A promotion is a wonderful thing for all associated with a club. First-team players, owners, supporters, coaches, youth teams, everyone can share in the joy of getting out of the lower tiers. Not to be left out, forget not the humble out-of-favour player on the hefty contract. They too have plenty to celebrate when their team reaches the promised land.
Aston Villa, back in the Premier League after a three year stint in the Championship, is full of them. Massive contracts were given out to bate the band during the last three years, and due to the ever appealing "promotion clause", a number of them are due to cash in next season.
Four players who barely kicked a ball in Villa's promotion drive, including Ireland's Scott Hogan, are a due a massive increase in wages now their club has gone up. Nobody stands to benefit more than the long forgotten Ross McCormack, who is set for a 60% increase on his salary for next season, raking in £70,000 a week, despite not playing for Villa since January 2017.
Yesterday was a momentous day for the long suffering supporters of Aston Villa. While not quite a Leeds-esque epic tome of lower league obscurity, three years in the Championship was more than fans of the biggest club in England's second city were used to.
The win at Wembley means they will be back in the Premier League, of course, but it's also justification for a new feeling around Villa Park - a feeling of positivity and excitement. A likeable team with a likeable manager. It's been a while.
Yesterday succeeded in finally banishing the memories of the grim realities of the last 10 years. Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert, Remi Garde, Roberto DiMatteo, Tim Sherwood, and Steve Bruce all came and went, bellowing their establishment credentials and displaying their mediocrity at every turn. Mercenary players were the norm. Overpaid and overrated, Villa weren't a club for the ambitious.
Nobody exemplified the supporter frustration more than Ross McCormack.
A legacy of a previous regime, a regime that spent money that wasn't there with all the care of a drunken gambler, McCormack was inexplicably signed for £12 million following Villa's relegation in 2016, and given a four year contract. That contract included an automatic increase should Villa get back to the top level.
Unfortunately, McCormack's Villa career did not go as planned. The highlight of his three year stint was his infamous bust up with Steve Bruce over his failure to turn up to training due to his faulty electronic gates.
Steve Bruce was so angry at the time, he basically banished McCormack from the club, and he hasn't played since.
In my opinion, he’s not fit enough to play unless his attitude and record of missing training improves.
If he keeps missing training like he does – then that will be the situation.
He has just not turned up. The latest excuse was that his gates had stuck but he couldn’t jump over a fence that was four feet six inches high.
There has been too much indiscipline at this club for way too long.
Not in 20 years of management have I gone down this road of publicly shaming a player but I have to make a stand because I won’t put up with it. Not on my watch.
This was in January 2017, nearly two and half years ago. He hasn't played for Villa since. Since then, the former Scottish international has taken in his salary of £44,000 per week, and has been shipped out on loan four times - to Nottingham Forest, to two Australian clubs, and finally, this year, to Motherwell, where, needless to say, he didn't make a massive impact. After a short stint, he returned to Villa Park due to an injury.
Now, due to the his contract structure, his last season as Villa will earn him £70,000 per week, with the club highly unlikely to be able to find a buyer.
Grand work if you can get it.