Unai Emery has overhauled Aston Villa’s bonus system to ensure players will have extra rewards only if they qualify for Europe or win a trophy this season.
Emery’s men have stumbled a little since Christmas and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea on Wednesday. Yet thanks to their fine form in the first half of the campaign, they are only five points behind league leaders Liverpool ahead of this weekend’s meeting with Manchester United at Villa Park.
Since returning to the Premier League, Villa’s squad were offered incentives based on league position as well as for eventual success in competitions. But under Emery, these will be delivered only if Villa qualify for European competition next season or if they lift the Europa Conference League.
Villa will learn their last 16 opponents in that competition later this month.
The Basque is determined to improve standards continually at Villa and believes the current bonus system to be a better way of measuring progress. Villa’s form may have dipped in recent times but there a mitigating factors.
Unai Emery has tweaked Aston Villa’s bonus structure to focus player rewards on winning trophies or qualifying for Europe
Villa will now focus on progression in the Europa Conference League after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea
The club are currently without a number of their defenders including Ezri Konsa, who picked up an injury against Sheffield United
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They are currently without defenders Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Lucas Digne, while Pau Torres is fit enough only for the bench.
That could easily be their first-choice back four, while Emiliano Buendia is a long-term absentee like Mings and both Alex Moreno and Jacob Ramsey have spent time on the sidelines this term, as has back-up forward Jhon Duran.
Emery is desperate to strengthen the squad again this summer but like many of their rivals, Villa will have to be mindful of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.
Midfielders Ramsey, Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara all have admirers and because of the spending regulations, Villa would be duty bound to consider significant offers