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Why Don't We Fill Villa Park Every Week Pt2

donegalvillan on the debate: Why Don't We Fill Villa Park Every Week?

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 dropped. 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

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The Journalist

Writer: donegalvillan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 14 2010

Time: 12:57PM

Your Comments

such a good post donegalvillan, thought it worthy of publishing. If you ever have anything like that to say, feel free to email me (link by my username on the front page or the email link at the end of articles) as I'd be so happy to publish quality like this.
The Fear
such a good post donegalvillan, thought it worthy of publishing. If you ever have anything like that to say, feel free to email me (link by my username on the front page or the email link at the end of articles) as I'd be so happy to publish quality like this.
The Fear
donegalvillan - Hi, I just wanted to make sure you get my reply to rubbish you posted on the Spurs page. Why don't you pop back over and check.
Fanman
donegalvillan - Hi, I just wanted to make sure you get my reply to rubbish you posted on the Spurs page. Why don't you pop back over and check.
Fanman
Football is a habit , you have to get that Habit first and foremost. No amount of good football will get the TV addict off his bum , Target the local kids with their SKY4 shirts get them in Villa Park and let them experience LIVE football and they'll be die hard Villans for Life. That would go for all clubs not just Villa . People don't just start attending games at 18 they have to be taken to games as a child . Otherwise football is something they watch on TV or the computer !
villan57
Football is a habit , you have to get that Habit first and foremost. No amount of good football will get the TV addict off his bum , Target the local kids with their SKY4 shirts get them in Villa Park and let them experience LIVE football and they'll be die hard Villans for Life. That would go for all clubs not just Villa . People don't just start attending games at 18 they have to be taken to games as a child . Otherwise football is something they watch on TV or the computer !
villan57
Yep agree with this Villa57, it has been mentioned that cutting the price of tickets to 10 say to fill the ground, is not a good policy, as it upsets the fans who have paid full price or for season tickets, but it would be a good idea to fill up the ground with future Villans at very reasonable prices, ie cheap tickets for under 16s for certain games, the club will recoup the money in the future, as 57 says creating die hard Villans for life, we all did it, and when a lot of us on here started it probably seemed more affordable than it is now, also want to say again great post, Donegalvillan
ant1ant1
Yep agree with this Villa57, it has been mentioned that cutting the price of tickets to 10 say to fill the ground, is not a good policy, as it upsets the fans who have paid full price or for season tickets, but it would be a good idea to fill up the ground with future Villans at very reasonable prices, ie cheap tickets for under 16s for certain games, the club will recoup the money in the future, as 57 says creating die hard Villans for life, we all did it, and when a lot of us on here started it probably seemed more affordable than it is now, also want to say again great post, Donegalvillan
ant1ant1
Fanman's a tit. Leave the SPURS vs VILLA stuff out. start your party when the table does the talking, eh?
benji_starsky_avfc
villa park was full when spurs came to town.but that was the away support though.gotta go gotta catch the bus it's parked in front of friedel. nah ill be ok, i have time it will be there til may.
dwight schrute
People attend football matches to be entertained, not necessarily by the football but the ocassion. IMO stagnant attendances are a result of Villa themselves beeing consistently midtable, which has been seen with many other premier league teams, particularly from the north. I think untill if Villa start really producing on the pitch, not just top 6-7 standard then more fans will turn out. You've seen that with City, couldn't even give thier tickets away a couple of years ago but with the 'buzz' around the place (even though still currently a midtable team) more and more people are turning up
Phartman87
don't count on it phartman, even one of their own players wanted to sell his tickets.
dwight schrute
don't count on it phartman, even one of their own players wanted to sell his tickets.
dwight schrute
Super banter. Spurs are probably better/more entertaining than Brazil, anyway. So I suppose that's why your attendance is so fantastic. For all your "football" you didn't beat us ONCE. Sounds like some of, nay, all of your lot are still hung up on that fact. Diddums. I would love to face Spurs in the FA cup, put some of their ********* to bed. And I'll come down to your generally petty level - Villa Park is a much nicer ground than your hole. Our colours are prettier. Our manager is financially efficient. We're the best team in our region. You're among the worst in yours. START TALKING WHEN YOU ACTUALLY FINISH ABOVE US.
benji_starsky_avfc
Super banter. Spurs are probably better/more entertaining than Brazil, anyway. So I suppose that's why your attendance is so fantastic. For all your "football" you didn't beat us ONCE. Sounds like some of, nay, all of your lot are still hung up on that fact. Diddums. I would love to face Spurs in the FA cup, put some of their ********* to bed. And I'll come down to your generally petty level - Villa Park is a much nicer ground than your hole. Our colours are prettier. Our manager is financially efficient. We're the best team in our region. You're among the worst in yours. START TALKING WHEN YOU ACTUALLY FINISH ABOVE US.
benji_starsky_avfc
Apologies Fear for the holier than thou stuff. Some of their lot really get one my rack. To them, I say do one. UTV.
benji_starsky_avfc
Phartman when exactly have villa been consistently midtable? I would say Spurs have that particular trait nailed down the years!
rotter82
Pop over to Vital Villa in peace and good spirits, found this good article yet scroll down only to find yet more vile hatred and bitterness towards us. You really are a bitter lot arent you. Congratulations for being the best team in your region and having "prettier colours" benji you pathetic moron.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Pop over to Vital Villa in peace and good spirits, found this good article yet scroll down only to find yet more vile hatred and bitterness towards us. You really are a bitter lot arent you. Congratulations for being the best team in your region and having "prettier colours" benji you pathetic moron.
HuddersfieldYiddo
I think the most spectacular rise of a clubs fortunes has to be Chelsea. They were playing to 8,000 in the 80's in the second tier but they rose to be a very good side in the 90s. To hit the stratosphere of the elite of Europe like our top4 have however is nigh on impossible without a Billions being invested. Arsenal did it but even then spent a fortune and were very lucky to have Wenger (who knew he would be such a success?). I think teams like Spurs, Villa, Everton i think we will never hit dizzing heights without major investment. Sad but true. Sure one of us could get 4th this year, but it would most likely be a one off and wouldnt change much apart from maybe plunge Liverpool into further debt. City are the only team capable of sustained success due to the money they have
HuddersfieldYiddo
I think the most spectacular rise of a clubs fortunes has to be Chelsea. They were playing to 8,000 in the 80's in the second tier but they rose to be a very good side in the 90s. To hit the stratosphere of the elite of Europe like our top4 have however is nigh on impossible without a Billions being invested. Arsenal did it but even then spent a fortune and were very lucky to have Wenger (who knew he would be such a success?). I think teams like Spurs, Villa, Everton i think we will never hit dizzing heights without major investment. Sad but true. Sure one of us could get 4th this year, but it would most likely be a one off and wouldnt change much apart from maybe plunge Liverpool into further debt. City are the only team capable of sustained success due to the money they have
HuddersfieldYiddo
LOL, Villa midtable. We all know that Spuz were the only team to never finish in the bottom OR top 6 in the prem until their much talked about (by themselves as though they had won the World Cup) 5th placed finish 2 years running. Spuz attendance is good so that throws that argument out though.
Villan444
LOL, Villa midtable. We all know that Spuz were the only team to never finish in the bottom OR top 6 in the prem until their much talked about (by themselves as though they had won the World Cup) 5th placed finish 2 years running. Spuz attendance is good so that throws that argument out though.
Villan444
IMO, the problem with Villa is the local area. All the London clubs have a multitude of pubs, bars etc. within a short distance and Very good travel choices. Liverpool is inhabited by the unwashed and they don't have monies to go for a drink afterwards. Manure have fans coming from all round the country and most of them don't know what's going on. They only go to show off to their friends at work the next day because it's currently cool to go to matches. There's a large element of that with Arsenal and Chelsea also and I suppose it comes with success. Maybe we just need to win something first....
Villan444
IMO, the problem with Villa is the local area. All the London clubs have a multitude of pubs, bars etc. within a short distance and Very good travel choices. Liverpool is inhabited by the unwashed and they don't have monies to go for a drink afterwards. Manure have fans coming from all round the country and most of them don't know what's going on. They only go to show off to their friends at work the next day because it's currently cool to go to matches. There's a large element of that with Arsenal and Chelsea also and I suppose it comes with success. Maybe we just need to win something first....
Villan444
Not really brought this up before, but a lot of people who live in Aston don't like football, not sure if this is the case at other football grounds, but this must also have an impact, I imagine a lot of fans, not all, granted, but a lot, who go to the Liverpool, Manchester, London clubs, plus Newcastle for example, live around the ground, so attendance is easy, with Villa this is probably not the case
ant1ant1
Not really brought this up before, but a lot of people who live in Aston don't like football, not sure if this is the case at other football grounds, but this must also have an impact, I imagine a lot of fans, not all, granted, but a lot, who go to the Liverpool, Manchester, London clubs, plus Newcastle for example, live around the ground, so attendance is easy, with Villa this is probably not the case
ant1ant1
These pointless articles are giving other supporters more ammo to fire at us, they can just say we r a small team with little fan base cant they now? how stupid! We average at least nearly 39,000 every home game and sell out every away so whats the big deal its a sell out near enough, just that some games like when we play small teams can be better.
p.villa
These pointless articles are giving other supporters more ammo to fire at us, they can just say we r a small team with little fan base cant they now? how stupid! We average at least nearly 39,000 every home game and sell out every away so whats the big deal its a sell out near enough, just that some games like when we play small teams can be better.
p.villa
benji_starsky_avfc - I'm not a tit, I actually I feel like talking now. Just like your weirdo friend donegalvillan. Its a pity your large fanbase doesn't know how to use the internet... Also, when your merchants sail onto our shores, please don't scoff when we send out ours. It is to be expected.
Fanman
benji_starsky_avfc - I'm not a tit, I actually I feel like talking now. Just like your weirdo friend donegalvillan. Its a pity your large fanbase doesn't know how to use the internet... Also, when your merchants sail onto our shores, please don't scoff when we send out ours. It is to be expected.
Fanman
Good lord, you guys are touchy aren't you? Believe it or not I was being constructive to the debate. I'm fully aware we (spurs) have been mid table for the last 20 year but in answer to your article my opinion of why you don't sell out as much as you 'should' is because as the above comments show your fans believe you're bigger then real madrid but the football you play is on a par with real salt lake. Although my point was about excitment not the relative mediocrity of us both, and although you might disagree it's not that exciting going into a season knowing you're not going to challenge for the title ,or even CL most years, and not going to get relegated, if that's not the definition of 'dull' I don't know what is (we should know). And if the fans aren't entertained they're not going to spend thousands of pounds going to matches particularly when it's so many matches are televised or streamable on line
Phartman87
Good lord, you guys are touchy aren't you? Believe it or not I was being constructive to the debate. I'm fully aware we (spurs) have been mid table for the last 20 year but in answer to your article my opinion of why you don't sell out as much as you 'should' is because as the above comments show your fans believe you're bigger then real madrid but the football you play is on a par with real salt lake. Although my point was about excitment not the relative mediocrity of us both, and although you might disagree it's not that exciting going into a season knowing you're not going to challenge for the title ,or even CL most years, and not going to get relegated, if that's not the definition of 'dull' I don't know what is (we should know). And if the fans aren't entertained they're not going to spend thousands of pounds going to matches particularly when it's so many matches are televised or streamable on line
Phartman87
Tbf the spurs fans on here arent being that bad and there is alot of over reaction on our part but we are giving them reasons to say things to us with ridiculous articles like these, we are basically saying that we have a small fan base and noone comes to watch us? when they do so obv teams are gonna laugh at us with articles like this because i would do the same to spurs for example. They have no reason to comment about the way we play football as they have been labelled as a long ball side enough aswell and i no for a fact for watching villa every game that we dont play the best football but its not as bad as these spurs fans say it is but we aint doing ourselves any favours. we will finish above spurs if we win the games we should this season, our fixtues are way better than theres so really we should be hitting 4th spot or definately 5th.
p.villa
Tbf the spurs fans on here arent being that bad and there is alot of over reaction on our part but we are giving them reasons to say things to us with ridiculous articles like these, we are basically saying that we have a small fan base and noone comes to watch us? when they do so obv teams are gonna laugh at us with articles like this because i would do the same to spurs for example. They have no reason to comment about the way we play football as they have been labelled as a long ball side enough aswell and i no for a fact for watching villa every game that we dont play the best football but its not as bad as these spurs fans say it is but we aint doing ourselves any favours. we will finish above spurs if we win the games we should this season, our fixtues are way better than theres so really we should be hitting 4th spot or definately 5th.
p.villa
Infact spurs and villa are similar clubs if you think about it, same sorta sized stadium, same expectations, both bringing some good english talent through the ranks and similar sqauds, both have solid defences, solid midfield in both attacking and defending, they just have a little more firepower so if villa dont get top 4 we should really want spurs instead of those money grabbin bas****s in manchester and visa versa
p.villa
Infact spurs and villa are similar clubs if you think about it, same sorta sized stadium, same expectations, both bringing some good english talent through the ranks and similar sqauds, both have solid defences, solid midfield in both attacking and defending, they just have a little more firepower so if villa dont get top 4 we should really want spurs instead of those money grabbin bas****s in manchester and visa versa
p.villa
Nice sentiment p.villa, i share the same opinion totally. If we (Spurs) dont get there i really hope its you guys. You have the easiest run in aswell so i can see you doing it aswell.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Nice sentiment p.villa, i share the same opinion totally. If we (Spurs) dont get there i really hope its you guys. You have the easiest run in aswell so i can see you doing it aswell.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Jeez, it's like watching a little boy in the playground pull a little girl's hair cos he fancies her! p.villa and HuddersfieldYiddo... get a room! Back to the debate, what is it the Jesuits say, "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man". Kids tickets need to be cheaper and there should be things like parents-children days where certain matches' tickets can be bought for a 'family pack' for less than 50 quid for a family of four. Great deal with potential long-term rewards. Cheap tickets for certain matches are fine but it's how you sell it that's important.
Rawlie
Jeez, it's like watching a little boy in the playground pull a little girl's hair cos he fancies her! p.villa and HuddersfieldYiddo... get a room! Back to the debate, what is it the Jesuits say, "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man". Kids tickets need to be cheaper and there should be things like parents-children days where certain matches' tickets can be bought for a 'family pack' for less than 50 quid for a family of four. Great deal with potential long-term rewards. Cheap tickets for certain matches are fine but it's how you sell it that's important.
Rawlie
Record Attendance: 76,588 v Derby County FA Cup 6th Round, March 2nd, 1946. Modern All Seated Attendance Record: 42,788 v Liverpool Premier League, December 29th, 2009. Average Attendance: 2008-2009: 39,634 (Premier League) 2007-2008: 40,029 (Premier League) 2006-2007: 36,214 (Premier League) Thats not bad tbh
Blitz
Record Attendance: 76,588 v Derby County FA Cup 6th Round, March 2nd, 1946. Modern All Seated Attendance Record: 42,788 v Liverpool Premier League, December 29th, 2009. Average Attendance: 2008-2009: 39,634 (Premier League) 2007-2008: 40,029 (Premier League) 2006-2007: 36,214 (Premier League) Thats not bad tbh
Blitz
Grr soz ^. Average Attendance: 2008-2009: 39,634 (Premier League) 2007-2008: 40,029 (Premier League) 2006-2007: 36,214 (Premier League)
Blitz
Grr soz ^. Average Attendance: 2008-2009: 39,634 (Premier League) 2007-2008: 40,029 (Premier League) 2006-2007: 36,214 (Premier League)
Blitz
Tbh, we have the best defence in the prem and one of the poorest attacks which shows that we can grind out results with the best but we do lack entertainment value for any paying public. Watching footy has become very expensive also, so why would you pay good money to watch poor footy at any club? We have built a hopeful young squad that will prove fruitful in the next 2/3 yrs, until then we are a nearly team just like those around us! Citeh will buy their way into that final 4th spot and it will be at our and spuds expense unfortunately. Top 4 Chelski, Manyoo, Arsn amd Citeh. That leaves Liverpoo out in the cold and financially scuppered. Villa don't NEED to qualify but would like to, how much have spuds spent and do they need to qualify??
holte ender 1969
Tbh, we have the best defence in the prem and one of the poorest attacks which shows that we can grind out results with the best but we do lack entertainment value for any paying public. Watching footy has become very expensive also, so why would you pay good money to watch poor footy at any club? We have built a hopeful young squad that will prove fruitful in the next 2/3 yrs, until then we are a nearly team just like those around us! Citeh will buy their way into that final 4th spot and it will be at our and spuds expense unfortunately. Top 4 Chelski, Manyoo, Arsn amd Citeh. That leaves Liverpoo out in the cold and financially scuppered. Villa don't NEED to qualify but would like to, how much have spuds spent and do they need to qualify??
holte ender 1969
I live in Notts and have very little spare cash, so deciding to fork out at least 50 for the full day out for me is a fairly big decision. It's made a lot harder for me knowing that Heskey's in the team. Ever since we bought him our football's gone downhill, remember the 1st half of last season, we were great to watch then!
MrZeus
I live in Notts and have very little spare cash, so deciding to fork out at least 50 for the full day out for me is a fairly big decision. It's made a lot harder for me knowing that Heskey's in the team. Ever since we bought him our football's gone downhill, remember the 1st half of last season, we were great to watch then!
MrZeus
think there is a mix huddersfieldyiddo, good guys like you come over and add to the debate, we have had a good few who come over just to abuse so I think our lot are just snapping before thinking. Some of the Spuds have been on the wind up for a couple of seasons and it grows tiresome. As I've said before, I don't care for the who is a bigger club than who unless one of us actually wins something major.... hey ho! As said, your contributions are always welcome although bit surprised at the number of Spuds commenting on a question posed to Villa fans.

I do have to agree some of it is down to entertainment, there are die hard fans (as Tommy Docherty said once, you could put out the Villa shirts to dry and 30 000 Villa fans would turn up) but the rest need to be convinced/entertained/see bums on seats players. If we bought a couple of top mark players this summer, I think that is it, another 5000 fans at Villa Park and job done, sell outs for all games. Easier typed than done I'd imagine but that to me is the missing link.

Folks, can we put an end to this playground stuff now please, we all love our own clubs and always will.
The Fear
think there is a mix huddersfieldyiddo, good guys like you come over and add to the debate, we have had a good few who come over just to abuse so I think our lot are just snapping before thinking. Some of the Spuds have been on the wind up for a couple of seasons and it grows tiresome. As I've said before, I don't care for the who is a bigger club than who unless one of us actually wins something major.... hey ho! As said, your contributions are always welcome although bit surprised at the number of Spuds commenting on a question posed to Villa fans.

I do have to agree some of it is down to entertainment, there are die hard fans (as Tommy Docherty said once, you could put out the Villa shirts to dry and 30 000 Villa fans would turn up) but the rest need to be convinced/entertained/see bums on seats players. If we bought a couple of top mark players this summer, I think that is it, another 5000 fans at Villa Park and job done, sell outs for all games. Easier typed than done I'd imagine but that to me is the missing link.

Folks, can we put an end to this playground stuff now please, we all love our own clubs and always will.
The Fear
Could be worse. I used to live near Forest Green Rovers ground and keep an eye on them as I have family there and did some coaching for the U14 team. 15 quid to sit (for a Blue Square Premier game!!!), 12 to stand, their attendances less than 1000 and they refuse to make any changes to the pricing structure despite them more than likely getting relegated this season and in desperate need of cash. I think family deals would go a long way to increasing the attendance at Villa Park (something that the FGR board disagree with for thier club. Madness...apparently 15 notes in an area where getting a job is nigh on impossible is acceptable for 5th division football!). Not only would it be more enticing for families on a low income but also help blood the next generation of Villa fans, who otherwise may not get the chance to go. I understand the arguments with people who have already paid, but a full crowd would lift the team, plus we are a business, so on certain games, when the tickets have not all been sold, then we could offer a matchday deal maybe? With the local News broadcasts, local Radio and press it could be advertised easily enough. A trial season perhaps?
Francobaresi13
Have to agree having a boring player like Heskey in the team isn't exactly enthralling entertainment is it?
thorpyuk
Have to agree having a boring player like Heskey in the team isn't exactly enthralling entertainment is it?
thorpyuk
 

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