Aston Villa Chief Defends Their Incredible £145m (N63.8bn) Spending Spree

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow says the club's £145million (N63.8billikon) summer spending spree was no 'trolley dash' and a necessity to ensure they're competitive this season.
Villa won promotion to the English Premier League after beating Derby County in the Championship play-off final in May and wasted little time in spending considerable sums on new players.

The club made 12 new signings and broke their transfer record to sign striker Wesley for £22m (N11bn) from Club Brugge, meaning only Manchester United have spent more this summer.

Five of those players started Villa's opening day defeat to Tottenham on Saturday but Purslow has defended their transfer activity and insists they had to spend to give themselves a chance of survival.

Purslow, who was previously managing editor of Liverpool between 2009 and 2011, told Sky Sports:

It is a lot of money, and I'm incredibly grateful to our owners, but a couple of important points. Firstly, at the end of last season we had 12 players leave Villa, so we would have been starting with 10 players had we not bought.

With or without promotion, Dean Smith and Jesus Garcia Pitarch came to Aston Villa with the certain knowledge we would be rebuilding our club this summer.

It's essentially 12 out, 12 in. £127m (before add-ons) is a huge amount, but it is about a year's worth of television money. My board and I feel strongly that in the Premier League we have an obligation to be competitive, not to be promoted to the Premier League, spend no money, take some TV money, say thank you very much and go back down probably.

We feel like we've invested to try and make our great club competitive in the Premier League. At £10m a player, that does not feel like an enormous amount of money spent.

We bought a goalkeeper at 33, Tyrone Mings at 26, the rest of the 10 are all 24 and under. Young players we hope will establish themselves in the Premier League and in doing so, grow their value.

So far from being a liability, we are trying to invest in assets that grow their value, to protect the future financial health of our football club.

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