Firstly I just want to say a big thank you to Stu for the opportunity to represent avillafan.com as a part of the Fans Consultation Group. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing for the site and will continue to do so with this added responsibility.
I will be representing the site at future meetings and I would love to take any thoughts and feelings from yourselves to the meetings (within reason) as much I’d love to secure Mbappe and Messi lets behave!
It’s a chance for me to put across your thoughts along with other representatives including fans groups, other sites, social media sectors and specific factions of our diverse supporters both in and out of Villa Park.
Having only took the role on 12 hours before, it was safe to say I was surprised upon opening my inbox this morning to find that the FCG group were tonight invited to meet the new owners representatives. It was refreshing to see that they wanted to listen to us, as opposed to reeling off their their CVs. They wanted to know who we were and what our personal history of Villa was as supporters and as custodians of the specific sites we work for and roles we do. Primarily they clearly wanted to actively engage with the fan base collectively.
There was no set itinerary and strict timings, it was purely a meeting to allow them to introduce themselves, and express how important fans groups have been to them in their other positions. They also made a point of saying it is our platform to say how we feel and what we believe as opposed to it being ‘marshalled’ to fit their thoughts and needs. One overwhelming point to make is simply how genuine and receptive they appeared to be and the fact that they spoke to us on a level was appreciated by all.
A bit later on we were then introduced to the two new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens. They greeted each of us individually and then spoke briefly to us as a group to say how happy they were to be here and how they want to express how important the fans are to themselves and the club. It wasn’t a lengthy meeting by any means and before anyone asks it wasn’t a platform for us to shout about FFP, who is going and coming in or whether the pies are good enough!
We have to respect that this was their first day visiting the stadium and training facilities as majority owners and to even invite us and indeed meet us on the same day was more than a surprise to myself and the others in attendance.
The overriding sense of calmness and professionalism was what struck me most and I left feeling a wave of reassurance I haven’t felt for a long time. No brash, silly statements or buzzwords, but two astute businessmen who clearly know what they want to do and will work their hardest to achieve it.
Since the meeting there has been a brief video released to the clubs official website and to the YouTube channel outlining a few brief points and to introduce themselves.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, this is a chance for you to put across your views and I can only deliver by asking for you. Now I have assumed the role and have experienced my first meeting I would now like to actively seek your thoughts for future meetings.
Please remember above all else, I’m a lifelong supporter of Aston Villa like you and will take this opportunity seriously as a part of this great website and group. I don’t know anyone specifically at the club and we are not a secret group so please share your thoughts and hopefully we will see some changes brought about to suit you and the needs of the fans can be met and/or improved.