As many of you may know. I sent an email to Paul Faulkner at Aston Villa giving my thoughts & views on not only Alex McLeish, but also the clubs direction.
I received a voice mail from Nicola Keye asking me to call her back in regards to my letter.
I called her back eager to find out what the club thought. Before I start I would like to thank Nicola for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak to me over my concerns.
Nicola stated that Faulkner had looked at my letter & taken my comments on board. She then went onto question why I published the item on AVillaFan.com & if I had released it to any other sites or sources on the Internet. Giving my response of ‘no but I felt our fans have a right to know’ she quickly moved on.
Nicola commented on me questioning the club & its ‘SO CALLED’ PR stunts. She assured me that nothing of that sort has been going on & the club was as eager as us fans to get us back to where we belong. It was my opinion that the club was producing these letters to win over fans.
Alex McLeish’s position at Villa was also raised with my comments about Halesowen Town would of been able to produce better results at home than Villa this season.
She tried to say that us fans where not happy with McLeish because of where he came from previously. I stated the following to her:
I am sorry Nicola this isn’t the case. I for one did not care where Alex has come from. It’s a case of is he the right man for the job. He could of come from the Scotland job or from somewhere up there & I would have given the guy sometime to prove himself.
When Gerard came into the club, we all knew it was out of left field & he had been out of the game sometime. But, we were prepared to give him a chance & before he fell ill he was pulling the club in the right direction on how we should play.
I do understand though why the club took action on removing him from his position as boss at that time.
The results to Wigan & Blackburn recently though were not good enough. I went to the Wigan game & it was awful!
Be honest, how much time can you give a man? How much time does Alex have before the board take notice?
She quickly tried to end the conversation but thanked me for my call & to call her again if I had any more issues.
Cutting the long story short, sending my letter to the club only proved one thing. They’re willing to listen to our thoughts & comments but that’s about it. It is YOUR opinion on how the club is being run at this moment in time & its tough tits if you don’t like it.
This isn’t having a pop at Nicola but it is shows a lot of disrespect to us fans who spend our hard earned cash on the club we follow, support & love.
Season ticket mayhem
Recent details of the season tickets for 2012/2013 have also shown they have completely cut themselves off from us fans.
For example, a lower North Stand ticket this season costs £360. For the following season the price of that ticket stays the same. But, only until the 31st of May! The club then put the ticket price up by £10!
How can the club justify an increase after a poor season & cutting the wage bill down by over £500k per week?
Many fans have already said the clubs actions on rushing the fans to buy their ticket early are ludicrous! Some have also stated about the pricing in certain areas of the ground & are considering moving for a cheaper price.
An example of this is for those fans in sections of the lower & upper Holte End. After the increase, the ticket price rises to £490. Many are considering moving to the lower North Stand, saving them £120.
Trying to force fans to buy their season tickets early is a bit O T T for me. Is the club that worried that fans will not renew before the end of the season? Again, as Villa stated, it’s my opinion but yes, I think there are a few members of staff at Villa Park worried about ticket sales for next season especially IF McLeish is still there as manager.
PR machine strikes back!
The last thing I want to point out is Aston Villa’s lack of PR stunts at the club…. NOT!
Back in February after our draw result away to Wigan. Gabby came out & spoke to the media. Mat Kendrick at the Birmingham Mail quoted the forward on the fans reaction to their performance. Link
“The chanting doesn’t affect us, we can’t hear it,” said Agbonlahor.
“We’re just fully concentrating on the game so that doesn’t affect us as a team.
Yesterday, putting insult to injury, Mat then quoted Agbonlahor saying completely the opposite. Link
“The fans are entitled to their opinions,” said Agbonlahor.
“I think the chairman has made a choice in bringing the manager here and everyone has to get behind him.
“I think it affects the players otherwise.
“You only have to look at what happened at Blackburn where Steve Kean was getting a lot of abuse, although it has died down a bit now.
“But it does have an impact on the players and does affect them when fans are not backing the manager and not turning up to games.
“In previous seasons they have got behind the team no matter what and I think if they can keep doing that it helps the players.
“If they really get behind the team and the players it can give everyone a real lift.
“We need every single one of them to support us from now until the end of the season.”
Nearly 3 weeks on from our game at Wigan & only one game being played since then against Blackburn. Gabby has gone from it doesn’t affect us to it impacts us when the fans don’t back the manager.
Does anyone else feel slightly uncomfortable with this or does it just prove that Villa’s PR machine is in full flow to try & save McLeish’s job & the board’s massive mistake.
Do we mean so little to the club these days? We are not being treated as fans & supporters of our great club. We are being treated as customers and nothing more.
Written by: Dave Beeston