Aston Villa have masterplan to overcome Financial Fair Play spending limits

Villa Park
Revenue drive ... Villa Park -Credit:Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Aston Villa's president of business operations, Chris Heck, has confirmed that the club have been boosted by three new, major, sponsorship deals before the new season begins as the club continue to explore ways to raise revenue and overcome Financial Fair Play restrictions.

Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have intentions to take the club to the summit of European football, and their rise since their takeover in the summer of 2018 - which includes promotion, re-establishment in the Premier League, the appointment of Unai Emery and a push Champions League football - has been a remarkable journey to date. In order to continue their rise, though, money inevitably must be spent.

FFP rules dictate that Villa cannot spend freely, as they'd like to. Money must be raised and as the club's profile continues to grow on a global scale, the bigger the budget Emery will have. In the meantime, it's a slow process - slower certainly than the progress that has unquestionably been made on the pitch since Emery arrived.

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"It's a factor which affects the product on the pitch. It affects every fan," Heck told AVTV. "We have a real focus on tackling that problem, but it'll take a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of changes as we grow our business. We use the analogy with FFP that we have a train which is the football side, and a train on the business side.

"The train on the football side is going lightning fast and that's a good thing. The business side has to catch that train. We're working around the clock trying to do sponsorship deals, changing the stadium to be beneficial to Financial Fair Play, find new revenue streams, take in our merchandise in-house and things of that nature.

"The growth of sponsorship has doubled, in the sense of our three big assets - the front of shirt, the kit provider and the sleeve sponsor. Those deals are massive. We're really excited about getting those deals going in the summer, and we'll have a foundation to build on this business with those sponsors. As we add on more sponsors, we add on more nuances with the stadium and premium seating and merchandising.

"It's been a learning experience. I do a lot of listening and there's still more to come from the listening factor. It's been a lifetime of thrills, of watching this team evolve and this coach orchestrate something really special, and getting to appreciate how unique our fans are. They're like no other.

"Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have set their sights on the top. We've been talking about how our performance has been amongst the best, not only in the Premier League but in the world. That isn't something that is a one and done - it's a long-term plan. Unai is executing that plan. Our players are playing magnificent football and we need to follow that trend on the business side and continue to support them. Their growth and success has been so strong and earlier than we expected."

Villa supporters were the subject of a 15% increase in season ticket prices last summer, something which produced plenty of disgruntlement initially from supporters who eventually sold out the tickets by mid-July, as the club sought to raise funds in-keeping with FFP rules.

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