football club.

Beaten long before the half time interval, Villa's players plodded around White Hart Lane with little sense of purpose; their manager looked on, expression blank and disconnected. He looked beaten, too, and has done for weeks. Only Villa's away support, upbeat and full of fun despite the team's surrender on the field, enjoyed their day; that has not wavered over 38 games. The backing for a very ordinary team has been extraordinary.

Villa have closed the season in abject form. Beaten 3-0 by Spurs and 4-0 by Manchester City in the past few days, recent weeks have also seen heavy defeats by Stoke, Manchester United and Swansea, with four goals conceded on each occasion.

Embarrassingly easy to score against and toothless in front of goal -- that would accurately sum up Villa's season. Lambert has overseen a remarkable 20 league defeats in 2013-14; more than half of Villa's matches have been lost. While the manager has worked within the parameters of a somewhat stifling transfer and wage budget, it's nigh on impossible to defend a record like this.

In the last month he has looked and sounded resigned; citing avoiding relegation as an achievement. That's not what Lambert would have said six months ago and it's certainly not what any Villa fan wants to hear. There is something very wrong indeed if that becomes the acceptable bar Villa must reach. Regardless of when the sale takes place and who the new owner is (or are), it's debatable whether the manager has the energy to revitalise himself and take the team forward.

In this respect, it comes down to more than money. Yes, Villa need to be in a position once again where they can afford the salaries of players of proven quality, but it also needs a coherent long-term strategy in place and the people at the club to deliver that. The right buyer is critical.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.