A Letter to Mr Faulkner

46

As many of you already may know. I am not happy with the way the club has not only been performing but also the actions of the board & chairman behind the scenes.

So I have sent not only to Sharon Barnhurst who is the club secretary but also to Paul Faulkner himself. Neither have replied back to my message, but, I thought I would share it with you guys:

Dear Mr Faulkner,

I write to you as a season ticket holder of our great club. I purchased it when the club did the promotion for the North Stand at the cost of £200. I have been a lifelong supporter & they are a big part of my life (Yeah I know, sounds lame but hear me out).

Under Martin, we produced some really good football at home & away. Even before the likes of Ashley Young graced our club, we knew that Martin could take us places. He’s man management skills where next to known & I like many others where honored to have him as our boss. He brought in some good players & the direction of the club was looking great.

The talk of redeveloping the North Stand got fans excited & crowds would roar our players to victory week in-week out.

Sadly, whatever happened in that summer break is between you, Martin O’Neill & Mr Lerner. The news of Martin walking out from the club was a shock to everyone all linked & I feel the slide began from there.

Mr Houllier’s appointment was one that came out of left field. But, we gave him a chance to show what he could do. He produced some great things at Liverpool & many thought the glory days would come back. Sadly, due to his health issues I can understand why the club took action to remove him from the post as manager. We were grateful for what he did for the club.

But, this summer. I am sorry to say, the club & the board have made a terrible mistake in bringing in Mr McLeish. Not only did he take his former employers down twice, we even paid out for him to come to our club! But the connections with Birmingham where not the issue for me. It was the fact that many had seen the football he produced at Birmingham City quoting it as defensive & negative.

I was willing to give Alex a chance to show us what he can do & the first few results showed that Alex could get results out of games. This is sadly where the bubble has burst. Mr McLeish’s tactics & man management skills have produced the most negative, boring football I have witnessed as a fan at the club. There have been a number of games at home this season where we have looked so negative the likes of Halesowen Town could of done a better job.

The results to Wigan & Blackburn were not acceptable in any shape or form. Anyone who says they were good results must be looking at something different. We beat these sides at home this season! Over a number of seasons we have beaten these sides in their own back yards.

Mr McLeish is taking the soul out of our club. Do you honestly think we as supporters & fans are excited about coming out & watching our team? We live in fear of us being relegated from the premier league. Where we have stood tall in the darkest of hours but stood like gods when we have pulled off fantastic results such as the 3-2 win over Everton.

A fan produced a banner which is now world famous. “We ain’t fickle, we just don’t like you” has been shown through the years. This is sadly what a number of Villa fans including myself think & feel about Mr McLeish. Blaming the pitches, & players are not the type of thing we want to see from our manager. Why can’t Mr McLeish just come out & say, “Yeah, I cocked up”.

His attitude to the younger players such as Mark Albrighton has been nothing but disgraceful. The likes of Alan Hutton & Stephen Warnock who have played like pub players for most of the season have either been praised or nothing has been said at all over their poor performances.

Fans do not stop renewing season tickets or stop coming to games for no reason. The club must see this. I blame Mr McLeish for the boring, negative football, which is now being forced upon us.

The blame doesn’t stop with Mr McLeish though.  You, the board & the chairman, must also shoulder the blame. Sugar coat it as much as you want. Producing these letters from Mr McLeish & trying to win over fans with them isn’t going to help. Even the one being produced to win fans over this summer is not going to change fans minds. You employed this man to make this club great again, but its come back & bitten you guys on the bum.

Many have called for Alex to step down or to be removed from his post as manager. I have taken part in the survey the club has been doing to see if fans will renew next season. I will be honest with you now Paul, I will not if Mr McLeish is still there as our manager come the start of the new season. I told them this on the day I took the survey back in January & I stand by my choice. I cannot put myself through the pain & hurt again next season. I cannot fork out another £400 or so to watch the dullest football I have ever seen at Villa Park. It is even worse than when Mr O’Leary was in charge. As you can see, I am passionate about the club I have supported from a young age.

But, I also feel it is time for Mr Lerner to look into our means of revenue. If it is this rumoured QIA deal or if it is a takeover or just an investment deal. We do not care. Cutting the wage bill by over £500k per week, removing 17 players during the summer including Young & Downing & shelving the plans for redevelopment are the tips of the iceberg. But, when the club only bring in Robbie Keane on a two-month deal worth £500k in January & say we cannot add to the bill until the summer has caused fans blood to boil.

We do not want anymore PR letters, stunts or anything else from the club. We do not want to hear from you & I do not mean that disrespectfully. We want to hear from Mr Lerner himself. He is quick enough to speak to radio stations in the states with regards to his businesses & the Cleveland Browns. Why can’t he come out & speak to us here. We have a right to know the direction of our club & if Randy is totally happy to commit to us like many of the press & you have stated. But, if it is not the case and Mr Lerner cannot commit to us or is short on cash. Maybe it is time for him to consider his options & let us fans know what the deal is.

I hope you can come back to me with some form of response that can make me proud to be a villa fan once again.

I want to thank you for your time out of your busy schedule for reading this & hope you have a good day.

Yours truly,

Dave Beeston

If I get a reply from either Paul Faulkner or Sharon Barnhurst I will update the page.

Written by: Dave Beeston

46 COMMENTS

  1. My employers state that if a customer makes the effort to take time out to write a letter, weather it be a complaint or compliment the very little the deserve is a reply.

    I look forward with eagerness to see if Mr Faulkner will personally reply or get one of his staff to do it!

    • I will post the response IF ANY onto here asap. If I find the comments negative or do not get a reply I will ask for a meeting. If Villafansunited can why can’t we here at AVillaFan?

  2. Well done Dave, I agree with every aspect of your letter, if I could get away with printing this out and handing it in with my name at the bottom I would.

  3. Nice letter. Although I am in the US, I have watched a number of games live on TV and can confirm the boring style of football which is metioned above – a stark contrast with the O’Neil days (not that he is my best friend any more) of ‘let’s have a go’ – even against the top teams.

    We need a manager who encourages an attacking style of play – will develop the great crop of youngsters, alongside a group of honest, experienced professionals and put a smile back on the face of the players.

    • It’s great to here comments from you guys in the States. My little cousin who lives in New York messaged me about how rubbish we was too

    • The club have spoken to a number of people recently (comments have come from fans on Twitter) saying us fans ONLY hate him due to where he has come from & he is the right man for the job. Not the fact his negative approach to the club is making us look like mugs.

      They have also said the season ticket renewal is quite positive. I would love to see some form of evidence to that effect.

  4. You haven’t received a reply because you told him you didn’t want one from him, bottom paragraph – so don’t be surprised if he doesn’t send something back.

    Did you type this up on a computer? I only ask because your spelling, grammar and phrasing are terrible. Normally this wouldn’t bother me but if you’re meant to be representing how the fans are feeling then the least you could do is not write like it’s a postcard to a mate.

    Oh and it’s Marc Albrighton, not Mark.

    • “Dear Sharon,

      I did try & email Mr Faulkner yesterday but I have had no response. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind passing on my letter to Mr Faulkner or a member of the board & ask if someone wouldn’t mind coming back to me at some point.

      Thank you for your time”

      & I do apologises for not speaking the queen’s English. One is truly sorry.

      • Dave,
        I have to say my first reaction was the same as Paul’s. I take the post above about someone taking the effort should get a reply but that’s just it, the errors undermine your case.
        DT

  5. One thing i dont agree with you is about good results at the start of the season.
    From the first 11 games of the season Man City was our only big opponent.
    To get several draws and a loss where we should’ve had wins wasn’t good enough.

    Also at times i feel as though the club is trying to blame us for the results and it really annoys me when they say we’re only against McLeish because of his past.

  6. If you are going to take the time out to write such a lengthy email, why not ensure that it is worded correctly? I hope Paul Faulkner doesn’t think this is representative of all villa fans!

  7. whilst i may agree with parts of your letter, man you are seem to praising in this letter oneill is as much to blame bought players who were grossly over rated paid them far to much money, had not faith in our home grown players got rid of them ,and when told he needed curb his spending he walks out of the club at the start of the season and leaves club in the lurch make no mistake about it if we had carried on spending the way we was we could have ended up like rangers and portsmouth. personally get this season over get rid of the deadwood lets get some new players in blood youngsters and i think you will see rebirth of aston villa, because the reserves are outstanding and the plus side there are maturing together and do not forget when they get into first team their mentor will be with them ie kevin mcdonald

  8. The intent of your letter is very good, Dave, but I fear that it is a bit premature.

    In my opinion the matter should be left till the end of the season (McLeish is not going before then anyway) and then a letter should be sent that is countersigned many times over by as many supporters as possible – including any important names such as Prof. Carl Chinn MBE.

    I had planned to draft such a letter and then make it available on-line for countersignatures.

    Regards,

    John Lerwill

  9. Dan, whilst we probably all feel the same to some extent, it unfortunately carries no credibility as an argument for sacking him. His dire performance as OUR manager however, does…

  10. I wrote to Mr Faulkner along almost identical lines as your letter, back in October, I am still waiting for a reply.

    Regards Steve

  11. Never mind about the spelling lads, if we don’t do something quick then we will get sucked into a relegation battle, bent out for the season, no direction or passion, Dave well done for sending the letter you have my full support, keep us updated.

  12. What an awful letter. No wonder the club do not listen to us when nonsensical drivel like that is
    Sent in.
    “where next to known” ????????

  13. This site is hilarious. It won’t matter will it if he sees the letter? I thought those two randoms you highlighted in the picture last week were taking over?!

    Why not wait and have a word with them? Haha.

    Keep up the stellar work guys, making Villa fans look great.

  14. A good summary of the passionate/semi-religious reasons fans are unhappy, though I feel if you really want to kick on and have a voice with those that decide at Villa Park you could and should have looked at the financial and structural black hole our execs are now dealing with. Martin O’Neill failed to follow the modern necessities of staff requirements, including a proper overseas scouting network, and left us without many of the required staff, as he used to deal with such matters himself- trying to the a spitting image of Clough, only thirty years out of date. You should also look at the financial mess, highlighted by recently released figures. Martin O’Neill has left us with a disgusting financial legacy that HAS to be rectified RIGHT NOW. When you say about player losses and cuts as a negative, it sounds naive at best. The choice was simple. O’Neill pretended he was buying us players to turn us into Champions League, in which case the wages would have been appropriate with the CL money covering the ludicrous wages. However, we never achieved it, the business model ground to a halt. Most of the players simply aren’t good enough to merit their wages, and no matter how much you moan about Downing or Young, we have spaffed money (Beye for example cost us 10m wages and transfer fee), which negates any argument about whether it was the right decision to cut back. As much as the McLeish appointment was a shocking error, someone is going to have to cut this team, why not let McLeish be the fall guy until we can start again afresh? We don’t deserve by some magical right to be injected with someone elses cash, even billionaires cannot burn money on bonfires for no results, and the fact is we have a wagebill that is absolutely ridiculous, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Cuellar, Heskey on 40k plus, Ireland on 65k, Gabby on 65k all these figures are jokes. Then you see MON signed a lot of old players, who we can now not even give away because of their wages. Why didn’t we sign someone 21 to sell again rather than Collins? Why not blood Clark? We didn’t because MON wanted players who made him look good, rehabilitating them instead of buying real quality, or taking the league position hit to grow the youngsters. Until MON’s legion mistakes are dealt with things aren’t going to be great, McLeish has to go, but we have no divine right to expect money to be pumped in, if you spend more than you earn you are in trouble, at home or in a business.

  15. Not exactly the greatest read, littered with mistakes and inaccuracies, and totally unbalanced!

    McLeish bashing is about as boring and predictable as Faulkner bashing, especially when no blame whatosoever appears to be attached to the players themselves. At least balance your comments, if you want to apportion blame there are many more areas you should be looking at than one man who doesn’t even play for us. Our squad has been severely depleted by selling off our best players, and many of those left are simply not good enough. I watched Mr “Negative” McLeish imploring our players to get forward against Blackburn, all ignored by the usual apathy of sitting back and trying to defend. McLeish was also yelling at Collins all game to play the simple ball out of defence, again ignored, and the long hoof to no-one preferred.

    Let’s keep it real guys, we have an owner, a manager, and many very well paid players who aren’t doing our club proud of late, so instead of picking on one easy target, simply because he comes from a club we hate, be a little more constructive and less biased.

  16. I’ve also emailed Faulkner to express my disgust at the state of our club & with that twat as our manager but got no reply. No wonder it’s all a mess with him at the helm. What good has he done! What’s happened to north stand plans it’s all gone by the by.

  17. With regards to the letter all I can say is heard it all before and it`s getting boring! some Villa fans need to change the record, when are we going to get past the fact the O`neil has gone it`s history… time to move on

    I appreciate this season has been rough, I agree that Mcleish has not done himself any favours but the players have let him down and more importantly let us the fans down, this needs to be addressed in the summer and I feel it will. With regards to the redevelopment of the North Stand why would Randy spend the money if we would not fill the extra capacity?! it doesn`t make business sense to me.

    We need to get through this season support the club as much as we can ready for a summer rebuild all this moaning and whinging is getting us nowhere.

  18. ay mate good letter agree 110%..im a die hard villa fan hailing from australia iv supported them ever since i was a kid even got them tattooed on my chest and i show it everyday with pride but it pains me every weekend to watch a game now.. i have never been so disappointed watching them play..hate turning on the tv thinking great i wonder how much this time or great i wonder what mcliesh has changed this time…but they should take all these letters into consideration before its to late..

  19. Well written letter, it sums it all up perfectly.
    We (AVFC Lions Slovenia) decided we’ll postpone our trips to England as long as McLeish is our manager. He is taking away the passion from Villa.
    We want our Villa back!

  20. If you’re going to write a letter to be taken seriously firstly proof read it. Secondly make sure your poins are fair and reasoned, and where necessary back it up with facts. Unfortunately you do not “know” anything about MoN, you have preconceived ideas generated by the MoN PR machine.

    If the Birmingham thing and the release payment don’t bother you why mention them? Its like those that claim intolerant people should be shot.

    You have resorted to petty opinionated insults – “Pub team”. This too is likely to result in you letter being put on the pile.

    I do agree that if some has taken the time and consideration to write to the club, the club should have the dencency to reply, but you letter is not a constructive criticism, unfortunately it reads like an angry fan, which i appreciate you are.

    Thirdly advising Mr Lerner to look in to other “means of revenue” is a bit short sighted. Look at our income streams since Lerner took over the club, the have increased hugely.

    This letter, whilst written with the best intentions and clearly from a passionate fan, though is over simplified and not very constructive.

    I agree that there are aspects of Villa that need to be looked at, but anyone at the Blackburn game, who heard McLeish will begin to understand the difficultie he is facing… Not once did he ask the team to keep dropping deeper and deeper, he wants to squad the play, not get everyone behind the ball and defend from our 6 yard line, yet this is what keeps happening? Was it McLeish’s fault Bent has missed many easy chances this season? Is it our fault we are not clinical enough in front of goal when it matters?

    There are serious problems within the senior players of the club, and this is what i believe Lerner has identified. Certain senior players need to be moved on, but that can’t happen until suitable replaces are in line up to replace them and the club is back on a stable financial footing after a few years of massive excess.

    I am actually beginning to warm to McLeish, the man has shown huge guts, he hasn’t always been popular with has comments, but he hasn’t lied to us, he’s never ducked a question. He has made mistake this season, but every manager has, yet under the microscope that is Aston Villa and our recent history seem to extenuate the feeling and frustrations we all have as fans.

    Keep the faith, I have had the good fortune of chatting with people within football who tell me Lerner is doing the exact right thing with his budgetting and we as a club are way ahead of the Premier with the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and United in the FFP standing, it may not seem like much, but Uefa will take a hard stance of this, and we know Uefa love to make an example of an English team so this is too our advantage. Yes its meant drastic changes, maybe being left short for a season, but for the greater good of the club, this season was needed.

    McLeish is not without blame, but he certainly doesn’t merit the vitriol being thrown at him, when we have several senior players who are well know in the local area to not care one jot about the club that give them the life styles they do and are often found frequenting bars and clubs until early hours in mornings. One even shouting “West Ham are the true Claret and Blue”…. think about it…. the youngers look distracted and this is apparently due to the “big boys” nature of the club, they are the ones stunting our youth, not McLeish. People need to wake up and smell the coffee, no manager could get this team performing until the squad isn’t us and them with many of the undesirables on the bigger wages and the fact we need to play them to get other clubs to be interested in them.

    Football is a business and this season has been a right off from the start, so why not put the ones we need to get rid of in the shop window?

  21. I stopped my season ticket after fifteen year4s on the day of Martin O’Neill’s departure.
    Things, for me anyway, have lookede bleak, ever since.

  22. Dear Mr Beeston,

    Thank you for your letter.

    Quite simply, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I can’t believe myself or anyone else here at Villa Park have not identified any of the issues (rumour or otherwise) you raise.

    I am pleased to inform you that upon your recommendations and comments, Alex McCleish will be sacked by the end of the week (no-matter what the cost implications are). Mr Lerner will indeed sell to the Qatari billionaires pictured in your earlier photos having detailed negotiations with Nigel Spink and Ian Tayor (our chief negotiators on new investment and possible takeovers).

    I will also be tendering my resignation from the Club, as it has become clear that I’m not ‘a football man’ which obviously makes it impossible for me to continue. This may sound a bit ‘left-field’ but would you like to be considered for the position? I can have a word with Mr Spink (now also head of recruitment) and tell him that you seem ideal for the job.

    Once again, I thank you for your letter. I’m not sure what would of happened to Aston Villa FC had you not got in contact.

    Regards,

    P Faulkner

    P.S. Let me know about the job offer. P.

  23. Give the lad a break on his spelling and punctuation guys!! He pays good money to support Villa and has every right to voice his opinions to the club. I agree with what he is trying to say and that McLeish is the biggest single mistake this club has ever made. Randy needs some real help or he needs to get out.

  24. AdzVilla > By all means write a letter voicing your opinions, and I applaud him for that, but at least base it on fact and make sure it makes sense.

  25. Dave,

    This is a good letter that has obviously been written by a fan who has endured the terrible style of “football” that Villa seem to have contracted this season.

    I understand McLiesh’s style of play but to make it effective you have to organise the defence to operate with almost military precision. Alas this has been one major problem. An approach based around not conceding goals with a defensive unit that isn’t well organised, marshalled and without a coherent plan from the top is continually letting the fans down.

    There was always going to be a backlash about McLiesh and whoever mentioned his name in the board meeting as a possible candiate really should know better, appointing Small Heath’s manager??? Come On.

    What needs to happen?

    Step one: we need to avoid relegation, which i think we can due owing to the fact that there are 3 teams worse than us (just about).

    Step two: The club needs to remove the high earning average players during the summer, i am not mentioning any names 🙂

    Step three: We need to appoint a new manager who doesn’t have such a negative apporach to football, i don’t know who this man is.

    Step four: Mr Lerner needs to make some funds available to allow us to be competitive next season and fight for a top 10 finish (being realistic)

    Above all this, the fans need to stick together, this is our club and we need to stay behind the team we don’t want to be visiting championship away grounds next season apart from in the cup!!

    Also, i hope my grammar has been acceptable during this post 🙂
    Andy

    • At least are fans who ain’t giving me a mouth full cause I don’t speak the queen’s English & no your grammar is just a bad as mine 🙂

      I agree with everything Andy has said, who couldn’t!

  26. Great letter Dave albeit it will most likely be ignored. I know a handful of Villa fans who have wrote similar letters and not once have they received any form of a response

  27. Why are you wasting my time with this shit?
    In all honesty I was suprised to see you had sent me an email, usually this sort of thing is written on a bedsheet and displayed on match day.

  28. I applaud your effort, but poor grammar and spelling when writing a letter of this magnitude is a terrible oversight.

    I also have the opinion that McLeish isn’t the sole problem at the club. Lerner’s decision to go against the fans in appointing McLeish was a risk and so far, it has backfired on him.

    I’m actually warming to Paul Faulker. He is securing Villa’s future finances very capably.
    Granting, Macron and other sponsorship deals recently have been very good for the club. Even last seasons sponsor was a deal for the club, if only we had lived up to our end of the bargain.

    I think Villa will survive this season. But this summer we need to see a big overhaul of playing staff.
    Collins, Dunne, Heskey, Warnock are just a few that would freshen up the team and save further on spending. We have a good reserve team that are showing a lot of promise. I would settle for mid table with cup runs from time to time. We can’t compete financially with, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool but we should go into games attempting to compete on the pitch.

  29. Six wins all season fact, worst football at villa park in a generation fact, the only thing that may keep us up this season is that the teams below us are dreadful, no villa fan in there right mind can be happy with this, mcleish and the board are to blame and the players, something needs to change, let’s hope we do stay up or it may be long fight back up the
    Villa!!

  30. Greetings from Townsville, Queensland again. I used be a Holte End regular (but somehow doesn’t feel he’s missing out at the moment).

    I too agree with this letter, a young boy when I first stood there (and yes there were no seats then), with my old man sitting me on the bar, cheering on a cracking villa team…oh those were the days.

    But I’ll tell you the truth, what gets me more than anything these days…Is money, now I know it makes the world go round, and I’m in total agreeance with everything in Mr Beeston’s letter, I too would put my name on that letter, I refuse now to stay up until 1am to watch us draw with Blackburn or Bolton, i’d rather sleep!!! However back to my point – MONEY, I ask now one question to all FIFA bosses, why is it now possible to BUY the league? Oil Barons, blah blah, there’s no competition left anymore, it’s a Schumacher situation, occasionally someone might beat Chelsea 1-0 but once you’ve bought sixty zillion pounds worth of players (or a souped up Ferrari Engine!), it’s usually a given that you’ll sit up there in the higher places.

    It just seems so unfair, even if we did it, I’d feel bad, like somehow there is no loyalty anymore, no Spinkys or Ian Taylor’s, just finding the highest paypacket and buying your way to the top. I hope someone like Gabby, albeit not the greatest ever player sets an example about loyalty for many future villa players to come, players like Albrighton who bleed Claret & Blue like you and I reading this post….my heart cries….what happened to good old competition??

  31. People are missing the point, what good will sack McLeish do? No manager in the world would be able to play the football we want with player like Dunne, Collins, Warnock… 3 senior players who don’t give a shit about the club…

  32. The other Adzvilla has my name 🙁

    You will not get a reply from him. Nicky Keye wil lcall you saying he has read it etc and serve you some PR soup on what’s going on. You will not get the answers you require sadly.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here