Relationship between fans & board starting to show cracks?


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 & 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


  1. The Villa PR machine is now working overtime to stem the flow of anti Mcleish supporters.
    They have realised belatedly that it is not a minority of inter net morons but a large majority of fans who cheer on the team home and away who want him out.
    Season ticket sales will be almost non existent if this clown remains in charge.
    Blackburn last Saturday was a classic, we got behind our team for the whole game and then the PR gestapo forced Gabby to come out with crap this week, our anti AM stance was affecting the players.
    PF and his team are now cacking themselves!!!!!!!
    You aint seen nothing yet!!!!

  2. I appreciate that you want the best for the club but this is so one-sided that it is embarrassing. You give credit to Nicola Keye for having the conversation but then interpret her responses as ‘like it or lump it’. What did you want? AM’s immediate sacking because you want it? You pick the Gabby comments that you don’t want to hear as the ones that are club spin? You think season ticket prices should be linked to the previous season’s performance? I assume that only applies when it’s been a crap season. How anti Villa can someone get? People have a right to an opinion but only looking for the negative leaves those people open to deserved criticism. Weak arguments, total bias to support those arguments, total disregard for the way that Villa supporters are seen in football generally (badly now, thanks) just so a narrow, disruptive agenda can be pursued. The margins in football are very fine: success, mediocrity, financial oblivion are not all that far apart. Campaigning for change after some boring football and disappointing results in a manager’s first season is beyond naive, and the sooner the regime-changers get real and appreciate the value of stability, the safer the club will be.

  3. I actually spoke to Nicky Keye myself and I found that she was very supportive and assuring I wont divulge the entire conversation as it would be very silly but I will summarize that I placed her on the back foot the entire time. I did this by telling it like it is in a assertive and well spoken manner ultimately I got the answers I wanted to hear and judging by her response towards myself it is safe to say Alex Mcleish is on his last legs.

    To quote Nicky Keye “This business is results based on and off the pitch, We work hard off the field to ensure that on the field the manager has the resources to fulfill his job. If the results on the field effect the results off the field then ultimately decisions have to made.”

  4. Hear hear!! I’m all for stability….as long as it DOESN’T mean we finish 15th each season, playing some of the worst football since O’Dreary and McNeill, and with gates plummeting below the fail-safe 30,000 mark. ALL OF THIS will be inevitable under the current manager, the current players, and, sadly, the current owner, who now sees us as the UK version of Cleveland Browns. We need a total clearout, top to bottom. Pity the letter was treated in the usual ‘thanks for your comments’ way, but thats the norm. Not sure why the Blackburn and Wigan results were picked out either….WE HAVE BEEN DOING THAT ALL SEASON!! As for Gabby, not the brightest spark, but I would keep him over any of the money-grabbing overpaid lot that the last THREE managers have lumbered us with.

  5. Did you say ‘STARTING’ to show cracks? I think there’s a lot of us that saw through RL anf PF a long time ago chap. From letting go of MON, hiring GH whose health issues were plain to see, and then the icing on the cake, the hiring of the clueless, inept charlaton that is McLeish. Everything the Browns fans said about Lerner has come to pass. I only hope we don’t have to put up with over 16 years of this crap like the Browns.
    There’s 2 in our house that won’t be renewing next year unless McLoser is OUT!

  6. You can please some of the people some of the time… The increases in season ticket prices are minimal yet there are those who’ll complain at the lack of money for signings after begrudging an extra tenner that they’ve been offered the option not to even have to pay.

    Also, I don’t think fans (you refer to ‘many’ but without any evidence to support your claim it’s unclear whether you were using it as an adjective or a pronoun here – and the difference is significant) considering moving to cheaper sections of the ground, in the middle of a recession, constitutes ‘season ticket mayhem’. There is no mention of the creation of two thousand seasons tickets at £295 either, leaving a distinct bias in the writing. While there are, naturally enough, people working for the club whose job it is to sell tickets and encourage renewals, at the end of the day we all have a choice and nobody has to do anything. The sales staff aren’t misleading anyone or involved in coercion! I respect fellow fans’ opinions but found the reference to ‘season ticket mayhem’, given the meaning of mayhem and the use of it here, before season tickets even go on sale for next season, rather ridiculous and inflammatory.

  7. The club couldn’t give a hoot what the fans think, Falkner wouldn’t have read it and if he did he would have soon basket balled it into the closes bin. The will only care when the crowds drop so low that they HAVE to act, until then we will be served up dribble after dribble. The board are losing fans by the minute and will continue to do so with this attitude.

  8. There’s no one better than the Americans at PR and Randy has proven this. The club choose which questions they want to answer and ignore the ones they don’t. I was an advocate of giving McLeish a chance but he has blown it. He will blame the players and he will blame his small squad (a la O’Leary) but he knew what was on offer when he joined the club. I can’t imagine that anything will happen until the end of the season but he must be replaced in the summer. Let’s hope we are still in the Premiership because I don’t have the confidence displayed by others.

  9. Dear Rugby Villan and Anne,
    As a Villa fan approaching 60 years of age i have total respect for both your views and enjoy an intelligent debate.
    Having said that, you have both ignored the reason why us fans join these forums to express our views.
    We are now mangaged by a clueless clown who will take us down to the championship playing sterile boring football.
    Having been to the last four away games i can assure you that the vast majority of Villa fans want him out.
    His style of football is negative, remember Spurs away, just ask Rangers and blues fans.
    We are being totaly ignored by the Villa board and sadly the Birmingham Mail.I have been asking Mat Kendrick to conduct a poll for weeks.
    If you have any dought about the number of Villa fans who want this idiot out,please join me in The Aston Hotel before todays game and ask them!!!

    • Hi John,

      As I thought I’d made clear in my response, my issue was with the reference to ‘season ticket mayhem’, not your desire to see McLeish replaced.

      Anyway, hope you enjoyed the win today.

  10. I could put up with a bad season if there was a plan in place to move forward but there does not seem to be any plan. McLeish seems to start games of by playing reasonable attractive football, we then take the lead and the negativity sets in (Newcastle, Everton, Blackburn). He reminds me of George Graham. The difference is Arsenal had a defence. I also have a problem with his team selection. He continually plays players who are not in form Hutton, Warnock etc. Remember last season against United when Houllier played the kids best performance I have seen at Villa for a long time. Why won’t McLeish give the kids a chance. He needs to give Lichaj, Baker, Weimann a chance, age is no barrier if your good enough.

    For the first time I am now thinking of not renewing my season ticket. The club ned to act now. We need to know what the plan is and whether it includes McLeish.


  11. I won’t be goin again while that tosser is our manager he is ruining our club! The only reason we won’t go down this year is because there is 3 worst teams than us ! But next year with him in charge we will b doomed !! Doesnt bear thinking about I no


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