It is no real secret that Aston Villa supporters have been on something of a roller-coaster ride over the past few years.
On and off the pitch, it has been a difficult time with boring, losing football to off-the-field squabbles between coaching staff and players. For a club that was so respected within the game it was hard to believe some of the things that have taken place at Villa Park. With the appointment of a new Chief Executive is the tide finally about to turn?
I must admit that when Tom Fox was appointed as the new Chief Executive, replacing the unpopular Paul Faulkner, I wasn’t quite sure what to think.
I have read what he has done in his career and it is pretty impressive – from his time at Nike to securing a £170 million kit deal for Arsenal just last season – but becoming a Chief Executive is another step entirely.
He has a real job on his hands to reunite a club that has lost touch with its fans. There are well publicised problems with certain well respected supporters’ clubs and these need to be dealt with. I believe he would gain a lot of respect by meeting the chairman of the new Independent Supporters Club and listening to what that group’s members have to say.
Whether you agree with what has happened or not, it has created unwanted media attention while there is in-house fighting amongst fans on social network websites about the matter. It is an old cliché but a football club is nothing without its fans.
Fox did his first interview with AVTV (below) and talked about Villa and what needs to happen in order for the club to move forward. I have picked out a few areas of his interview that I liked:
- Investment – It is a popular word with supporters so I felt it was important that this was spoken about. Talk of revenue coming into the club and how it needs to be invested in the ‘right areas’.
- Relationships – He mentions how important the relationship needs to be, not just with the supporters, but the community as a whole.
- Ambition – Without telling us what the ambition is, he does state that he doesn’t want to ‘limit’ the club’s ambition but it needs to be realistic and achievable over time.
- Club Stature – We often hear about our famous club and how we won the European Cup in 1982 but it is nice to hear someone say it how it is. The club’s stature in world football is massive so we need to use this to our advantage and bring in more revenue on the back of this.
- Atmosphere – He mentions how he went with Paul Lambert to Dortmund a few weeks ago to scout Arsenal but mentioned to Paul that he was also scouting the ‘Dortmund experience’ and how the great atmospheres can be brought back to Villa Park.
- Scouting & Academy – We often hear about our supposedly ‘famous’ academy but he mentions how plans are afoot to improve it, along with the scouting side of things.
- Randy Lerner – This man is probably a little more important for our future. He mentions how Randy Lerner appears to have fallen back in love with Aston Villa, as if he had only purchased the club a few weeks ago. He says that Randy has expressed that he wants to start having fun with the club and enjoy going to Villa Park again.
Overall, I was impressed with what was said but, ultimately, he will be judged on his actions and not his words. Either way, there is an interesting future ahead for Aston Villa Football Club.