Timescale set for Aston Villa to become challengers for European spot

Chief executive Tom Fox says it could be five years before Aston Villa are in a position to challenge for European qualification.

It may not be what Aston Villa fans want to hear, but chief executive Tom Fox has been outlining the club’s vision for the future in the Birmingham Mail.

He believes the club will challenge for European qualification again, but has warned that there is no quick fix.

Villa find themselves looking anxiously over their shoulder again this season, with struggles in the final third keeping them closer to the relegation battle than the scrap for a top-five finish.

Those in charge at Villa Park are, however, looking to put foundations down that will allow success to be built.

Fox admits it could take as many as five years for Villa to position themselves back among the Premier League frontrunners, but he remains convinced that better times lie ahead.

He told the Birmingham Mail: “The game has changed significantly and financially it has moved on considerably.

“The top five clubs from a revenue perspective are in a fairly different place to where we are now.

“I think top five is going to be very difficult for us in the period of three to five years. But we can get much closer to them in five years’ time.

“Ultimately we want to get ourselves back into a place where we can at least see those clubs and be within touching distance of a maybe a place in Europe.”

Villa may be favouring a cautious approach, but at least they are setting lofty targets.

It would be wrong to throw money at the problem, with history littered by those who chased the dream and ultimately failed.

Being a solid top-flight outfit is no bad thing for now, with it up to those at the helm on the field and in the boardroom to ensure that steady progress is made towards ultimate goals.

They have shown in the past that they can compete with the elite, back in the days of Martin O’Neill, so there is no reason to believe that they cannot scale those heights again.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch