Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday September 4 2009
Ok, so where were we? Oh yes, we last finished with GK part 3: Click Here
GK was again asked about his health, unfortunately he is still unable to travel as he is busting a gut to want to get back to Villa Park...! My doctor has still got a 'red card' on me for travel. I am not sure when he will give me a clean bill of health. This bacterial infection is real nasty and, so far, the antibiotics have not totally killed it. I just went off my last regime of antibiotics on Monday and should have a sense of how I am doing in a couple of weeks. Believe me, I want to be there!!
He also said that no decision at all has been made when asked about the possible re-naming when the North Stand is re-developed. Rumours have suggested it might be named after a sponsor, GK said No decision on naming the new North Stand....rumors to the contrary.
GK assured fans that certain comments that he'd not responded to had been passed on to the right department. For instance Jonah asked if they could return to the Hi Ho Silver song before the game and I'd mentioned the official site was no longer linking to archived results.
GK said Jonah..I have passed your thoughts up on the Hi-Ho Silver. Re. the OS, I have asked the site manager to look at each of my threads daily to ensure he (and we) don't miss any good suggestions, ideas or comments.
He also again spoke about the attendance at Villa Park having been further questioned:
Attendance at games: Attendance now, according to a poster, is a result of 'poor management.' That is an interesting view in my opinion. We have a management that has invested heavily in the infrastructure to make visiting Villa Park a welcoming experience. We have a management that has invested heavily in communicating with the Fans and providing them an opportunity to meet with management and make suggestions, comments, etc. (the SCG). We have management that has kept the ticket prices at Villa Park low...perhaps the lowest in the Premiership. We have management that has provided packages and incentives to encourage fans to come to Villa Park. We have an owner who has certainly provided funding for players...certainly more than the previous owner by a long shot. We have a Squad that won the Peace Cup (yes, this was friendly competition but it was competition none the less), have beaten Liverpool, have purchased some quality players during the current window (I am shocked that people question the capability of those we have brought in) and we continue to see a Bright Future. So where has management gone wrong??? There are many reasons why fans come to Villa Park...and many reasons why they don't come. I honestly believe I have been on these threads long enough to FULLY understand the reasons why they may not come. It was the Fans who made the decision not to come to the RV game. We, the management, offered them a very strong value proposition and some didn't take us up on it. Obviously the economy has an impact but the RV game should not have been impacted by the economy because the value proposition was there. Soooo, was it Wigan? Was it last season? Was it the transfer window? Only the Fans know. What I will say is very simple and very clear...we cannot have a football club without Fans. The Club needs Fans to survive and Fans need to understand that fact. Staying away from Villa Park because you are upset with someone is the surest way to cut off your nose to spite your face.
He was also asked, as a follow up, whether he would give the projections for the next few games - I interrupted saying of course he couldn't - he did however reply Obviously our projections are made with historical data as well as what is happening with the Club at the moment...standings, wins vs losses, etc. The projections are made a couple of weeks in advance so it would be difficult to give you multiple numbers. It also probably wouldn't be too smart. I will find it interesting to see what happens after the break, the summer is over, bank holiday etc. I would hope to see the numbers go up. We are 3 wins in 6 days, we had a good transfer window, we are all working hard. I would hope the Fans show their appreciation by coming out and cheering the lads on. We cannot have a team without fans. which was a nice way of saying, of course not!
Having had a few words in the press about the boos some fans have asked GK to pass on to the manager that not all fans are booing and many are there 100% supporting the team (to be fair, even those booing ARE at the game and ARE therefore supporting the team!) GK said: As I understand it, MON went out of his way in the media to settle down the dispute between him and the Fans. I think we all need to just get back on the horse that kicked us and get on with the ride. We have too much ahead of us to continue to dispute. At the end of the day, we need the Fans at the games cheering the lads on.
He also says on Richard Dunne, I think he has shown he can play the position and will be a real asset to the Squad. He 'fits' into our scheme and has solid experience.
Also some went on and questioned the signing, lucky that GK got there before I did as I'd have probably deleted the comments, GK isn't the manager and to expect him to 'cross' the manager and say what who he would or wouldn't have signed is madness! Anyway, GK fought his corner saying Let's give Dunne a chance before we begin to question his speed, age, agility, etc. etc. The Lad now wears Claret and Blue and we ought to not question his ability or desire. Obviously MON saw something in him that you didn't see. Again, all I ask is that we give the lad a chance to show what he has before we get down on him.
Also he points to the re-developed Bodymoor Heath training ground and other improvements assuring fans that those changes are helping to attract players: There is no question that much of the work done on the infrastructure is helpful in bringing players to our Club...this is especially true of Bodymoor Heath. If there is a drawback...and I use the word IF...it probably goes to the real estate motto of 'location, location, location.' I think there are some players who would like to play in London. Just my opinion...no one has ever said this is correct. What do you think?
You can't argue with that, some players will only look to London but there are still plenty who can't resist the temptations of Aston! To be fair, Birmingham has pulled itself right up there since the drab 70's grey concrete days and there is much more going on in this area, so the more we win, the more other players WILL have their head turned by AVFC!
Having been asked about the transfer window, despite it being the plague of the thread whilst open (well, for me at least!) GK said ... and remember, when he answers things about players, he is talking as a fan, not as the manager.... I would rate it a good window. I think that MON knew what he needed to get...knew who was available...knew those lads who would 'fit' and he went after them. I honestly believe that by the end of the season, people will believe that we are not only deeper but we are also stronger. I understand your comment about a stronger starting squad last year...I am not sure I agree. I think we are stronger in the middle of the field now and we are certainly deeper in the back...Laursen is a tough lad to replace but I think MON has done a good job of trying to do just that.
He also said that the undisclosed fee style of transfers will continue, as they don't see the point in advertising what has been spent in that way. Shame, makes my sums bloody difficult GK, have a heart!!!!!!!!!!! + I do not see us making all aspects of the transfer situation public. There are obvious downsides to taking that route.
He does also point out, as I did the other day in this article: Thanks To Randy Lerner, that Randy has once again backed the manager Transfers: For the past 3+ years I have said that the Board and Randy support the Manager. Hopefully when the next window comes around we won't be arguing if Randy is willing to pay.
There is also a discussion ongoing about whether the manager buys in plenty of time or 'panics': 'Panic buying'....oh me, oh my!!! Please...please...give me one day's break. Simply put, NO Panic Buying....there is SO VERY MUCH that goes into the transfer window that to have someone come on this site and insinuate Panic Buying is just too much for me to handle right now. Hold the thought and raise it when I am 'fit' to get into such a debate. Suffice it to say that if we thought we were into Panic Buying, we wouldn't be much of a Club. You do us a disservice.
And so there you have it, the latest round up of views from the Board via GK.
(Feel free to copy on Villa sites who don't have GK visiting by the way)
Date:Friday September 4 2009
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