I’ve had a long chat with myself recently. I’ve come to the realisation that, having fallen out of love with football a while ago, I can no longer rightly call myself an Aston Villa fan.
I’ve been holding on to this delusion, justifying to myself the time, money and effort I have invested in being a Villa supporter. The tens of thousands of miles driven, the thousands of pounds and the thousands of hours are not easily written off. The effort I put into starting and running a supporters club in this small corner of the country, again not easy to write off.
However, like a marriage that stays in place for the sake of this kids, my marriage to Villa has remained for the sake of my own sanity. For my own sake, I must now declare this marriage over. I’ve reached the tipping point. I’m out.
I don’t get any joy from being a Villa supporter anymore. In days gone by, win lose or draw, I’d have enjoyed the match. Newcastle and Sunderland would be the first 2 away games I’d look for when the fixtures were released. Last season, I didn’t even check to see when those fixtures were on. This season I haven’t bothered either.
What has caused me to finally decide on this sporting emancipation? You probably won’t like the answer. I could go on for hours and pages and days and paragraphs explaining exactly why, but it boils down to this simple statement.
Footballers, the people who run the game, and the supporters. Each group has their faults and I am powerless to change them. Yet, I am particularly turned off by the attitude and actions of some of the so-called supporters of Aston Villa. If things don’t go their way, the immediate reaction is to lash out and blame individuals. The sporting element is gone. People are immediately branded as poor human beings. This ire isn’t restricted to the players. Men and women who simply do their best at their daily jobs are subjected to some pretty horrific abuse by the nameless and the mindless. Have a read of some of the posts on this website or listen to the talk in the stands at Villa Park and try to tell me that these distasteful actions and words are those of a minority. Where I once enjoyed the tribal element of supporting this football club, I now find that things have irretrievably too far.
So, I’ve taken the decision to divorce myself from AVFC. In all honesty, it’s an easy decision to make. The plaster doesn’t need ripping off – it’s already limp and falling off anyway. What I’m doing now is simply deciding to embrace what should have been obvious to me for some time.
I’m sure I’ll have a mourning period and, like a lonely divorcee, I’ll be tempted to go back during some particularly dark moments. I’ll wean myself off things like Villa Talk and I’ll probably be seen in the Off-Topic sections for a little bit. This will fade away too I’m sure. And if you're muttering to yourself about this being self-indulgent hogwash, good for you.
I’m pretty strong in my resolve and I’m out.