What makes the difference? Pt 1
Many, many years ago football moved away from its' roots. This is that at 3 o'clock on a Saturday fans would visit their local stadium to support their local team. Often travelling to and from the games with the players they would be cheering on. This still happened to some extent prior to the SKY revolution, not the travelling with players but supporting your local team. I do not want to cover all the ground about the good and bad things that have changed over the last 15 years but the new TV contracts are already bringing about further changes in the way the game is viewed all over the world.
Roman Abramovich has bought the game into a new era of Billionaire owners. Next season, Chelski, Redscouse, Manure, Pompey, West Sham (hopefully relegated before the season starts) and ourselves will be owned by overseas billionaires and Newcrapstle will be owned by a British billionaire. Villasboro', Fulham, Wigan, Reading, Sunderland, Spuds and Small Heath are all owned by people or organisations with multi millionaire wealth. This means the playing field is changing and things could become difficult for the likes of Blackburn, Bluescouse, Derby, Man Citeh, Bolton and the maybe surprisingly, the Arse. Already the Arse, Small Heath, Blackburn and Man Citeh are in talks with foreign billionaires in the hope of selling out to this new investment.
So this brings me to the question of what makes the difference? Players now hold all the power over where they ply their trade and what we have is a group of business men trying to tempt the best staff to their organisation. Just like any other business really. In simple terms money often talks and players will go to whoever pays them the most money. I think the Ravenelli situation at Villasboro' a few years ago was the best example of this. Many players will go to clubs where they think they can win things and where hopefully their international careers will develop. There are only a select few players who are good enough to hold out for the best money at the best clubs.
So looking at the different variables that clubs can offer players the choices are, potential to win things and compete in Europe, salary, location, progressive club that will soon be competing for honours
possibly, chance to work with a good manager and finally playing in front of an appreciative audience. Looking at our situation, we are not likely to win League titles in the near future. Our salary levels are less than many clubs. Our location is average when compared to the likes of London, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Paris, Barcelona and many others.
We think we are progressive and have a great manager, but this is what many of the clubs owned by billionaires will say. Finally are we an audience that players talk about as being a joy to play in front of and for? Quite simply the answer to that at the moment is ....... no, although the Sheffield game at the end of last season opened up a few peoples eyes as to what difference the crowd can make, not just to the team but to the whole matchday experience at Villa Park. That day Villa fans showed that we can be a great audience and the sort of place where players would like to call home. We often do not sell out our home games, the ground is often quiet and we have frequently got on players backs if we think they are not up to scratch.
What exactly have we got to offer than no other club has?
Part two later....
Article by voiceoftheholte