Towards the end of November 2013 there were a few rumours circulating on social networking sites and forums suggesting that Aston Villa Football Club was set to be taken over by Red Bull. These rumours soon died down. On Monday night they suddenly returned to the forefront of Villa fans’ minds as Stan Collymore tweeted that he’d heard rumours of Red Bull buying the club.
Red Bull have bought two other football clubs and completely rebranded them both. They took over a football club for the first time in 2005 when they bought SV Austria Salzburg. Instantly, Red Bull made some drastic changes and basically turned the club into one big advertising campaign. They changed the ground’s name to ‘The Red Bull Arena’ and also changed the club’s name to ‘Red Bull Salzburg’. Along with this, they also gave the club a new crest which is essentially the Red Bull logo with the word ‘Salzburg’ at the bottom. They then also went on to change the club’s traditional colour of violet to red and white for their home kit and blue and yellow for the away one.
When Red Bull took control of the club they released a very bold statement on the club’s website, which instantly caused controversy. The statement read: “This is a new club with no history”. They also stated that the club was founded in 2005, not 1933. The Austrian FA then stepped in and made them remove these claims from their official website.
Red Bull went on to take over another football club and this time it was a ‘franchise’ in the United States. In 2006, they bought the MLS club then known as the New York Metro Stars. It didn’t take long for history to repeat itself. The new owners went on to change the club’s name to ‘New York Red Bulls’ and presented the club’s new crest which was almost identical to Red Bull Salzburg’s, with the only difference being that this one read ‘New York’ at the bottom. They also changed the club’s colours from red and black stripes to a red and white home kit and a blue and yellow away one.
However, they had learnt one lesson from their previous takeover: they did not state that this was a new club and they have not tried to wipe out the club’s history prior to their takeover.
Red Bull are said to be worth around £5 billion. I for one wouldn’t mind their money. What I would mind, however, is losing the great traditions that surround Aston Villa Football Club and its fantastic history.
I want to remain an Aston Villa fan, not become a fan of the ‘Aston Red Bulls’. I want the team to continue to play home games at Villa Park, not at the ‘Red Bull Arena’. I want to see us play in claret and blue and I want our club crest to be a gold lion with a little white star next to it rather than two bulls both attempting to head a football in front of the sun.
Red Bull’s money? Yes, please. Everything else? No, thank you.