By Phil Jennings
VILLA boss Dean Smith has admitted the club almost ‘went under’ last year.
Smith says fans have been thanking him for giving them their club back.
He tells them it never went away, but knows it could have been far worse when they failed to het back up into the Premier League.
In an interview with The Times, Smith says has huge respect for Steve Bruce who had to deal with the club’s financial problems head on before new owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris saved them.
Villa fan Smith told the newspaper: “I don’t think there’s a better sight or sound than the Holte End in full voice.
“We’ve had six or seven sellouts, the support’s been tremendous.
“People are coming up, shaking my hand and saying thank you for giving us Villa back.
“I say Villa has never gone. I have so much respect for Steve Bruce, he was one game away from taking them back to the Premier League. People should never forget that or all the financial troubles that happened in the summer. The club could’ve gone under.”
Villa faced Fulham at Wembley 12 months ago in the Championship play-off final. Now Smith has the chance to return there and complete the job.
The Villa boss added: “I’m hopeful with the new owners, who are really keen and eager to take the club back to where it was, that we can turn it around.
“Villa’s a special club. I did a talk when we weren’t having the best of times and 500 people turned up.
“I spoke to Sir All Ferguson about Villa, he said he nearly came here as a 16 year old as it was a club brought about by Scotsmen.”