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Freedom Of Speech At Villa?

Freedom of speech and the fans duty!!

At the end of Saturdays game my daughter was assaulted by a Villa steward as she and a friend tried to unfurl a banner asking for the removal of Alex Mcleish. This was at the end of the game as fans were leaving the stadium. The stewards were more interested in preventing an inoffensive banner being displayed, than helping assist the safe exit of fans from the stadium.

It is obvious that all of the Support Prevention Officers (stewards) are now briefed before all games to look at any flags or banners being carried in to the game. They have previously removed mine. We purchased our Season cards before the appointment of McLeish and as a fully paid up customers we are perfectly entitled to show our disagreement with that decision. And as managers always say when they are given some stick, the paying public are fully within their rights to show their displeasure.

That is until now.

However most worrying was the absolute panic a banner could cause and the absolute disregard for fan safety in trying to prevent the display of this banner. Children were pushed aside in the rush to attack a 16 year old girl holding a flag. The simple fact is that the club cannot stop it happening. If they try to blame me then the banner will simply 'belong' to someone else. Each game the flag will have a new owner.

Obviously I will be contacting the club on this issue today. However I urge all Villa fans who want the removal of Alex McLeish to be aware that if you are taking any flags to Villa Park that they must be hidden from the Support Prevention Officers.

This denial of our freedom to disagree with what is happening at our club is more akin to Syria than to Villa Park. I was a shareholder before Randolph arrived. I had no choice but to give up my shares. I was a season card holder before the appointment of this failed manager. And now we are not allowed to show our disapproval of what is happening at our great club?? It highlights that the only way to get your feelings known is to boycott ticket sales and merchandise. Money talks. And if as a paying customers we are not allowed to give our opinion, then the only way is as none paying customers. The fight against this failed manager has now reached a new level and all Villa Fans should now vow to take the fight to the club.

UTV The 19th Minute.

Once a Villan. Always a Villan

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The Journalist

Writer: voiceoftheholte Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 23 2012

Time: 10:19AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
If everyone (or as many as possible) took a flag into the ground undetected, they can't confiscate them all. The only way to deal with that kind of suppression is to ramp up efforts.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 10:30:00

Get t-shirts printed rather than banners. What can they do then? As long a lots of people get involved it'll work.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 10:41:00

Fact is VOTH that you knew in advance that this was not going to be tolerated yet you still asked your 16 year old daughter to unfurl it. Be honest, you got the reaction you wanted. If you wish to protest, as you clearly do and have the right to, then protest but do not ask others to carry the banner for you.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 10:48:00

jsmccue. Already done that mate. Mine said 'Eck'. My pal sat next to me wore one saying 'out'. Unfortunately it is not likely to be seen on TV as I am in the top of the Holte. All it takes is a black pen and a 2 white tshirt from Asda. Be brilliant if those in the front of the Holte did it. Even better if some of those who sit behind the dug out did it. Great tv shot. McMuppet stood in front of Eck Out shirts!!
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 11:04:00

glb - no longer my banner. Up to others if they want to take it in. But you miss the point. My daughter was assaulted helping somebody else unfurl their banner. Other supporters were endangered. This was before anyone knew what was on the banner being unfurled.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 11:07:00

Akin to Syria? You are joking, aren't you?
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 11:10:00

Guys this is a joke, 6th May how they going to stop 30,000 fans from taking in posters everyone get behind Mcleish out day, Come onnnnn big game Tuesday guys.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 11:41:00

calavfc - only used as a reference in that any form of protest will be met with force. Same principal, albeit in a way that can not be compared to the suffereing of the Syrians. Is was an example of principal, not suffering or effect.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 11:49:00

Be vocal they cant stop us singing, lets get this clown out as soon as we beat bolton the songs must begin, "we'll renew, we'll renew, we'll renew when is is sacked, we'll renew when he is gone"
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:09:00

songs as soon as we beat bolton the pressure has got to go right up
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:10:00

When you say assaulted - what did they do?
Cheshire Villan
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:13:00

The stewards forced their way throught the exiting crowds to pull my daughter away from the front of the Holte and grabbed at the banner which she was helping to unfurl. No damage done, but a dangerous precedent. The club have been informed and have responded accordingly. Not only was it a terrible place to provoke this confrontation, it put other fans in danger as well. It was a case of ignore the safety of the exiting fans, as long as we prevent the displaying of a banner that they didn't even know what was written on it. It may have said 'Up the Villa' or 'We support Stan'.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:25:00

Keep up the good work VOTH. The oppression can't go on forever. Hierarchy are treating us like Americans and you can't get away with it over here. Media has been whitewashed aswell. McGrath only knows how they've done it.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:25:00

Was this in the upper Holte - K4? Saw it all (may have even spoken to you) if it was the same incident. That steward was a disgrace and was lucky no one was injured or worse pushed over the top of the barrier the way he charged down!
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:29:00

You are right about the media blackout 444. It is unbelievable that the Birmingham Mail are not reporting the Season Card boycott, that the club are indicating means sales of just 4000 Season Cards next season.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:30:00

Disgusting behavour. Voice - just rest assured that next season, if this 'manager' is still here, they wont have any fans left to fight against....
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:43:00

What the ***** has happened to our club!?
Class of 82
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:43:00

I think on the day he gets sacked, the club should release 'Mcleish stress heads' free of charge - basically some sort of stress reliever done in the shape of his pink and ginger face. Maybe there could be a button on it that utters some of his favourite sayings such as "Defend lads, defend, it's the only way forward" or "Well, although we lost 6-0, i'm doing a great job, and it was all Wiemanns fault" or maybe "Nobody else could do a better job than me" lol
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 12:53:00

Voice keep going mate, we and many others were here and will be here longer than Randy and have every right to voice our disappointment at recent events. Gordon please stop sticking up for this tripe
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 13:16:00

mcgrath4pope. That will be the one fella. Good to see that others on the site saw the way that OUR club is trying to prevent us airing OUR views. Safety is now second to prevention of freedom of speech.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 13:36:00

After the spuds game we should hang banners all along the trees in Aston park and lay them on the grass bank. Almost like a tribute done when someone dies but with a different sentiment. The club would be powerless to stop it as its not their land but it would be in full sight. Either that or on the railing of the park by the transport museum.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 14:04:00

What a disgrace. As if they haven't treated us with enough contempt, this is going too far. How about a massive banner having a go at the prevention of freedom of speech? Get the **** out of our club the lot of you.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 14:25:00

Well having seen it I can assure everyone on here that VOTH is in no way exaggerating the truly shocking behaviour of the steward in question - I sit four rows from the front and several people around me were equally furious. It truly is shameful.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 14:25:00

******** disgraceful, this board care more about pr than than avfc. ***** off to that steward.
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 14:29:00

That's not good. They have to ban all banners or nothing at all. Remember unfurling a Villa flag at Blackpool many years ago and a policeman hit me over the head very hard. When I turned round he said - no flags here son! If he'd just said I would have put it away! Don't want a return to those days.
Cheshire Villan
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 16:42:00

So the board has got it's own Gestapo now! This is going to get nasty..... and if the board want nasty, hopefully they'll get nasty. If I was in the UK it would get nasty.... nough said here on the front page......................................................
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
23/04/2012 16:45:00


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