Date:Saturday March 13 2010
avfc48 asks: Why don't we fill the ground every week?
Even historically Villa have never consistently filled Villa Park, even when winning the European Cup. Now its been a pet thing we me, I even had two face to face talks with the excellent Doug Ellis who completely missed my point both times, that Villa have a bigger potential for crowds than any other club including those in London.
Villa are and have always been the top club in the Midlands. Yes Nottingham Forest and Derby under Clough did ok, but have small grounds, and a small mentality within their fan base, Wolves did well in days gone bye but have consistently failed of late and now sport a small ground they can't fill, but there's no one else from Brum to Watford, Brum to Sheffield, Brum to Mid Wales and all point South worthy of support to 'floating fans' than Villa.
Now I've been around Europe, and travelled the UK at length in my guise as a pretend businessman and fully appreciate to get from Welshpool to Villa, from Leicester to Villa from Watford Gap to Villa is no great shakes, although I will admit trying to get to Villa as I did in January from my part of North Wales was just too much to do too often, I'm sure Villa have an area of potential fans well beyond most other clubs.
So why don't they come regularly, why are Villa not attractive enough?
Spurs get 36 every week and have a waiting list of around 25 k more. Arsenal fill their 60k stadium, Man Utd have a potential of 80 to 100k every game, even Liverpool reckon they can fill 60 k, so why can't Villa?
I was amazed how many relatives and fans I know asked me to get them tickets for Wembley, and all, every single one, can get a bus to VP and back yet don't go every or even any week. I know one bloke older than me who flew in from Canada. Ok he's got more money than sense but if he can do it, I can do it, for one off's and the odd game, why can't those who live a simple train ride away, a bus ride away do it, week in week out?
I did when I could, my dad did when he could, my granddad did when he could, so why does my sister and her 2 daughters not. How many Villa fans do you know who don't who live within easy reach? Ask your self why don't they, better still ask them. Try not to make it a better supporter than you question, try hard now, but ask anyway.
Its a question I've pondered for years, when I never missed a game home or away travelling from Northants, then Liverpool, then Anglesey and mates I knew living in Great Barr never went down but for the odd game. Villa must be doing something wrong, or is it they have never done enough.
Is it the arguments presented, the marketing is never good enough, or is it something else.
Quite honestly it could be considered a disgrace we don't fill the ground, the team as it stands deserves to play to packed crowds.
Think on it, especially if you live a bus ride away can afford it and don't.
Date:Saturday March 13 2010
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