Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday May 12 2006
In today's football world, where money talks and everything is a 'product', the ST are right to ask for something to entice us to part with our hard earned cash.
In previous decades, when society seemed to revolve around the local football club, the purchase of a season ticket wasn't seen as a huge step. It was a necessity, something that would always happen regardless of previous performances and broken promises. The league, at that time, could be won by almost any club. Money didn't rule the football world then.
Nowadays, it does. Football is the embodiment of a market economy. People part with their money and expect something in return. The promise of 90 minutes of competitive football where the outcome is far from certain no longer exists. Nowadays, especially at Villa Park, there is a feeling of almost resigned acceptance that the league is to be won by one of 3 (maybe 4) clubs, and the rest of us are fighting for scraps.
The Champions League has completely devalued the achievement of winning the country's highest football competition. Also, winning the FA Cup is now almost a poor second to finishing in the top 4 places in the Premiership.
So the ST are completely right in their stance. Aston Villa Football Club is run by Aston Villa plc. And the plc, in offering us a product, are wrong to expect their customer base to flock to purchase that product simply because it is for sale. They need to provide an edge, something different, something to break the morbid monotony which comes from following a football club outside that Top 4 elite that currently exists.
A price freeze for 4 weeks is a good step, but one cannot help but feel that that is all there will be offered to coax the customers back to the corner shop. But they need to do more. They need to outline exactly what the Football Club is aiming for in the games between August and May. And then they need to outline how they intend to achieve that.
I'm not expecting minutely detailed plans, but we need some level of transparency. It seems that Fortress Boardroom has returned and the powers that be at the inner sanctum of Villa Park are battening down the hatches.
That is entirely the wrong attitude to take; in these uncertain times, when the Executive Board are forbidden to talk in detail about takeover bids and consortia, the directors of the plc, and the football club, should be making great efforts to counteract that enforced silence by distracting attention from the impasse in negotiations, and focussing our attention and enthusiasm on the lifeblood of the organisation, the raison d'etre of Aston Villa FC.
What are the plans for the football next season?
By Gazton Villa
Date:Friday May 12 2006
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