Date: 21st August 2008 at 4:47pm
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Important news for travelling to Stoke, a bit about Maloney and a Where’s Wally game.

A very clever move by Network Rail or whoever is in control of the railway stations down at Stokie. Some bright spark has decided to close the station on Saturday so fans travelling by rail need to travel to Stafford or Crewe and will then be ferried by coaches to the ground.

This adds an extra hour to the travel time.

I have no idea why, and no explanation why this has been done, and if for repair works why it couldn’t have been done on Sunday instead.

If anyone knows the specifics email in and I might change my current notion of ‘piss up and brewery’.

Stoke’s first ever home clash in the Premiership, I bet both clubs aren’t too pleased with the timing of this as I suspect it won’t just annoy us away fans.

In other news:

Shamelessly stolen (but rewritten I don’t do plagurism) from the Vital Celtic site.

The latest rumours surrounding wee Shaun Maloney are that the club are prepared to let him go for the million we paid. Earlier rumours suggested Villa would sell up for a million plus paid wages but both suggestions are currently unsourced.

The Scottish Sun has today carried a piece saying that Celtic have been given permission to talk directly to Shaun over the £1 million return to Parkhead, and they further suggest that the wee man is prepared to take a dramatic wage cut in order to return.

The Vital Celtic site punts at the possibility of their being a £1 million ‘return to Celtic’ clause written into the original bargain, which of course would go someway of explaining the differences in what Villa would be prepared to accept for him. Especially given reports that Sunderland and Pompey are also interested in the homesick puppy.

The most interesting thing about the Shaun Maloney reports, they’ve gone on longer than Barrygate. That’s about it.

And finally. There Where’s Wally game.

Villa’s massive team photo is set to be displayed at Villa Park in the coming weeks. The mural will be housed in the car park entrance to the North Stand and features fans alongside our first team players.

Around 1800 supporters have been snapped by graphic artists for the project, the mural itself measures 23×3 metres, so it’s highly unlikely you will miss it.

Supporters are invited by the club to come and take a look and try and spot yourself or your favourite player.