By Graham Hill
MONDAY’S win over Millwall was significant in many ways. Villa clinched their place in the play-offs and they secured a record breaking 10th league win in a row.
But the match was also attended by the Villa owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris.
And that was significant. Do you really think they would have been at Villa Park if Dean Smith’s side were languishing in mid-table?
Would they really have given up their Easter to watch a run of the mill Championship game?
No. We can only imagine the real reason for them being in Birmingham.
I’m sure they wanted to witness a piece of history being made by Villa.
But they must sense something big is happening now. The momentum being carried into the play-offs is huge.
And even if Villa take their foot off the gas a little for the remaining two league games, Smith knows he has enough talent and confidence in his squad to make it to the Premier League.
Edens and Sawiris must sense this too and maybe they wanted to see for themselves what is happening to the club they saved from going into administration last summer.
Because if Villa do go up then they will need to get their cheque books out.
A permanent move for Tyrone Mings would be on the cards – and who knows, maybe Tammy Abraham could be persuaded to stay?
There could also be more big money arrivals. Brentford’s Neil Maupay looks certain to arrive no matter what division Villa are in.
But the owners will get the chance to flex their considerable financial muscle if Villa can get to Wembley and win.
So far, Edens and Sawiris have kept a low profile. And considering their combined wealth, that is a surprise. They are among the richest men in the game right now.
But FFP rules have meant Villa having to stick to EFL guidelines but that will not be such an issue if they go up.
It is interesting to see that their arrival comparatively low profile compared to Randy Lerner buying out Doug Ellis in 2006 – or Tony Xia’s arrival when the American lost interest in Villa.
Supporters have been let down too many times by wealthy investors saying they will take Villa into the Champions League.
Or as one former Villa official once put it, ‘They promise the earth and give you a plastic globe’!
So far, Edens and Sawiris have promised nothing. But they could surprise us all if Villa are promoted.