Date: 19th August 2008 at 10:39pm
Written by:

Where was everybody?

Sunday was a great start to the season. We looked a little fragile at times and Man Citeh did manage to test Friedel on 3 or 4 occasions. Each time he showed why he could well be our most important signing of the summer. But overall we would have all took the scoreline before a ball was kicked. But was everything as it should be?

Why were there 3000 empty seats, mainly in the upper tier of the Trinity Road? I can think of many reasons why I think it is disgraceful that this happened. As fans we make many demands, most unreasonable but we can ask can’t we? We demand we spend on players. Well this close season Villa are one of the biggest, if not the biggest spenders in the league. We demand we hold on to our best players. I think the Barry saga has answered that particular issue. The game was not on TV and there was a full allocation of away fans. It was a 3pm kick off on a Sunday when most people are not working and the weather was tremendous. Transport to and from VP is amongst the best in the country and the club even lays on transport if things are a little difficult. Our ticket prices stand up to the closest scrutiny amongst any other Premier League Club (some Championship clubs would like our pricing policy). We have a team full of exciting internationals and last season only the Arse and Manure scored more than us.

We have a great new kit. We carry the name of a local charity. The ground and whole set up of Aston Villa is significantly better than at any time in our history. We have a manager that is the envy of most clubs in the league and we have superb, local, Villa supporting talent playing for the club and complimenting the rest of our international stars.

I understand some people are away. Finances are hard for some but it didn’t stop that hotbed of prosperity, Sunderland, from getting a 43,000 crowd at the weekend. Despite the fact they are not as good as us and the City has a population of one quarter that of Birmingham.

There can be no excuses and it makes the clubs attempt to restrict season tickets to a maximum of 26,000 more ridiculous than it already was. Even last season, 3 days before Xmas we had 2000 more against the same opponents, Despite this being a time when fans traditionally are short of money.

I can only see two reasons why the ‘sold out’ signs were not up weeks ago, not just for this game but for every game this season. David O’Deary was correct in saying we are fickle. Or we are simply not as big as we like to think we are. I actually think that Sunday was a smack in the face to Randy Lerner, the board, M’ON and the players. Why there were not thousands of disappointed fans unable to get in I will never know. The club have gone the extra mile and as is the way with Villa fans we have let them down. Sometimes we get great crowds when least expected and then at other times we do not turn up when we should.

Those that moan the most are probably those that do not even go to games. Again I understand that if you live in another country you are as entitled to your view as somebody who goes every game. But I am fairly certain there are many local fans who use this site that failed in their duty as a supporter on Sunday, but who will be quick to criticise if things start going wrong (as they will at times).