Christian Purslow: Aston Villa must keep cool in transfer market this summer, says CEO

Christian Purslow and Villa co-owner Nassef Sawiris
Christian Purslow (left) was one of the first appointments made by Villa co-owner Nassef Sawiris last summer

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow says a key part of the promoted club's transfer policy this summer is not to "get carried away in euphoria" on their return to the Premier League.

Villa have been linked with a string of potential new signings, but Purslow is stressing the need to keep calm.

"This is when poorly run businesses and clubs make mistakes," he told BBC WM.

"This is the time to pause, apply a cold towel and contemplate carefully exactly what we need to do," he added.

"We have to decide what additions to make this summer and which players will leave, but we have an outstanding sporting director in Jesus Pitarch and we'll take a bit of time to nail all those down.

"This is not a moment to rush, to get carried away in euphoria.

"We had a Plan A and a Plan B for the two possible outcomes (of Monday's play-off final) but that's not quite the same as waking up to the reality that we are now a Premier League club.

"It's the finest sporting league in the world for marketing itself for the television industry which means very significant chunks of money are available, which isn't true in the Championship.

"It doesn't mean it should be easy and we can be complacent. We just need to take our time to get our decisions right."

Purslow has sympathy for Bruce

Christian Purslow worked with Steve Bruce for six weeks before his departure in October
Christian Purslow worked with Steve Bruce for six weeks before his departure in October

Purslow has only been in the job for nine months, having taken the role in August 2018.

Already he has played his part in overhauling a club that were in a mess last summer when their failure against Fulham in the play-offs was followed by almost two months of financial uncertainty, leading up to their takeover by billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris.

He sympathises with the hand that former boss Steve Bruce was dealt last summer.

"Steve was on his own last year," said Purslow. "There was no CEO, no sporting director and the owner was under huge financial pressure.

"He was more or less having to run a club on his own, with huge financial uncertainty until the takeover happened."

Former Birmingham City boss Bruce had been placed under increasing pressure from supporters prior to his exit - and his replacement, boyhood Villa fan Dean Smith, has been able to benefit from a more positive environment.

"Now we have a full management team in place with very stable ownership in good financial conditions," added Purslow. "It's as different as you can possibly be.

"A very different scenario to be looking down the barrel of no more parachute payments, with no cash, as the previous regime had run out of cash, and were facing another season in the Championship.

"We now have two of the best qualified owners in the world, two massively experienced investors in sport, fabulously well resourced individuals who want to do things the right way.

"We have a great coaching staff and a great structure and I'm so pleased we have owners who are not only ambitious but are supportive and patient."

Grealish the 'heart and soul' of Villa

Christian Purslow and Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish has lost just once so far in his 13 games as Aston Villa skipper - the play-off semi-final second leg against West Bromwich Albion

Purslow has also repeated Smith's insistence that the future of their previously much-coveted captain Jack Grealish is simply not on the agenda.

"We don't want to be a selling club," he said. "We're Aston Villa.

"Jack signed a five-year contract in my second week at the club. He is the face, the heart and soul of the club.

"He thrills me every single week I watch us play. I'm so pleased that the nation and the world can watch Jack Grealish play for Aston Villa in the Premier League every week.

"For him to lead the team out at Villa Park will be the making of all his dreams.

"I have no interest in selling Jack as he is going to lead this club into the Premier League."

Christian Purslow was talking exclusively to BBC WM's Mark Regan.

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