Date: 9th July 2007 at 9:10am
Written by:

What a refreshing change

I have written this article as I wanted to share a few things with my fellow Villa fans which have happened to me recently that show how much the club has changed. Since Randy took over I was inspired by our change of fortune and I decided to put a few of the idea’s I had about making the club better down on paper. Some of these had been knocking around in my head while Doug was around but let’s face it. If he wasn’t going to listen to Bruce Langham the Chief Exec he brought in and was paying to improve the club, he sure as hell was not going to listen to some dreamer from the Holte End.

So given the club is improving in all directions I thought I might as well get these into the mix and even if one of them is useful and makes a difference, it will make us that little bit better. Eventually all the
work came to fruition (after enduring my missus moaning while I had my face stuck in a laptop at every opportunity) and my baby was born. Now before everyone thinks the sum total of this was getting the back of a fag packet and writing with my best blue crayon’ I reckon we shud by Kaka and we will be da best’.I have to say in my eyes it was a bloody masterpiece, a 40 plus page folder covering off all angles of the club, based on my perspective of how we could improve things.

So off it went addressed to The General just before the last home game of the season and a week or so later, I get a letter back from the States thanking me for the idea’s and that it was greatly appreciated. Also that he would forward onto Randy and Richard Fitzgerald so they could see what I had sent in. Now we all know how fan friendly the General is and those who have personally met him would be better placed to say what sort of guy he is, but I am immensely impressed, as I believe we all are, with his open and receptive approach to the forums and communicating with the fans. So at this point I am thinking.hey he actually got it, and read it, and he bloody liked it.get in! Never mind sending it on to Randy and Richard, and they may read it ..and might like it!!

I’m ecstatic at this stage, all the hard work was worth it. The General appreciated and liked what I had done and Randy and Richard might see it. And more importantly maybe one of the ideas will be useful; well…that was the whole bloody point! So I then went on holiday, get back on the 13th June and I have a letter from Aston Villa.and it’s only from Richard Fitzgerald.Our CEO, saying I should contact his PA and arrange a meeting to go through my idea’s and talk about some of the things that are happening at the moment. At this point my missus had to peel me off the ceiling…and then I proceeded to sh*t myself. I am going to meet our CEO.our CEO is taking time to see me.a normal fan from the Holte end.

On the 29th June at 2.30pm I am standing in the North stand reception about to meet Richard, excited and scared at the same time. His PA showed me to the office and for an hour we sat down and went through the folder of idea’s and some of them were noted for further discussion and some of them the club were already addressing and implementing, as they were obvious glaring things that could do with improving. I have to say he was a down to earth really normal, nice guy, and it was a great experience.

Now to put this into perspective Richard has been in the job for about 6 months, if that. And he has the task of making Aston Villa a slick business that is attracting strong partners and in general taking a
business that has been stagnating/threading water under the old regime and he has to bring it up to 21st century standards. I am no expert on how to run a football club, but it does not take a genius to work out we were not setting the world alight under Doug. He must have 101 things to do, the new season is coming up and everyone wants his time on decisions and things that are affecting the club.

And he made time to see me.

So rest assured we are definitely in good hands..


8 Replies to “Refreshing Change At Villa”

  • As you say, after all the pain and frustration of the past years, this is indeed so refreshing. For me, all we have to do as a Football Club is get some quality bodies in, have a season of progression, top 8 would still suffice in my mind, and get that glimpse into the future of a great Villa side in the making.

    I have been reading comments over on the Vital Man City site and some of those guys are also taking a longer perspective.
    Good job we have MO’N and people at the top like RF, RL and The General because people like that make ALL the difference when the money side of things is beginning to equal out across many clubs.

  • You should publish this file for all villians to see, mate. I’d be interested to have a read of it.

  • Well done fella. It is hearing feedback such as this that makes you want to go the extra mile as a supporter. The new regime are taking on board the first lesson of communication ………. listening! Not only that, they do actually listen and then react, where possible to what is said. Think back to the Sheffield United game. The original plan was for the team of ’82 to come on the pitch at half time. I sent a message (or rather somone else sent it on my behalf) to the General on his message board. This was to say that the ’82 team should come on the pitch before the game, not a half time when we are having a pee and a pint. The success of the Ron Saunders presentation proved this was how it should be done. Not only did the General listen, he agreed and the half time parade was changed to pre match. The rest is history because that little change made the whole day more special. You will also find that Nicki Keye was instrumental in making that day scarf day happen. I have had a few meetings with her over the last few years and badgered her on the idea of ‘fan’ days. I suggested scarf , baseball hat and t shirt days to help give VP some vibrancy. She put the ideas forward to the relevant people but was always blocked by HDE. It was only the new regime that started to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk. Now if we could just fill VP every game it would transform everything that this club could achieve.

  • After I had sent it in I said to my wife”I might get a letter back?” She looked at me in that loving way on a wife can and said” The only thing you will get is an INJUNCTION!!”) Nice, there’s support for you!……JohnnyUK I am not keen on publishing as I don’t want some other fan/football club using my idea’s to improve their club.

  • Keep up the good work chaps, It must please the club that so many fans make the effort to make a difference. UTV

  • Extremely heartening and refreshing to read and take onboard. Professionals to a man, something the club has lacked for years. It was extremely important in my eyes that all of the Ellis crew were replaced, and this happening explains just why that had to be. Such fan-friendly relations were beyond the old regimes comprehension and belief, and because of that the wedge between club and supporters was becoming wider and wider as the club drifted further and further towards total mediocrity. Proof, if proof were ever still needed, that this great club of ours is being well and truly hauled up by its bootlaces.

  • That is unreal !! Fair play to ya mate for caring that much ( like we all do ) but actually contributing something concrete,fans on the whole who have been going down since birth WILL have more of a clue than the suits ( we are the customers who pay whatever service we get and these guys realise that is gold dust ) Just hope they weigh you in after your ideas become reality!!! How good is that though ?

  • That is fantastic. It’s great to know that we all support a club who are prepared to listen to the fans. After all in nine times out of ten, we the fans will be around a hell of a lot longer than any board member, player or manager.

Comments are closed.