Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday October 11 2012
This is a bit of an odd one. I always thought that any Villa fan would say no to the question:
Should Villa move to a new ground.
For me, part of our history, heritage, beauty and magic IS Villa Park.
I`ve thought about it before and if Villa moved, I can`t see that I`d move with them. The love affair would be over I think. A good mate of mine, home and awayer etc says the same.
However, in an article not long back, in reference to the Supporters Consultations Group brought up a couple of posters saying that if Villa are ever going to work and get back to the top of the table, they need to look at doing something radical and re-inventing themselves. Both posters who said they would do this are long standing fans, so not come day go day chaps!
voiceoftheholte kicked it off with:
"All the supporter consultation groups, whilst occasionally coming up with an idea, will never overcome most of the problems facing many football clubs in the future and are akin to moving the deckchairs on the Titanic. Flatten Villa Park, sell the land for development and move to the area now home to the Aston Science Park on the east side of the City Centre, next to the ThinkTank and within walking distance of the 3 Main train stations in Brum, the Metro service and every bus route into Brum. Make it the heart of the City or all the fan initiatives in the world are pointless. Big men and big leaders make big decisions. Lets forget ticking boxes and do something fundemental for the long term health of our great club. Villa Park worked upto 40 years ago. It doesn't anymore. Fortune favours the brave."
"Flatten Villa Park? Wow, didn't think you'd go for that sort of thing!?!?!? I think if Villa moved from Villa Park, my love affair would end. It is too historic a ground surely? Albeit, I understand, with all the stands now having been changed... etc. Interesting opinion that one."
Villa historial the_lergy then joined in...
"'Voiceoftheholte's arguments are so persuasive about a move from Villa Park I am going to come out of my closet and say I agree with him! I never thought I'd say that, but it appears to me that we need people of the vision of Ramsay, Mac and Rinder at the helm to put Villa in its proper setting ... upsetting though that may be. I've written articles on my blog and on the Villa List in support."
Blimey Lergy! lol... I might have to turn this into an article as a talking point I think! Trouble is, I put one up and some 'read between the lines' (where nothing is actually written) and think this is happening and I'm testing the water! LOL
Voice then went deeply into his views:
"Fear - Aston is dead. Small Heath is dead. Wolves have a well placed stadium, but unfortunately for them the city is dead. There are certain clubs where the club is the heartbeat of a community, Newcastle, both Scouse clubs, Norwich amongst others. But Villa and many others, suffer nowadays due to their location. Like you I have been coming for years, for many of our age group it would be a wrench to leave Villa Park. The emotions, memories, the formative years make it almost impossible to consider. But for anyone under the age of 35 they are not likely to live within 3 miles of Villa Park. The club is no longer home to the community it serves. But most problematic is that it is not fundamentally easy to get to. There is spare land on the East of the City Centre. Easy for a majority of fans to reach by bus, train, metro or car. It would be central to the Brummy community and therefore central to the people who support it. Maybe put this up as an article as you mentioned. It is painful but I believe holding onto history could hold us back. Someone with vision could bring the club into the upper echelons of the game??
It is good you are on the same page as me on this. It is emotive. Villa Park will be my football love until I draw my final breath, but the thought of a Villa Park in the centre of Brum would convince me that there is life after the old place. There is the space for it by the Aston Science Park if only someone with the vision to do this would grasp the bull by the horns. Rebuild Villa Park on the same traditions as the current ground, brick built and solid. Not a plastic clad abortion as suffered by so many clubs. Surround it with casinos, health clubs, gymnasiums, our museum, retail outlets, bars and restaurants and a s*****y new hotel and the club would grow ten fold. Transport and location is the key. Being in the centre then I would guess that 95% of people would be able to get to it on matchday by just one journey, be that a bus, the Metro or the train. Less people would go to matches in the car which would mean massive extra trade for bars and restaurants as well as good revenue the public transport network.
Fans would be more inclined to make a day out of watching the game. Shops in the city centre would benefit. It would be a great venue for international and European Final games, again bringing massive revenue into the City. There are a quarter of a million people in Birmingham City Centre every day. They would all be able to visit whenever they want for lunch, tickets, shopping, going to the gym. At night time the bars, casino and gyms would make the place a constant hub and a focal point of many peoples lives. This would also help the cultural groups who currently shun the football club to integrate. Thinking out of the box maybe even build a new church/mosque/synagogue in keeping with the surroundings to actively encourage the area as a multi faith use.
I fully understand the emotive reasons for staying at Villa Park. I understand tradition and heritage. Man Citeh do not seem to be doing so bad since leaving Main Road, Arsenal since leaving Highbury, Red and Blue Scouse are both desperate to leave their traditional home (and it could be argued that they have equally as much reason/history/tradition for wanting to stay in their current grounds). It makes sense despite the emotive attachment to the area. There is the land to do it. It would take the club to an entirely different level. And I tell you something for nothing, if a club up the road gets proper ownership and financial backing they will do it. And that really would put us in a precarious position. Do unto him as would be done to you. But do it first."
So, what say you folks? Not saying this will ever be on the agenda, but as we have the international break to bore us now, thought it would make a great talking point. Have to admit he has a point with regards to Arsenal and Manchester City... but Villa moving? I think it would break my heart!
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