Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Something For The Weekend (103)

Something For The Weekend (103)

By Steve Wade

One of the recurring lessons, which seems to be a permanent feature on the syllabus of the University of Life, is that some things come a bit too late, if at all. The chances are, that most people are at their richest, the day after it is too late to spend it. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the girl with the body to die for, which you loved beyond distraction in your youth, will wait until you are well beyond the powers of Viagra, before she confesses that she'd always had a soft spot for you. Not the sort of news likely to soothe your throbbing self-inflicted carpal tunnel syndrome, in your dotage. Good news in the Summer of '69, can sound like mockery in the Winter of 2009.

So when the news broke this week, that several bids had come in for the purchase of Villa, and the likelihood of Ellis actually selling the club improved by the odd percentile; hopes were raised but not by much. It quickly became apparent that for all those who had cancelled their season-tickets in recent years, on the proviso that they would not renew until Doug Ellis was gone (and there are literally thousands), that it was all happening a bit too late - the dream is dead and beyond revival. Killed, murdered and destroyed by the selfishness of you-know-who, and never likely to see life again. Click your heels as much as you like, no one is going back to Kansas little Toto.

There was even a little panic, as many, actually thought they might be reminded of their old promises to return once the Deadly one had gone. Appeal to their sentiment all you like - retell the old tales of pride and tears in the Third Division. Recount the tale of European glory against all the odds. Mention the golden names. Number the golden moments. Do what you like - the old dreams may still excite a flicker of their dead Villa souls but the present reality is a killer. High prices, over-paid and pampered lethargic players; games on every day of the week except Saturday. Cold winter nights in coughing creeping traffic-jams. Arriving home late, too stressed-out to sleep. Feeling shit in the morning. And all for what? To buy some piece of human dirt in a football shirt, a new pair of diamond earrings? Or, to provide the soundtrack for the benefit of the television audience. Its a crap reality and it doesn't compare very favourably with a night in front of the box, with a shot of cocoa in your Villa mug, the channel-changer and your twinkle-toes nestling cosily in your Villa slippers. A few years off, from the undiluted live experience, and it is going to take something really special to drag them back again.

Its going to take Ben Kingsley's character out of Sexy Beast, to persuade them to come out of retirement and probably with the same result.

So I tend to think that appeals to moribund sentiment are not going to work. For Villa to start filling the ground again, they need to attract new customers, not try and bring back the old ones and there's only one way to do that - build the mystique of the club and put money on the pitch where the fans can see it. Leave all the sentimental bollocks to the granddads who don't go any more and leave them to their dreams of the smell of Dubbin and cheap rates for Servicemen; Villa need to think 21st Century and not 19th. Kids don't nag their parents for a pair of McGregor boots, they want the latest big brand stuff and they want the same from their football team. A kid wants to be able to hold his head up and wear his shirt with pride, with knowledge that his team can win something this century, not the last. This will take a lot of dough and the sort of vision which is capable of lifting the oppressive gloom, which is Ellis's real legacy. A Villa shirt should be a prestige item and not the equivalent of a pair of Lidl trainers.

This will take big bucks and being able to afford to buy the club is not enough, its how much change you have left which counts.

The only way forward is to build Villa into a world brand and a football powerhouse. Any plan based on picking your staff, on whether a person once wore the shirt, looks destined to fail. What they need, is the best professionals available - anything else is a step backwards and a mere continuation of what has been a failed business-plan.

At this point, I find the Neville bid the least attractive, for one very important reason: a man who always insists on being interviewed in his garden, is obviously ashamed of his furniture. If he's got MFI furniture, perhaps he fancies building an MFI Villa?

But good furniture or bad - I am not sure whether it is good news arriving too late.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Friday July 28 2006
Time: 10:24AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Under Armour Through The Shop Window

Late last night eagle eyed fans noticed something at the club shop I believe, and instead of it being the new home and away kit teasers...

Lambert Gets Linked Again?

Aston Villa are again being linked with now West Bromwich Albion striker Rickie Lambert.

Villa Players Return To Training With Familiar Face

Well it's Wednesday, and earlier today the players returned for testing and day one of Roberto Di Matteo's era at Villa Park.

Birmingham Games Switched On Police Advice

Not a great shock to see the home and away games against Birmingham City moved this season is it - if anything the only surprise is the announcement has come this...

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Can Gabby redeem himself and stay?
Suggested By: JP Fear
Yes32%
No63%
Meh, not sure5%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Pirelli announce driver selections for Austria
Latest Vital Boxing News
Froch Not Sure About Groves!
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear455
2.sirdennis195
3.Fulford191
4.BodyButter160
5.glensider146
6.JuanPabloAngel131
7.kefkat115
8.DeanoVilla107
9.Melon Donkey91
10.HeathfieldRoad187489
Vital Football Comment