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Why Don't We Fill Villa Park Every Week?

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.

Why?

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.

avfc48




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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 13 2010

Time: 2:05PM

Your Comments

as avfc48 says, lets not make this 'I'm a bigger fan than you' thing, we all know there are some who simply cannot get there due to finances, shift work, health or family commitments.

We are however I believe 7th in the attendance table at the moment, could be better but could be worse.
The Fear
I live abroad now, and haven't had chance to attend a game since we beat Bolton 4-2 before Christmas 2008. But it does sadden me that Villa Park is not full more often. Maybe the 2 (hopefully 3) appearances we make at Wembley this season will make people realise the personal benefits of attending as much as possible.
Francobaresi13
I live abroad now, and haven't had chance to attend a game since we beat Bolton 4-2 before Christmas 2008. But it does sadden me that Villa Park is not full more often. Maybe the 2 (hopefully 3) appearances we make at Wembley this season will make people realise the personal benefits of attending as much as possible.
Francobaresi13
Easy answer....cause you are really boring to watch!!! Even when playing at home you try to win with counterattack....boooo!!!
NorwaySpurs
Who cares about crowds? (Yes i support Wigan)
centrelink1
Who cares about crowds? (Yes i support Wigan)
centrelink1
Interesting article 48, ignore the pathetic Spud. I too travel the UK extensively, and I do believe that the West Midlands area has been hit by the recession harder than most. London clubs benifit from the percieved "glamour" of the capital, with both crowds and players from abroad wanting to go there.
Trekker
I think if you guys broke the champions league that would go a long way to attracting the "corperate crowd" Its the reason The Emirates and Old Trafford are always full. Sure theyre massive clubs but they also have the "prawn sandwich" brigade. Theres no doubting you have massive potential as a club.
HuddersfieldYiddo
If i went to every, Then im sure it would be a sellout :) The amount of autographs iv had to sign is unreal
Blitz
If i went to every, Then im sure it would be a sellout :) The amount of autographs iv had to sign is unreal
Blitz
The pathetic Spud may be right! But yeah, just ignore him and rule out any possibly accurate criticism! Considering the players you have, the football is pretty dull most of the time. Still, I def' fancy Villa to push well back into the race for 4th by the end of the season. Clever manager, some very talented players and a good mix of experience and youth, not to mention a very attractive run-in in terms of fixtures. My only concer if I were a villain, would be the lack of depth. Injuries to big players could be disastrous for you.
wayne king
you don't fill villa park every week but the question for me is why do your fans leave so early? ok every game you see people walking out a little bit early to beat the rush or when they are getting hammered but you guys really leave in big numbers. so many times i see big sections of your ground empty with nearly 10 minutes to go. pretty sad in my opinion. just want to know why that is?
dwight schrute
you don't fill villa park every week but the question for me is why do your fans leave so early? ok every game you see people walking out a little bit early to beat the rush or when they are getting hammered but you guys really leave in big numbers. so many times i see big sections of your ground empty with nearly 10 minutes to go. pretty sad in my opinion. just want to know why that is?
dwight schrute
wayne king how very apt a non de plume
Trekker
I can't speak for others but for me it's just crap these days. Seating has totally killed it for me and I used to follow the Villa everywhere. If I'm going to have to sit down I might as well do it in the comfort of my armchair, where I can reach for a beer or a ciggy whenever I like. As for the atmosphere, I can create more in my own living room. But I guess you could say that about all grounds and it doesn't really answer the question. Perhaps the fact that we never sign anyone that captures the imagination doesn't help. Sad to say, but I just think it's down to the fact that we're just not glamorous enough. And indeed very run of the mill to people who have no allegiance. Why support Villa when you can support Man U and the likes?
badger0-0
I can't speak for others but for me it's just crap these days. Seating has totally killed it for me and I used to follow the Villa everywhere. If I'm going to have to sit down I might as well do it in the comfort of my armchair, where I can reach for a beer or a ciggy whenever I like. As for the atmosphere, I can create more in my own living room. But I guess you could say that about all grounds and it doesn't really answer the question. Perhaps the fact that we never sign anyone that captures the imagination doesn't help. Sad to say, but I just think it's down to the fact that we're just not glamorous enough. And indeed very run of the mill to people who have no allegiance. Why support Villa when you can support Man U and the likes?
badger0-0
That's the fourth 0-0 game out of the last 7. I am not saying we will get a better result at Britannia next week, but I can ensure you there will be more entertainment.
NorwaySpurs
48 you must be careful, this is a question I have been asking for years and have often been critisised for asking it. Like you I was asked by about 100 people for tickets for Wembley. Many people were offering hundreds of pounds for tickets. These same people apparently can't afford to go each week. Yet can suddenly stump up for a Wembley appearance, will go to the next game at Wembley and will want tickets for the FA Cup final should we get there. However when next season comes around do you think they will be getting season tickets????? Somebody else mentioned fans leaving early. This is another bug bear of mine. It is not a bad ground to get away from even if you leave after the final whistle. I always stay to the end, go to the Aventurers for a pint after, and the traffic has dispersed within 30 minutes. I can't understand any fan leaving early. Forget trying to sit on the fence by not upsetting people. Lets just say it as it is. If you live within easy travelling distance of Villa Park, can afford to attend, tell people you are a fan and are not hampered by work, family or disability, but do not come to games, but can suddenly be available for the supposed 'big' games, then you are not a supporter. You are a casual fan/gloryhunter. As club we need these type of fans. We need the daytrippers that frequent the likes of Manure. The regular supporters put their regular money into the club, but it is the day trippers/prawn sandwich brigade that spend big on their occasional visits. What we need is for more of the local supporter base to become regular fans and the prawn sandwich brigade will follow on in due course.
voiceoftheholte
norwayspurs we are not interested in your views. Go to your own site. It is a bit rich coming from a fan of a club who couldn't score at home to Hull, Wolves and Stoke.
voiceoftheholte
Norwayspurs , why don't you support a your local team or ferk orf on the spurs site there a good lad !
villan57
To what extent is Doug Ellis responsible for the attendance malaise at Villa? How many fans fell out of love with the club during his tenure? There has to be some explanation for our mediocre attendances, given the lack of competition in the area. The Spurs figures really stand out. We are a more successful club than Spurs, and we are the biggest club in a 100 mile radius, whereas Spurs are second fiddle to Arsenal in north London. Yet they clearly have many more fans who are willing to put their hands in their pockets - and that's despite their ticket prices being so much higher than ours!
Albarnista
dwight, that happens at most clubs, you see it all the time when we are away from home, full away croud and half empty stadium everywhere else.

Thousands I'd say Albarnista, the club was on its knees in my opinion, total duldrums, especially the last season with DOL and that wasn't all the *****y managers fault, he had no funds and had to bring in loan signings etc (not sticking up for him, he was horrible!)

I repeat this year we are 7th in attendance table, that is hardly awful and we do have a higher capacity than most apart from the obvious
The Fear
dwight, that happens at most clubs, you see it all the time when we are away from home, full away croud and half empty stadium everywhere else.

Thousands I'd say Albarnista, the club was on its knees in my opinion, total duldrums, especially the last season with DOL and that wasn't all the *****y managers fault, he had no funds and had to bring in loan signings etc (not sticking up for him, he was horrible!)

I repeat this year we are 7th in attendance table, that is hardly awful and we do have a higher capacity than most apart from the obvious
The Fear
Albarnista, I think you make a pretty good point re Ellis. His refusal to push on during the Prem's formative years certainly didn't help. To think Arsenal and Villa were very much equal in all areas at that time is really quite depressing.
badger0-0
Big signings bring big crowds, mediocre signings bring mediocre crowds, if we buy two 20M strikers in the summer, the season tickets will go thtough the roof, the stadium wil be full every week, not saying this is good, but the truth, won't happen anyway, but if the club is ran well over a long period, which it has not been before Randy, the crowds will return, it is a slow process unless the big signings are made
ant1ant1
Big signings bring big crowds, mediocre signings bring mediocre crowds, if we buy two 20M strikers in the summer, the season tickets will go thtough the roof, the stadium wil be full every week, not saying this is good, but the truth, won't happen anyway, but if the club is ran well over a long period, which it has not been before Randy, the crowds will return, it is a slow process unless the big signings are made
ant1ant1
It's an interesting debate. There's a lot of reasons for Villa supporters currently being the way they are. (Apologies, on rereading this it appears I have gone on a bit of a ramble...) My view, in a nutshell, is that Villa have failed to promote themselves properly in the "TV/media age" from the 1960's onwards. We have failed, consistently, to offer our fans a genuine hope that the club was building itself up to be successful, to be a, genuine big-hitter. The small-time attitude of previous regimes quite simply did little to stir the Second City's number one club. Anyone remember the era of the "Big Five?" Can anyone tell me how a club that had been Champions of Europe only four seasons prior to this 1980's elite group's formation, (and a club from a city of one million souls, at that) failed to get itself into this cartel (as vulgar as it was)? Through total and utter incompetence and poor leadership - that is how. Also, as a club, we have consistently failed to engage with the Villa supporting community. I believe support was taken for granted in the past for far too long. The fact that we have never produced a consistent winning team in the post 60's media era is of huge significance, also. Truth is the club has rarely been stable enough to do this. If we take 1980-81 for example, no Villa fan at the start of the season thought we would win the league. Our average attendance up to the end of 1980 reflected this. From Christmas of 1980 onwards, however, with a sniff of the league title in our nostrils, Villa's home support was second only to Man Utd's. We finished that season with the third highest average attendance for the season overall. For the European Cup campaign we got some very good gates, but when it became apparent that our league form was on the slide our league gates droppped. Just as now, I think people picked and chose their games. The European Cup became everyone's priority and the league very much became a side issue. Let us not think Villa are alone when it comes to curious fan habits. Go back to the 1980's and you will find that the likes of Arsenal and Celtic were playing to very similar crowds to us. Before the arrival of MON and the Celtic Park rebuild in the 1990's , Celtic's crowds were nothing too special for a big city club. Indeed, historically I believe their overall average is less than ours! What Celtic did, (and Arsenal and Newcastle, too) was to begin engaging with their fans, rebuilding their clubs and rebuilding their stadia. In short, they said to their fans - "We want to be the very best: are you with us for the ride?" The result was bigger stadia, rammed full. Not once have we had such a question put our way at Villa Park. For too long our club has existed without genuine hope and a winning mentality. No wonder the place was rarely full. Never once, until recently, have I thought, "You know what? Something special is happening at this place. Something special is being built." (Quite clearly getting such a mindset to filter through to the whole support takes time. At Villa we have forty years of institutional negativity to overcome!) Such a vision lifted Celtic's average crowd from around 30,000 to 60,000 within a decade and a half. Arsenal's rose from the mid 20 thousands of the 1980's to the 60,000 of today. The key to getting our support in is to engage with the fans, make them feel part of the club and to BUILD the club brick by brick with them on board. Show the fans that the club wants to be number one. Give them a winning team to support. "Build it and they will come." Not my words, but the words of General Krulak. I have no doubt - though some might scoff - that Villa, with the right vision, leadership and planning could average as many as Arsenal, Celtic, anybody.
donegalvillan
It's an interesting debate. There's a lot of reasons for Villa supporters currently being the way they are. (Apologies, on rereading this it appears I have gone on a bit of a ramble...) My view, in a nutshell, is that Villa have failed to promote themselves properly in the "TV/media age" from the 1960's onwards. We have failed, consistently, to offer our fans a genuine hope that the club was building itself up to be successful, to be a, genuine big-hitter. The small-time attitude of previous regimes quite simply did little to stir the Second City's number one club. Anyone remember the era of the "Big Five?" Can anyone tell me how a club that had been Champions of Europe only four seasons prior to this 1980's elite group's formation, (and a club from a city of one million souls, at that) failed to get itself into this cartel (as vulgar as it was)? Through total and utter incompetence and poor leadership - that is how. Also, as a club, we have consistently failed to engage with the Villa supporting community. I believe support was taken for granted in the past for far too long. The fact that we have never produced a consistent winning team in the post 60's media era is of huge significance, also. Truth is the club has rarely been stable enough to do this. If we take 1980-81 for example, no Villa fan at the start of the season thought we would win the league. Our average attendance up to the end of 1980 reflected this. From Christmas of 1980 onwards, however, with a sniff of the league title in our nostrils, Villa's home support was second only to Man Utd's. We finished that season with the third highest average attendance for the season overall. For the European Cup campaign we got some very good gates, but when it became apparent that our league form was on the slide our league gates droppped. Just as now, I think people picked and chose their games. The European Cup became everyone's priority and the league very much became a side issue. Let us not think Villa are alone when it comes to curious fan habits. Go back to the 1980's and you will find that the likes of Arsenal and Celtic were playing to very similar crowds to us. Before the arrival of MON and the Celtic Park rebuild in the 1990's , Celtic's crowds were nothing too special for a big city club. Indeed, historically I believe their overall average is less than ours! What Celtic did, (and Arsenal and Newcastle, too) was to begin engaging with their fans, rebuilding their clubs and rebuilding their stadia. In short, they said to their fans - "We want to be the very best: are you with us for the ride?" The result was bigger stadia, rammed full. Not once have we had such a question put our way at Villa Park. For too long our club has existed without genuine hope and a winning mentality. No wonder the place was rarely full. Never once, until recently, have I thought, "You know what? Something special is happening at this place. Something special is being built." (Quite clearly getting such a mindset to filter through to the whole support takes time. At Villa we have forty years of institutional negativity to overcome!) Such a vision lifted Celtic's average crowd from around 30,000 to 60,000 within a decade and a half. Arsenal's rose from the mid 20 thousands of the 1980's to the 60,000 of today. The key to getting our support in is to engage with the fans, make them feel part of the club and to BUILD the club brick by brick with them on board. Show the fans that the club wants to be number one. Give them a winning team to support. "Build it and they will come." Not my words, but the words of General Krulak. I have no doubt - though some might scoff - that Villa, with the right vision, leadership and planning could average as many as Arsenal, Celtic, anybody.
donegalvillan
Blimey! Apologies for the long post.
donegalvillan
Christ donegalvillan! heck of a long post!!, I dont really see an issue with our attendance ive always thought that it was pretty good but that could just be me, i have sat in each end of our stadium and all my friends who are wolves fans all say our fans are rubbish and the atmosphere is dead and i didnt agree but i recently against palace sat near the away fans and our singing wasnt the best so i can find little argument with them when they say out atmoshere is poor now.
p.villa
Donegalvillan I agree 100% very well put, it can be done and hopefully will be done, like you said only complete incompetence has held the club back
ant1ant1
I grew up in an era when they said you only had to hang the villa jerseys out to dry and 40,000 would turn up to watch them but I have been dissappointed in the attendance over the years, money is tight and TV gives fans cheaper options, but a successful villa could grab top crowds again...but it needs success.
mc parland
We need big signings or a manager capable of making big signings, no more buying 2 squad players who don't get to play, spend the same amount on 1 first team player
ant1ant1
Dont apologize for a good read donegalvillan .. well said .. I remember when we were in the third division and getting good crowds and Tommy Docherty once said "If you hang 11 Claret & Blue jerseys out to dry, you'll get a crowd of 30000 in to watch"
Doug4ever
Dont apologize for a good read donegalvillan .. well said .. I remember when we were in the third division and getting good crowds and Tommy Docherty once said "If you hang 11 Claret & Blue jerseys out to dry, you'll get a crowd of 30000 in to watch"
Doug4ever
This particular team are soooooo predictable.
ASPINALL
This particular team are soooooo predictable.
ASPINALL
Don't apologise, I enjoyed reading it. Interesting point about the Arse and Celtic's crowds, didn't realise they had 'average' attendances in the past.
PiperUK
Don't apologise, I enjoyed reading it. Interesting point about the Arse and Celtic's crowds, didn't realise they had 'average' attendances in the past.
PiperUK
nice to see some, Donegal villan have the message clear and simple. Shame some missed the point completely with their complacent view that we are 7 th in the attendance table why worry. Sounds like a comment right out of the Ellis PR machine. Surely a club Villa, who for generations have been the Top club in such a huge area of potential support that stretches so far in which there is no competition should not be content to be 7 th in the attendance table let alone the PL. No that and the other excuses are not what I'd expect from a club owned by a top businessman who has invested heavily from his families pocket. Its time Villa took advantage and set about marketing to capture those needed. To succeed in this football age to really be a serious top 4 contender to achieve Randy's target of consistently being in Europe let alone lifting the EC requires the finances a consistent 60 k gate briings. It needs dynamic forward thinking policies to capture the potential not complacent attitudes that think 7 th is good enough
avfc48
nice to see some, Donegal villan have the message clear and simple. Shame some missed the point completely with their complacent view that we are 7 th in the attendance table why worry. Sounds like a comment right out of the Ellis PR machine. Surely a club Villa, who for generations have been the Top club in such a huge area of potential support that stretches so far in which there is no competition should not be content to be 7 th in the attendance table let alone the PL. No that and the other excuses are not what I'd expect from a club owned by a top businessman who has invested heavily from his families pocket. Its time Villa took advantage and set about marketing to capture those needed. To succeed in this football age to really be a serious top 4 contender to achieve Randy's target of consistently being in Europe let alone lifting the EC requires the finances a consistent 60 k gate briings. It needs dynamic forward thinking policies to capture the potential not complacent attitudes that think 7 th is good enough
avfc48
Have we merged with vital Spurs?? or is there nothing really to talk about on their site? other than the fact that Harry Ballsack is going to send their club bankrupt, like he has with every other club he's been at.......
jolf
48, if you are referring to me as the 'some' then sodding well say so. I wasn't saying our attendance is great, just that isn't as bad as some say and there are those who could come and won't, that is their bed and that is why these fly by nights can't get to wembley and have to bet others to get tickets. For goodness sake stop with the digs, I'm bored totally. Just state your point instead of constantly digging at others. Talk about a yawn fest. We can have different opinions you know mate?

You know as well as I do when I was trying the Ellis out stuff that I said several times in sky sports interviews I thought we'd sell out every week once he was gone, I have sadly been proved wrong. I don't fully know why, I'm sure the club don't fully know why. Mix of reasons I guess, the entertainment at times isnt' the best, the prices in football (not just Villa are high) and the recession has an impact. Then there are some not as obsessed by Villa as others. Suppose that is just a few reasons.
The Fear
48, if you are referring to me as the 'some' then sodding well say so. I wasn't saying our attendance is great, just that isn't as bad as some say and there are those who could come and won't, that is their bed and that is why these fly by nights can't get to wembley and have to bet others to get tickets. For goodness sake stop with the digs, I'm bored totally. Just state your point instead of constantly digging at others. Talk about a yawn fest. We can have different opinions you know mate?

You know as well as I do when I was trying the Ellis out stuff that I said several times in sky sports interviews I thought we'd sell out every week once he was gone, I have sadly been proved wrong. I don't fully know why, I'm sure the club don't fully know why. Mix of reasons I guess, the entertainment at times isnt' the best, the prices in football (not just Villa are high) and the recession has an impact. Then there are some not as obsessed by Villa as others. Suppose that is just a few reasons.
The Fear
agree HuddersfieldYiddo, cheers for a balanced view, I think the corporate and floating fans would come with Champions League and I also think we need (and have for a long time) a 'bums on seat' player or two. A top striker I am sure would up the attendance and two would send it through the roof.
The Fear
agree HuddersfieldYiddo, cheers for a balanced view, I think the corporate and floating fans would come with Champions League and I also think we need (and have for a long time) a 'bums on seat' player or two. A top striker I am sure would up the attendance and two would send it through the roof.
The Fear
donegalvillan, never apologise for taking the time and trouble to post a great post like that. Might front page that in an article
The Fear
have removed a few spuds + villa responses. Not really interested in people coming on this Villa site calling us stupid names, the decent contributions like HuddersfieldYiddo are however always very welcome.
The Fear
have removed a few spuds + villa responses. Not really interested in people coming on this Villa site calling us stupid names, the decent contributions like HuddersfieldYiddo are however always very welcome.
The Fear
I WILL NOT HAVE A STUPID WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN SPURS AND VILLA. I'll delete. I do not enter into my club is bigger than yours debates, I left that rubbish behind in the playground 30 years ago. Respectful comments adding to the debate are fine, someone trying to billy big time won't be left here. Never have put up with 'site wars' on my site and don't favour them on this network (my network) Pull the debate up or just stay away please.
The Fear
I WILL NOT HAVE A STUPID WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN SPURS AND VILLA. I'll delete. I do not enter into my club is bigger than yours debates, I left that rubbish behind in the playground 30 years ago. Respectful comments adding to the debate are fine, someone trying to billy big time won't be left here. Never have put up with 'site wars' on my site and don't favour them on this network (my network) Pull the debate up or just stay away please.
The Fear
We've got fickle fans. We play average football most of the time. We get half way through the season and realise MON isn't quite as good as everyone thinks he is. We all know that ultimately we won't make 4th this season or next while teams like Spuds and Citeh know they have a chance. As long as MON is in charge we always be nearly men. Sad but true.
lukemarson
We've got fickle fans. We play average football most of the time. We get half way through the season and realise MON isn't quite as good as everyone thinks he is. We all know that ultimately we won't make 4th this season or next while teams like Spuds and Citeh know they have a chance. As long as MON is in charge we always be nearly men. Sad but true.
lukemarson
Maybe we are not as good as we thought we were .
Doug4ever
Maybe we are not as good as we thought we were .
Doug4ever
i know my comments were some of the comments that were took off the site but well done anyway, sorry i was just getting annoyed with fans from other teams trying to cause arguments with us by coming on our site
Avillian136
 

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