Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday August 17 2006
A VFC 'thank you'
As you know, Villa Fans Combined has, as promised, now disbanded.
Our aim all along was for 'Root and Branch change' in the way Aston Villa is run. That change is now irrevocably under way.
VFC was always about trying to get the voice of the ordinary fan listened to in the wider world, with the hope that our passionate desire to see the best for our football club was given the best possible chance to be picked up by potential investors in, or new owners of, our club.
So many Villa fans have for so long been frustrated that the club was under-achieving and could have been so much more than it was.
It now looks like the supporters - the true and permanent owners of the Aston Villa flame - will see their dreams given a chance to prosper.
We'd like to say a heartfelt 'thank you' to the thousands of people that supported, encouraged, cajoled, provided constructive criticism, took part in and helped our efforts beyond the call of duty.
Each and every one of you can be enormously proud that your actions have helped to change the way the club is perceived and has helped to create an environment whereby new owners enthusiastically embrace their stewardship of Aston Villa.
Along with many other factors (like Old Father Time and a lorra lorra money), incessant pressure from supporters has played some part in persuading Mr Ellis that his time in charge of Aston Villa is over. It's your club, it always will be. Enjoy the future you richly deserve.
It's not possible to thank everyone by name, there are simply too many of you, but particular thanks are due to the following people: -
Dennis Mortimer - a true Villa legend.
Buck Chinn - who fought the good fight for what seems like a couple of centuries.
Dr Carl Chinn MBE - who brought people together and was the catalyst for what followed.
Howard Hodgson - for his time and efforts in producing the Hodgson Report (and for buying JF lunch once! ;)
Ian Taylor - the 'testimonial night' was fantastic.
Jonny Gould - a broadcasting legend!
Bruce Langham - for showing the respect to talk to us, a true gent who would have done good things for Villa given time.
Graham Taylor - for trying to fight the Villa corner.
John Gregory - for the 'Doug is in a timewarp' quote!
Brian Travers - for taking the time to offer his support in a statement for our very first meeting.
The many sites and editors who helped, John Cresswell and Peter Bosworth of www.villatalk.com , Mike Field of www.holteenders.com and Dave Woodhall of Heroes & Villains who might not have always agreed with our stance, but never refused to print any VFC articles in his fanzine. And a few who helped JF on www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk when his time was taken elsewhere (you know who you are).
A big thank you to the press who mostly, apart from one local paper, gave us a very fair hearing. We all do believe that spokesman JF has the sort of face better suited to radio. Thanks to you all, especially the many Villans amongst you (and there are a lot of you!), oh, and our mate Tom Ross, I'm sure he is a Villa fan really?!
Denis Box, Rob Carson, Andrew Carson, Ian Robathan, all those that are current and past members of the Aston Villa Shareholders Association, people at the Trust, again we've not always seen eye to eye, but at least you all got up off your backsides to try to bring about change. Paul Barnes, Rob Dore, David Vale, Mike McKenna, Lee Lindsey, Matthew Lingard, Peter Cross, Chris Butcher, John Holder, Keith Bowen, Nigel George, Kieran Devaney and so many more. Please forgive us if we didn't name you, some can't be named but know the help they've been, others will just have to forgive us for their omission.
The players who put that 'joint' statement out, we salute you!
And of-course, Randy Lerner and his merry men, we all join to wish you every success, you're custodians of a mighty and magnificant club.
Yours with thanks from the VFC
Navid Nazir, David Carson, Nigel Ashford, Peter Bland, Jonathan Fear
Date:Thursday August 17 2006
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