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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

O'Neill To Continue Shopping?

Martin O'Neill says there is a bright side to Villa not being in the FA Cup this weekend as he'll have time to continuing pursuing transfer targets.

Go for it MON, keep on shopping!

He said: 'I am looking at that distinct possibility, if we can. I have targets in mind. As we speak at this minute I haven't actually put a bid in, but I know what I am looking at. I know we play the game on transfer deadline day next Wednesday and I know we travel up to Newcastle the night before, but because we have no game this weekend I will be working to see if we can do something.'

'I am thinking of a couple of things at this minute. They may not materialise and I am loath to let someone go until I get someone in. But we are getting some players back from injury at this minute - Petrov trained again yesterday, Martin Laursen, Luke Moore played a bit of the game against Walsall. We are looking a bit brighter all round now.'

One player reports are suggesting is still in the frame is Chelsea winger Shaun Wright Phillips despite the player recently saying he wanted to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge. Some reports are suggesting Villa bid between £8-10million and the player was said to be in two minds at the prospect.

MON said: 'We did make a bid for Shaun Wright-Phillips but this was in addition to anything that we were trying to sort out with Ashley Young. It wasn't a case of Wright-Phillips instead of Ashley, absolutely not. I had set my sights on Young for quite some considerable time and I totally understand about Wright-Phillips still wanting to try and make it at Chelsea if he can. In terms of the permanent move at the time, Wright-Phillips wanted more time to think about it.'

Adding: 'You never know we might revisit it in the summer-time.'




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 26 2007

Time: 4:59PM

Your Comments

Gera and Diop in, Hendrie out and I think we can safely say its been a great January.
DeanoVilla
today I heard a rumour that we were putting a £12m bid in for Babel I think is name is
Christo
MARTIN O'NEILL - please do not lower your sights and settle for quality below what you really want for the next 2-3 years Randy’s got the money and SWP is definitely your man but will cost more than £10mill. Don't let SWP or anyone else see that you're going to settle for 2nd best with the likes of Gera and Sidwell. There's dozens of players of that ilk. You've got to raise the bar (which in turn will obviously improve "pulling-power" in recruitment to the youth squad).
villacross
Going off on a tangent here if I may. Hopefully our transfer window efforts and successes will ensure an increase in home attendances for the remainder of the campaign. RL has proved to surely even the most negative of doubters that he's here (a) for the long term and (b) to make a very determined effort to bring much overdue success to Villa Park. Time I feel for those who claim to hold Aston Villa close to their heart, to get off their backsides, and get down to the stadium and start really supporting the club.
glensider
Attendance are up on last year. This is a start and only success will bring people back trough the turnstiles. However, with success comes more exposure and more exposure both attracts fans and more tv coverage - the bane of all football clubs except the the big 3. This is the real problem. The average joe blow would sooner spend his doe on pay tv and watch x amount of games because its a lot cheaper than taking his or her family to a live game.
myleftfoot
And thats where the tragedy sadly lies myleftfoot. It will be our ultimate failing to fill VP on a regular basis that may well hold us back. I saw that attendances were 6% up on the corresponding stage last season, and while that is obviously a plus, some of our home turn outs have been extremely disappointing. I'm not in anyway attempting to second guess Randy, but surely sooner or later he would have to question the wisdom of pumping his cash into the club if the public at large fail to play their part by turning up in numbers?
glensider
myleftfoot/glensider – Sorry, this is a long un’. You both know that the financial structure of football has changed dramatically in the last 15 years and it will change even more next year when another £400mill. pa (I think) is distributed between the 18 Premier Clubs. The total Sky money will therefore probably then exceed total gate receipts for the whole league by 400-500%. The least amount going to any club will be £30mill, which in fact is about 3 times our gate receipts from last season. The conclusion is that the total revenue from gate receipts are not that important anymore for Prem. clubs – but one the other hand, a full house is vital and it is therefore of paramount importance (for the players as well as the media, when present). But we seldom get a full house when we feature on Sky (particularly when playing at the peculiar times scheduled by Sky) unless it is against one of the regular Top4 clubs. So the solution is simple - cut ticket prices to a point, which ensures 100% capacity every game; until such times as demand for tickets exceeds availability. Also let the kids (with adults) "in for a quid". As you also probably know, the Club is experimenting at present by letting supporters see the Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton games for the price of 2 tickets. So it will be interesting to compare what effect this has on these 3 matches. My concern with all these ticket reductions is that season ticket holders are seeing the anticipated pre-season cost benefits of buying a season ticket being eroded. I just trust therefore that the Club will be more adventurous with ticket pricing next season and set individual match-day ticket prices more imaginatively with big reductions for most matches as suggested; together with season-ticket prices offering even better value. This coupled to all the many other improvements being witnessed throughout the Club, will, I’m sure, see Villa Park once more full to the “gunnels” every week. Finally, I also recently noted that Barry FitzGerald, the new CEO, stated that increasing attendances is one of his major objectives.
villacross
MON is the first to realise, just suppose Big John C and Young got injured in the Newcastle game!! Villa are further behind in all areas tan they were in December. More quality are required as soon as possible.
col8
shop till you drop
mackaavfc
Villacross, I agree in part with your argument about filing VP each week and reducing prices, but as far as saying gate receipts are not important I disagree to some extent. At the moment our average gate is 10,000 down on capacity. If the ground was full each week the extra revenue would be at least £300,000 every home game which over a season would pay the wages of 5 good players. Manure get gates twice the size of Villa, which gives them a huge turnover in gate receipts (approx. £2m a game) which is something not to be sniffed at.
Hoss The Villain
Early days yet glensider, hopefully the fans will come back as the team improves.
jonah
Hoss, I agree with your sentiments but feel it will be a good few years until we start getting full houses at Villa Park again. I think it will definately run alongside the ambitions on the pitch as it should. The better the squad and the better the football is on the pitch – the more people will come back for the entertainment factor which has been lacking for a few seasons.
spit-fire
Build the dream and they will come............
Gazvilla
Hoss The Villain - Man.U don't have an attendance problem, they would probably sell out every game at 80.000+ capacity. So far this season, Villa’s average gate has been 35,143, which is approx. the same figure as the average for last season. More than 50% of the games this season have been played at times outside the customary 3.00pm Saturday slot, which has no doubt adversely affected this season’s attendances. Last season, gross gate receipts were approx £10mill, which is equivalent to an average return of £16 per seat for every home game. So If the maximum gate were achieved every week, the extra 7,500 tickets would result in another £2.1mill over a full season. However this is unlikely ever to be achieved until we are genuine Top4 contenders at current ticket pricing. My suggestion therefore is to sacrifice gate receipts by reducing ticket prices for most of the games (say 2/3rds of them) to a point that will result in maximum attendance. I suspect that a 50% reduction across 12 of the 18 home games would easily achieve this. This would be equivalent to reducing the average return per seat from £16 to £11 for every home game. Therefore resulting in £11/seat for 42,500 tickets as opposed to £16/seat for 35,000 tickets every week. Over the year Villa would sacrifice less than £2mill and to my mind it would be an excellent investment to get the fans back to Villa Park. Obviously, we must expect prices to rise in the future, as we become more successful and regular Top4 contenders alongside Arsenal, Man.U, Liverpool and Chelsea. But at that point there will probably be 50,000+ wanting tickets every week.
villacross
villacross though this is well worked out, you have given me a headache. success will bring in the extra support
morky13villa
morky13villa - I entirely agree but a full stadium every week will accelerate progress towards that goal. I suggest that sacrificing £2mill each seaon for the next 2 seasons should'nt be a major problem for Randy & Co. It would almost certainly get the old fans back to VP, cheering the lads on instead of sitting in front of the TV. Would help make VP the fortress it used to be and almost certainly would result in us scoring a few more goals. And what do goals mean....
villacross
Hoss - you've gone quiet. Argument accepted? I think our main difference is the present average home attendances and the average reture on every seat every week when you take into account the concessions for the kids and the over 65's. Do you agree that a sell-out every week would help us win more games over the season?
villacross
Not gone quiet just gone to the pub. I wasn't disagreeing with your argument, we all want to see the ground full each week of cheering Villa fans. I was just making the point that gate receipts are important. I’m sure Randy will be making big changes to the pricing structure and incentives over the next few years to fill the ground again but as he is also a businessman and running the Club as such. Long term, the bigger the attendances the larger the revenue from gate receipts and I’m sure he won’t be sacrificing this year on year. In short we were making the same point, but in different ways. Anyway we best move on before VOTH notices we are talking about attendances.
Hoss The Villain
Wonder if there is an actual transfer kitty provided by RL containing funds available to MON, or whether RL is just approving transactions based upon MON reccomendations?
glensider
 

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