There is no getting away from the fact that Aston Villa are being impeded by Financial Fair Play regulations. When they were relegated from the Premier League in 2016, they decided to take the risk of paying a number of players large wages in the hope that they would help get them promoted. However, this risk has backfired and their large wage bill is now hindering  them when it comes to signing new players to improve their squad.

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For example, Mile Jedinak, who is yet to feature under Dean Smith, and Henri Lansbury, who has made just three appearances all season, are costing Villa’s owners a combined total of 360k a month in wages. To add to this, Micah Richards, who is in limbo at the moment, is costing Villa a further 200k a month.

Therefore, these three players alone are costing the club over half a million pounds every month. When you factor in all the other players’ wages, Villa’s wage bill each month will be somewhere in the region of 2-2.5 million pounds – way too much for a club in the Championship.

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Dean Smith wants to bring in high quality players this month, such as Adam Reach from Sheffield Wednesday and Isaac Hayden from Newcastle United, but with Lansbury and Jedinak taking up space in the squad, this is realistically not going to happen.

Hayden and Reach would definitely improve Villa’s midfield and would surely help to decrease Villa’s wage bill. Therefore, Villa really need to start getting rid of the expensive dead wood, so that they can improve their chances of getting out of this league.