Date:Monday May 14 2012
Enough is Enough
All this talk about financial constraints and cutting wages at Aston Villa hides the hideous truth of what has just taken place in the 2011/12 season which has, thankfully, now passed in to history. It's important to make sure that our beloved club is on a sound financial footing, and certainly there were a lot of big money deals given to the likes of Heskey, Beye, Ireland and others that have failed to reap a dividend, but the current board of the club need to realise that financial stability cannot happen without paying customers because in any normal business, wages are paid out from income.
If employees are not performing well enough to have paying customers putting their hands in their pockets, then there won't be enough cash to pay them therefore they must perform better in order to keep the customers satisfied enough with the product they are buying that they keep paying for that product on an on-going basis.
What is happening at Villa Park is business suicide.
The paying customers are not happy with the product on offer and season ticket sales for 2012/13 are way down. Gates have been 10,000 short of capacity for the past season, £200,000 per game x 19 =£3.8million a season at an average ticket price of £20. The reason for cost cutting is simply that the board want and need to get value for money, and because the club's highest paid employees, the players and the management team, are not performing to their best, income is suffering.
It's a bit of a catch 22 situation, but throwing cash at the problem wont solve it in the medium to long term. So how do the board get better value for the supporters, us, the paying public.
1. Get a manager who can motivate players and make them want to play for him, each other, and the shirt. Currently, some do, some don't, others can't.
2. Get rid of any player who doesn't fit the mould and only sign or keep those who will add value to the playing staff.
3. Have the manager set up the team with players in their best positions to entertain their customers and try to win football matches.
4. Train the players to defend and attack set pieces properly.
5. Speculate to accumulate:make shrewd investments in players who won't end up getting paid to go out on loan, and who will draw the missing fans back to Villa Park thus earning their wages.
6. Continue to develop young players through an already excellent product, the Villa academy. Premier league success doesn't come easy.
Many clubs have tried and failed, many big clubs like Leeds and have dropped out of the big time due to financial miss-management. Some, like Portsmouth, got too big too quickly and the air went out of their bubble as quickly as it inflated. Yet other clubs, like Wigan, and Fulham can survive on small gates because they provide value. The fan base we have at Aston Villa, is huge and worldwide. I am Brummie born but so many people in Ireland support the club because of the proud history and connections of the Irish to the city of Birmingham. We, the fans deserve better than a struggling team with a manager who can't seem to please anyone.
We will travel to support the team from all over the city, country and the world, but we rightly refuse to be sold a white elephant. We expect a certain degree of competitiveness if not success, but we must also accept that there is no divine right to succeed because of past achievements and because we! are Aston Villa.
The decision makers at our great football club need to say 'Enough is Enough' before it is too late. After all, the customer is always right, and good business people listen to their customers. We are not fickle, and it doesn't really matter where managers arrive from, we, the customers, just want the best for Aston Villa F.C.
Date:Monday May 14 2012
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