This season has started very well for Aston Villa Football Club, considering the dismal start made to the last two seasons. The attendances at Villa Park have dipped quite considerably during the last eighteen months but it was still a shock to see only 30,267 attending the first home game of the season against Newcastle United and even fewer – 28,336 – turning up to witness the victory over Hull City.
Villa’s away supporters are among the best in England. The team could be playing anywhere in the country and we still manage to sell out our allocation much more often than not, which is a real credit to our supporters. However, we cannot fill our own stadium, which is quite surprising.
We can expect Villa Park to be at almost full capacity when we host Arsenal later today, with only a small number of tickets available before the game. It is a positive sign and will no doubt encourage the players. Indeed, this team has been performing well and deserves the support it will receive this afternoon.
Of course, the correlation between high ticket prices and terrible football has made the decision not to renew season tickets this year an easy one for some people. There are also those who have decided to be more selective and not to go to as many games as they perhaps have in previous seasons. Generally, ticket prices are too high.
I don’t think that being a season ticket holder has enough perks either, with the club often giving more, through offers on tickets or merchandise, to infrequent visitors to Villa Park than to the people who are there for every game. This is something that the club officials will have to review if season ticket sales are to improve. I am sure that Tom Fox will be eager to tackle this issue.
The biggest issue that Aston Villa Football Club has faced when it comes to ticket sales over the last four years is the negative football the fans have endured. It is understandable that some may have lost faith in the football, after the garbage that has been served up.
Now that the team has started the season well, there is some excitement amongst Villa fans and many seemingly want to come down to B6 and get behind the boys in claret and blue.
If the Villans are to continue to achieve as a team, it is important that they have a strong fan base behind them. They have lots of fans – more than enough to fill the stadium when the bigger teams are in town. In my opinion, staff at the club could work more closely with fans and do more when it comes to improving attendances but I have no doubt that positive football will help to ease more people through the turnstiles.