Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday October 14 2009
The last time we looked at General Krulak's thread was here: GK part 4: Click Here and the forum where we last looked was page 63 - Click Here
Now since then GK has had a series of nasty tests and so hasn't been able to be online as much. Having enquired as to his health yesterday, he said:
I am getting back to fighting fit but still have a way to go. I do miss Villa Park and will be back as soon as the doctors give me the go ahead. As ever, first and foremost, we hope GK returns to full health quickly and is soon able to be back at Villa Park crushing, sorry I meant shaking the fans hands! He had said earlier in the month which I found amusing.. I know, it has been a long time. I am slowly but surely getting better...in fact, I am now eating tin foil for breakfast (normally eat nails) so you can see things are looking up. The doctor still does not want me traveling but I am ready to get back on the site and start answering questions and taking your suggestions.
Being ill didn't stop the big man from ringing one of our members dads who was celebrating his 60th birthday... what a great gesture!
There has been plenty of feedback about the Official Site which most don't really see as up to the grade, GK and others at the club agree it seems:
You make some good points. We have recently hired someone with a good deal of experience in IT and sites such as the OS. He would be the first to agree that we are not where we need to be. So from the top, you are correct. At the same time, he is systematically working on solving some of the major issues with the site...as well as some of the minor ones. It is not surprising to me that such sites as this one can 'outperform' the OS in certain areas. At the end of the day, this site and others have far more 'manpower' in this area than does the Club. This is one of the reasons why a site such as this one plays such an important role...and why I came on these sites first.
Adding when more points were put: I understand all the comments made and have passed them to our IT guru. The one thing I can promise is that, over time, you will see a marked improvement over what we have now. We are committed to making our OS pure quality.
As a continuation to that, the club and the good guys who are running the official site have started a consultation process (which I did an article on not long back having had some involvement). There will be much more from all of that as the months progress.
GK was also asked if coming on the forums was part of the 'five year plan' and if he can envisage a time when he'll no longer come to take on and give feedback:
I do not see a stop to talking to fans over the forums. Randy and I feel it is too important a method of 'keeping in touch' to stop. Sometime in the future we may try to figure a way to make it a bit easier..for me and the fans on all sites...but before we would do anything, we would first meet with the mods and make sure we are doing something wrong. Bottom Line: no to your question.
He was also given a link to a positive post by a user on the BBC 606 site which he enjoyed so much he signed up and offered the American lass who typed it an invitation to come to Villa to see her first game as his guest.
One user asked about Villa looking to introduce the same system that Arsenal have whilst at a game allowing supporters to text details of people in the ground shouting foul language or committing antisocial behaviour. GK said: I received the same question on another site...so there is a sense that the racial comments and some of the language has become pretty rough. I have passed the idea on to John Handley, Head of Security. Re. the Stewards: Feedback on their performance is ALWAYS welcome. If you can get a name, that is great...if only a section/location, that will help.
GK was asked about the chances of Villa - as founders of the league (we really do underplay that, only one club can claim that and if it was Man Utd the press would never shut up about it!) - of us hosting the National Football Museum.
GK said National Football Museum: I can assure you that we are debating the requirements for such a move at this time. There are many pros and a few cons and we need to really think it thru. Obviously we are already focused on a Villa Museum and the question would be the impact of another museum if we chose to go that route. and added, as a word of warning Again, we are currently just evaluating this...please don't sign us up quite yet. I don't want to see anything in the media because we haven't made any decision as yet.
Asked by another about the reports (which some of you will remember I got straight and very quick denials about Reports NOT TRUE Randy NOT Looking To Sell ) about Randy looking for investment GK said:
First and foremost, Randy is not seeking to sell a part of the Club. He has no desire to have a coalition running the Club so the idea of investment is not the 'equity' investment that some might believe. Simply put, the Board is looking at the same sales and sponsorship opportunities that we have been looking at since the taking over the Club. These are the same sort of opportunities that other Clubs are looking at too. We believe that we are at a stage where we should not and do not need to 'sell ourselves cheaply.' If someone wants to be associated with our great, historic, Club, they need to pay for it...just like they pay for being associated with other great Clubs. We are just expanding out reach for those who might want to join us. and added when pressed further: Yes, we are looking at sponsorships and partners that would be worthwhile and multi-year. The key is that we don't sell our 'brand' cheaply...and we are disciplined enough to avoid making a commitment over time that is not a good one. Revenue is revenue and will be used where most needed. Obviously I cannot and should not discuss any names or even areas that we are looking at.
Obviously that led to a question about Acorns our current shirt 'sponsors' That is a very good question. The name on our kit is very important...and it is not something we would 'sell' cheaply. As you know, there have been folks who have sought to sponsor us but not at the value that we believe is appropriate for the Aston Villa Football Club. Randy's concern over the youth and his belief that we should never sell ourselves short led to the relationship with acorns. We hope and pray that it has been a good one for the charity...we have been told by their Chairman that it has been HUGELY successful from their viewpoint. We have loved it too. There has been NO decision made re. next year...and one won't be made until the Spring.
And ha, GK joins in the majorities sport of laughing at me (quite rightly, I join in as well) A new member came on and corrected me with his first post, GK amongst other members said Woodym555: Welcome aboard!! I love it...the first comment and you correct The Fear. Keep it up and you will be sitting in his beautiful AVFC seat with the umbrella, cup holders, plasma tv screen and direct communications link with MON and Randy. lol, loving it! I'm like Doug you know (jeez, never thought I'd type that!) as long as my name is mentioned, I'm in my oil tot!
And so there you go!
Date:Wednesday October 14 2009
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