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The PR Machine and failings at the top.


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After a disappointing transfer window, I am feeling dejected., but not because we haven't bought any players. As nice as it would be to be talking about new signings, I agree with what people have been saying, it IS better not to panic buy, each window we seem to pick up players that we either didn't need or don't end up using, Bradley and Dawkins are stand out options...although, I thought both should have played more as they both looked decent. Though, it remains to be seen what kind of impact Grant Holt will have, but he certainly didn't embarrass himself against Liverpool or the Albion.

The reason I am disappointed is that the PR Machine at Villa was in full flow again, trying to take the fans for as much as possible without really giving much back.

Don't get me wrong, revenue to a football club is like the air we breath to survive, the blood in our veins, without it, we would die, and without the revenue, the club would die too.

For most of the window, Lambert wasn't really hinting at signings, but midway through the window, he started to hint at needing a 'no 10' and a was placed for Hoolahan. On Thursday, the day after we played our first decent game at home for what feels like a decade, Lambert mentions '15 things' he was working on, but covered himself by saying he didn't mind if none came off. I get the impression that this was just a ploy to try and sell more tickets/shirts on the back of our first 2 decent performances in a long time.

Hoolahan would've done a job for us, a bloody decent one at that, but it was incredibly naive of Lambert of think thatNorwich would do business with us, we all said as much when we heard of the interest. You would also like to think that Lambert would have a plan B...but then we can only speculate on whether there was money available for this.

If there were 15 players being looked at, you have to question the ability of Lambert and Faulkner to identify and sign players when, by all accounts, activity at BMH had pretty much ceased by about 2pm...so all 15 players that had been looked at for the entire window, suddenly were no longer options within 8 (waking) hours of the deadline day beginning...now that's a really poor conversion rate...we didn't even manage to get bids placed, terms discussed, medicals failed. Now some will point to Lambert's 'budget restraints' here, but, he's not the first manager to have to work to a budget, there a players out there, other teams seem to find them. He is also the man who spent money in the summer on players he hasn't really given a chance.

This brings me back to my original point, I feel these little mentions of signings and additions to the squad are all part of the PR Machine trying to drum up ticket sales and to sell some more shirts (which are obviously woefully under sold as we have our usual half price end of season sale in January). This is all rather disappointing when you consider the awful quality of football that has been served up at Villa Park for most of the last 2 seasons, short spells of good form aside. The club want people to spend more money, and will feed us these titbits of promise to get people excited but they're not really giving us anything back...although you may argue that the half price shirt sale is pretty good for those who buy shirts now. They've done it before. Last season, when we were the worst team ever in the world during our 12 goals at Christmas spell...Lambert hinted at signings (of which we did make a few) and of Richard Dunne being close to fitness to help reinforce our defence, something that showed how low our morale had fallen as many people were thrilled be the news...Dunne was never near fitness, even trusted media folk were dumbfounded by the claims...Dunne of course never returned to fitness for us but those PR Machine wheels kept on turning.

For me, I used to attend every game, I'd prioritise my attendance over pretty much anything, even when I was hating it, this season however I've been twice, both games were awful, and I don't have much of a desire to go at the moment as it feels like money down the drain. If this form continues, perhaps I'll go to a game...plastic fan? No, just somebody who exercises their right to not spend money on something that isn't enjoyable. (Please don't try to make this into an 'I'm a bigger fan than you' debate). I got bored with the constant PR rubbish being fed to us through Facebook and Twitter, sometimes I think they'd be better off saying nothing rather than plugging silly interviews just to get us onto the website...yes, yes, I'm sure Ciaran Clark does want to push further up the table, but some of his and his colleagues clangers have made that very difficult indeed...Grant Holt's new squad number? Oh, so you can't put those 2 characters on this post, I have to actually go on to the website to view it...not trying to drum up traffic for advertising are we? Sometimes I feel like we are taken for idiots.

Hopefully this window won't come back to haunt us...I suppose some of the teams below us have strengthened...although many of them have just added players as opposed to improving them. Bertrand for us was am excellent signing, if he continues as he is, I would rather not have spent much this window so we can throw a bit more at him to sign for us in the summer...

I'm positive about going forward, I just wish the club didn't try and mug us off all the time. If we're not signing anyone, just tell us. If we're skint, just come out and tell us.

3 points today would be enormous!

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Good PR is important in any business, especially one that is service/entertainment driven. Every top football club in the world does it.

The best PR is when u dont even realise that its PR, so maybe Villa actually need to get even better at it.

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Bigger pr own goals for me are the treatment of John Lerwell and more recently Howard Hodgeson. Both Respected villa fans.

John Lerwell I'd agree with, but not Howard. Howard Hodgson has got a big mouth, and likes to use Twitter as his microphone. If I started talking **** about the local football club I play for on Twitter, then I would be told I'm not welcome at the club anymore simple as that! I know it's slightly different, but you get the idea. Edited by Woody1000
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  • VT Supporter

The OS twitter feed is cringeworthy on matchdays, but I don't follow any other official team feeds so I don't know if they are all the same. You have to think what do you expect from the official site though, they have to be positive?

 

Something else I'd like to say on the Lambert "15 things we are looking at comment"... he wouldn't have had to say that five years ago, the pressure that has been put on #tdd by Sky means clubs MUST look to their fans like they are considering signings at least. I thought it was very cringey on SSN yesterday when they were at manager press conferences and they were saying as part of their interviews "well yes I'll be going home tonight and putting Sky on to watch it all coming through"; they must have been told to say that, embarrassing.

Edited by chappy
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The OS twitter feed is cringeworthy on matchdays, but I don't follow any other official team feeds so I don't know if they are all the same. You have to think what do you expect from the official site though, they have to be positive?

 

Something else I'd like to say on the Lambert "15 things we are looking at comment"... he wouldn't have had to say that five years ago, the pressure that has been put on #tdd by Sky means clubs MUST look to their fans like they are considering signings at least. I thought it was very cringey on SSN yesterday when they were at manager press conferences and they were saying as part of their interviews "well yes I'll be going home tonight and putting Sky on to watch it all coming through"; they must have been told to say that, embarrassing.

 

Yes, it is god awful!

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Think the OP is being a bit paranoid to be honest. What makes you think Lambert will sign up to the club's PR machine (should such a thing exist)? Why would he?

 

Where was the club's PR machine when we appointed McLeish while fans were protesting?

Where was the club's PR machine when we sold Young/Downing/Milner etc.

 

Lerner makes his decisions and doesn't care what the fans think and clearly doesn't make any concessions to what the fans may want. I thought Lambert was fairly straight up when discussing new signings. He said they were looking but never gave any assurances - I think it was always clear we would be going after Hoolahan type level players which isn't exactly going to shift shirts. 

 

For me there's a total lack of PR at the club as I honestly think they couldn't care less about that aspect. I think the attitude is that the club is the club and it will generate more money for itself when the team gets better, not through comments given by the manager.

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They are in a catch 22 though. If they say nothing they are not communicating with fans. If they same something it is just PR bullshit. It is a no win situation.

On the "15 things" front. 15 was probably hyperbole, but we do know they were trying to sign Hoolahan up to the last day. I imagine others thing were happening as well. Just because they did not come off does not mean he was lying. They could have not come off because Nawich is a shithouse club, or Lerner would not fit the bill, or many other reasons.

If I tell you the Super Bowl is tomorrow, and an asteroid comes tonight and destroys New York City, does that make me a liar?

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I never understand peoples problem with PR, every football club, no every business, in the world does it, why is it such a big problem that our club is trying to do it? Because we're not doing as well as people may want us to be? Arsenal for example have their annual season ticket drive when they suddenly get linked with a £30m player out of the blue who they never get.

 

What would you rather the club say? "Don't bother getting excited and feeling good about coming to the games, we're not buying anyone and we couldn't give a shit what you all think, just keep turning up and giving us your money", I'm sure that would really encourage people to turn up to game days. Or even say nothing? I guarantee that Lambert and the board would be lambasted and bemoaned at for not saying anything.

 

Of course the club are going to try sell itself in whatever way it can and make out everything is rosy, they want people to attend the games, not only to generate cash, but to get behind and support the team.

 

Yeah, the best PR for a football club is doing it on the pitch, but having the club try generate ticket sales through a bit of PR doesn't harm anyone.

 

Just don't get strung along and believe any transfer talk until it's a confirmed signing.

Edited by MessiWillSignForVilla
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I know it's not exactly a the point you are making, but in regards transfers, I would be strongly against saying oh we have £ X amount to spend. Man Utd came out saying they are backing Moyes to make any transfers he want. The press start making up figures and suddenly the selling club drives up their price. It's a game of poker really. If you look desperate for a certain type of player or start mouthing about having x,y or z to spend your negotiation becomes harder.

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After a disappointing transfer window, I am feeling dejected., but not because we haven't bought any players. As nice as it would be to be talking about new signings, I agree with what people have been saying, it IS better not to panic buy, each window we seem to pick up players that we either didn't need or don't end up using, Bradley and Dawkins are stand out options...although, I thought both should have played more as they both looked decent. Though, it remains to be seen what kind of impact Grant Holt will have, but he certainly didn't embarrass himself against Liverpool or the Albion.

The reason I am disappointed is that the PR Machine at Villa was in full flow again, trying to take the fans for as much as possible without really giving much back.

Don't get me wrong, revenue to a football club is like the air we breath to survive, the blood in our veins, without it, we would die, and without the revenue, the club would die too.

For most of the window, Lambert wasn't really hinting at signings, but midway through the window, he started to hint at needing a 'no 10' and a was placed for Hoolahan. On Thursday, the day after we played our first decent game at home for what feels like a decade, Lambert mentions '15 things' he was working on, but covered himself by saying he didn't mind if none came off. I get the impression that this was just a ploy to try and sell more tickets/shirts on the back of our first 2 decent performances in a long time.

Hoolahan would've done a job for us, a bloody decent one at that, but it was incredibly naive of Lambert of think thatNorwich would do business with us, we all said as much when we heard of the interest. You would also like to think that Lambert would have a plan B...but then we can only speculate on whether there was money available for this.

If there were 15 players being looked at, you have to question the ability of Lambert and Faulkner to identify and sign players when, by all accounts, activity at BMH had pretty much ceased by about 2pm...so all 15 players that had been looked at for the entire window, suddenly were no longer options within 8 (waking) hours of the deadline day beginning...now that's a really poor conversion rate...we didn't even manage to get bids placed, terms discussed, medicals failed. Now some will point to Lambert's 'budget restraints' here, but, he's not the first manager to have to work to a budget, there a players out there, other teams seem to find them. He is also the man who spent money in the summer on players he hasn't really given a chance.

This brings me back to my original point, I feel these little mentions of signings and additions to the squad are all part of the PR Machine trying to drum up ticket sales and to sell some more shirts (which are obviously woefully under sold as we have our usual half price end of season sale in January). This is all rather disappointing when you consider the awful quality of football that has been served up at Villa Park for most of the last 2 seasons, short spells of good form aside. The club want people to spend more money, and will feed us these titbits of promise to get people excited but they're not really giving us anything back...although you may argue that the half price shirt sale is pretty good for those who buy shirts now. They've done it before. Last season, when we were the worst team ever in the world during our 12 goals at Christmas spell...Lambert hinted at signings (of which we did make a few) and of Richard Dunne being close to fitness to help reinforce our defence, something that showed how low our morale had fallen as many people were thrilled be the news...Dunne was never near fitness, even trusted media folk were dumbfounded by the claims...Dunne of course never returned to fitness for us but those PR Machine wheels kept on turning.

For me, I used to attend every game, I'd prioritise my attendance over pretty much anything, even when I was hating it, this season however I've been twice, both games were awful, and I don't have much of a desire to go at the moment as it feels like money down the drain. If this form continues, perhaps I'll go to a game...plastic fan? No, just somebody who exercises their right to not spend money on something that isn't enjoyable. (Please don't try to make this into an 'I'm a bigger fan than you' debate). I got bored with the constant PR rubbish being fed to us through Facebook and Twitter, sometimes I think they'd be better off saying nothing rather than plugging silly interviews just to get us onto the website...yes, yes, I'm sure Ciaran Clark does want to push further up the table, but some of his and his colleagues clangers have made that very difficult indeed...Grant Holt's new squad number? Oh, so you can't put those 2 characters on this post, I have to actually go on to the website to view it...not trying to drum up traffic for advertising are we? Sometimes I feel like we are taken for idiots.

Hopefully this window won't come back to haunt us...I suppose some of the teams below us have strengthened...although many of them have just added players as opposed to improving them. Bertrand for us was am excellent signing, if he continues as he is, I would rather not have spent much this window so we can throw a bit more at him to sign for us in the summer...

I'm positive about going forward, I just wish the club didn't try and mug us off all the time. If we're not signing anyone, just tell us. If we're skint, just come out and tell us.

3 points today would be enormous!

Interesting insight to you thoughts.....guess I can empathise with all that.

a bit of openness and honesty would be nice.

Edited by TRO
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Effectively the villa news and record has moved onto the web. I wouldn't say its spin - would you buy the matchday programme  to find out about new signings ? probably not. I think the best way to find out what is happening is to look at the cross section of views on VT. Anything from the club is going to be sanitized - with the exception of confirmation of signings - the majority of which we get wind of beforehand.

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  • 4 months later...

How exactly are we different to any other team in that respect? All clubs are obviously going to try to remain positive in adverse situations and it's oar for the course. You should try watching Russia today before you talk about pr machines and propaganda.

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I get what you are saying lexicon but our club is pretty bad on this front. If its not Faulkner telling us we are going to Europe under McLeish, its the laughable sense of urgency they try and create over ST sales or plain stupidity like the thing about including Salifou.

 

The club in the old days used to treat the fans with contempt, these days they treat the fans like fools.

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