Sports tycoon Randy Lerner’s Aston Villa soccer team is in danger of falling out of England’s major leagues, much like his Browns have fallen short of major league standards in this country.
I recently learned from Bob (Railbird) Roberts, who follows things like this, that Aston Villa is two points above relegation, which means dropping out of the Premier League, England’s highest division, and into the next lower division. This is catastrophic.
It works this way in English soccer. At the end of each season, the bottom two teams in the standings drop down into the lower division and the top two teams in the lower division move up to the higher division. The system is called relegation and promotion. Soccer operates like this in most countries, the most notable exception being the United States.
Not long after he bought Aston Villa a few years ago, Lerner was elevated to hero status because of Aston Villa’s quick turnaround. He was considered a miracle worker. I wonder how Villa fans are dealing with the fall from grace. Will Randy be relegated?
Villa’s goalkeeper, by the way, is 39-year-old Brad Friedel from Bay Village. His contract is up at the end of this season and Villa has opened negotiations with him to return.
As for Roberts, Thistledown unwisely let him go as its PR director back in December, a week before Christmas. The new owners, the Harrah’s Casino people who own several other racetracks, will have their PR person from River Downs in Kentucky handle Thistledown. Here’s the state of horse racing in Ohio. There are seven race tracks here in Ohio and none has a full-time PR person. Horse racing in Ohio faces relegation.
When you look at our sports teams, it seems that our only hope is our Lingerie League football team. I’ll keep an eye on them for you.
Signing off. In the meantime, don’t change the station.