Belfast Telegraph

Houllier looking for better balance

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier admits part of his remit is to help find a "better balance" between the club's hefty wage bill and the turnover of the club.

Villa are targeting "managing" escalating wages while remaining competitive on the pitch after suffering losses of more than £37million for the year ending May 31, 2010.

Houllier acknowledges the changes will take time. He said: "We probably need at the same stage to have a better balance between the salary (wage bill) and the turnover of the club. This is also part of my mission. It won't be done overnight, it will be done gradually and we've got a great academy as well."

The midlands club saw wages increase to almost £80million last season - an increase of £9million and they now account for 88% of the club's £90million turnover.

But Villa are confident they will comply with UEFA's 'financial fair play' regulations by the time they are fully in force by the beginning of the 2013-2014 campaign.

They relate to clubs living within their means, something Villa insist they are striving to achieve despite the backing of American owner Randy Lerner who has invested more than £200million.

Houllier said: "First of all, it (the money he has put in) shows how much Randy cares for the club. He didn't come here just to try to borrow money and do things.

"He put in money himself. The club has grown and is now the 20th club in Europe in terms of earning power.

"We want to maximise the potential of our academy and the facilities here are made for players to grow and improve."

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