“You could write a book on it.” Many have where Aston Villa are concerned and you could go on to make a film or trilogy with the ups, downs, good guys and baddies, trials, tribulations and the roller coaster of emotions that come with supporting our beloved heroes at Aston Villa
Far away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the latest chapter of Aston Villa is slowly being put together with trailers and quotes that are already getting me excited for the season to start. Our director isn’t Steven Spielberg and the main roles aren’t played by well-known film stars, yet who else can deny it’s going to be an interesting watch this season with hopefully a positive ending which is to be continued. After all, Dr Tony Xia oversaw the purchase of Millennium Films earlier this year, so maybe the film series is set to happen!
Firstly, I want to acknowledge the fantastic article by Alex Othon posted earlier in the week. I’ve not been a part of this website for long and I like the different writing styles and opinions raised by the avillafan.com team, so it was great to read positive comments and thoughtful consideration to the decisions that have been made recently at Villa Park.
That’s the Oscar speech done, now to my main area of concern for this weekend. Making a statement of intent and establishing the growth of the name Aston Villa worldwide.
After the tragedies and betrayals in previous seasons, the arrival of Dr Tony Xia came as quite a surprise at the time and it was the breath of life that we needed at our most critical moment. Randy Lerner and his circus party had the club perched on a precarious cliff, hanging on by less than our fingernails and inevitably but unlike most films, there was no saviour. We fell from the top and plunged into the Championship. A harsh, difficult place where every game is a battle and results are unpredictable.
As well as making decisions to improve the club, I have to say I am a huge fan of the exposure that we are getting. A lot of critics will disagree and as always we welcome your opinions and debates as that is the main reason we are all here to discuss our club.
Dr Tony has flipped the script. Under Lerner, it was a silent movie. We rarely saw him, never heard from him other than the mysterious comments and occasional subtitles fed to us by his puppets as if he was a ventriloquist. The use of Twitter to directly reply to fans and professionals as well as media sources has been both refreshing in the world of sport as well as entertaining. People may mock, yet hearing the thoughts of a current chairman heavily involved day to day, cryptic tweets which get people talking and telling ‘journalists’ the real story has instantly made many of us believe the good times may be on their way back. I can’t remember the last time we were spoken about on the radio and TV as much other than for managerial sackings and negativity. This is all taking place in the Championship, away from the glamour and money ball of the Premier League.
Fresh ideas are coming to the fore, one of which hasn’t been confirmed but advertising on the back of the shirt (as seen in the Terry pictures, right). This happens in other countries and continents and although we are traditionalists, it could be a shrewd way of potentially making money or exposing a brand further to in turn build the name of Aston Villa.
The footballing equivalents of the red carpet fashion designers come and go, but in Under Armour, Xia has seen us attract one of the fastest growing brands in recent times, responsible for sponsoring the likes of Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Andy Murray, Anthony Joshua etc. (all icons in their own respective sports).
Oh, and by the way, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson too for anyone still hooked on the film links!
Dr Tony has built a strong cast list to help with their expertise in a variety of footballing requirements. Alex mentioned Steve Round and Keith Wyness the other day, but I want to mention Rongtian He too. He has shown fantastic support in his role and has actively engaged with the fans and the supporters. Twitter has inevitably had its awkward moments, with fans complaining about trivial matters such as the diameter of their half time pie or the pH of their bottled water. Yet we have seen patient, polite, grown up replies and this has given us a sense of self-purpose which was lost with our predecessors.
— Rongtian He (@VillansHo) May 18, 2017
I wrote an article this week regarding Joe Hart and I still stand by my belief that it won’t happen but maybe that’s because I have been brainwashed into not being able to look forward to things until recently. The poor football and attitude of players and owners alike forged a sizeable wedge between a lot of us and the club. But after the unveiling of John Terry, maybe there will be another high-end name added to the squad. If not, I fully believe we are starting to see an ensemble of youthful talent blended with the experienced, well-known names.
The ‘director’, the budget, the stage and the goals have been set. We now just have to wait to see the ‘cast’ perform. We are beginning to talk about belief to match the expectations. We as fans are the harshest of critics and we have seen enough horror shows and bore fests to last a lifetime, yet I believe this will be a blockbuster season to get us all talking for the right reasons.
I take it you’ll all be joining me on the 5th August for the premiere, the carpet won’t be red, more of a claret with a hint of a sky blue but the curtain will still be raised on what will hopefully be a season to remember.
To close, I also want to show gratitude and thanks to Dr Tony Xia for the time he took in acknowledging Alex’s post the other day. We mustn’t forget how busy the man is and he has a life and a spread of other areas to work on. We should count ourselves lucky that our chairman reads and listens to our thoughts whenever possible.
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) July 6, 2017