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When did we stop being a family club?


This Could Be Rotterdam
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Ive waited for a while to post about this because i wanted to make sure my anger wasnt an overreaction. But, over a week later and I still cant believe the state of our club off the pitch.

 

My little brother has recently been admitted to hospital and will be there for several months at the very least. He's 12 years old, and absolutely obsessed with everything villa related, and for some reason still sees a glimmer of hope in our club. As a family we have had a season ticket for the last 10 years and buy every new home and away shirt like a lot of other fans. As soon as he was admitted to his permanent room we went straight to the villa shop and spent around £100 on villa bedding, posters, dressing gown, slippers. you name it, we bought it. All to make him feel like he has some sense of home and the things he enjoys around him at a very difficult time.

 

Now I dont expect that spending this amount of money means that the club owe us anything, not at all! But, we contacted the club to explain the situation and enquire how we could go about getting his shirt signed. Quite frankly, I was disgusted with the response we received. The woman on the phone very bluntly told us that if we wanted the players to sign a shirt we would have to buy a new one from the shop and take it to the main reception where they would send it off and return it to us. We explained that we had bought the new home and away tops just weeks ago, but the reply was simply 'You'll have to buy a new top if you want it signed, dont you realise how many of these requests we get?'. Even when we asked whether we could buy a get better soon card for the players to sign we were we'd be charged for the signatures.

 

As I said, we dont expect special treatment for the investment we have made into the club. We invest into the club because we support them no matter what. Which makes it even more shocking that the club can't offer a single gesture of support back the other way. To expect us to pay an extra £50, just so that a group of players who earn thousands of pounds a week can put their signatures on a top is disgusting.

 

A fair few years ago we came across the team at the airport and got speaking to one of the clubs staff. After a short conversation they took our address and told us theyd send us some stuff. Not expecting anything to come from it we arrived home to find a gift pack full of small gifts.

 

How has our club gone from one extreme to another? I understand the state of the club, the state of football as a whole, but I find it impossible to understand how our club can be more interested in gaining an extra £50 in its pocket than putting a smile on the face of a 12 year old who is the future of our support.  

 

We used to be a family club, interested in our fans and providing an experience for them. Sadly, that is no longer the case, both on and off the pitch.

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On the face of it, this is a very poor response, particularly in view of the club's stance in support of ill children through Acorns.

Let's hope someone with a sharper grasp on the club's public image sees this and puts it right. Or maybe just some of the individual players.

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First and foremost I hope your little brother get's well soon and home to his family!

 

Little Villans are becoming a rare breed in these days of Sky dominance and following a team you can never watch live on a regular basis other than on the TV. I have a 12 year old son who avoided being put up for adoption by chosing the right path of following the Villa but in his school out of 200 boys there are only 2 Villa fans (and luckily no knuckledraggers) which for an inner city Birmingham school is disgusting?

 

You asked when we stopped becoming a family club? I'd say about 4 years ago! For all his faults I think someone like the General (or actually Nicky Keye) would have sorted this. However when the going got tough the tough picked up their toys and ran home crying to mommy! To Lerner we are a millstone, nothing more than an unfortunate distraction from his true love of cake baking and knitting circles. This disinterest has flowed from the very top all the way through the club and it's staff. Hence your shabby treatment.

 

I hope someone from the club still reads this or maybe another poster has some connection at the club as it saddens me to hear stories like this about my club. Villa are better than this!

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To answer the premise of the post.  I am not sure there are any clubs at premier level who could be truly described as "family" clubs.  However, there is a difference between that description and the club actually still being connected to the fans and I think most clubs would wish to think they are.

 

If there is one thing I would say about Villa despite my criticisms of the owner,  we as a club still aim to maintain that fan connection.  Check your PM chap and I hope it helps

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In all seriousness, I've always got the impression that Villa are good in this respect, so hopefully this is just a misunderstanding or a one off or somebody having a bad day.

 

Doesn't make this incident excusable, but I don't feel it reflects the approach of the club as a whole.

 

Hope you sort it out.

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Firstly, to the OP: Best wishes to your family.

 

On a side note, but seemingly fitting for this thread, The Birmingham Mail are reporting people furious with Villa for not having a minutes silence for the 40th anniversary of the Pub Bombings at Monday's game against Soton. Seems like this is something the club should have reflexively wanted to do...maybe with Fox running things, the impetus fell through the cracks somehow, but it's a no-brainer, IMO. Bring supporters and fringe supporters in, extend the club to the community through very simple observances like this, when the need for them come around from time to time. PR blunder #781 and counting...

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To answer the premise of the post.  I am not sure there are any clubs at premier level who could be truly described as "family" clubs.  However, there is a difference between that description and the club actually still being connected to the fans and I think most clubs would wish to think they are.

 

If there is one thing I would say about Villa despite my criticisms of the owner,  we as a club still aim to maintain that fan connection.  Check your PM chap and I hope it helps

 

Nicky Keye's voicemail number?

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Firstly, to the OP: Best wishes to your family.

 

On a side note, but seemingly fitting for this thread, The Birmingham Mail are reporting people furious with Villa for not having a minutes silence for the 40th anniversary of the Pub Bombings at Monday's game against Soton. Seems like this is something the club should have reflexively wanted to do...maybe with Fox running things, the impetus fell through the cracks somehow, but it's a no-brainer, IMO. Bring supporters and fringe supporters in, extend the club to the community through very simple observances like this, when the need for them come around from time to time. PR blunder #781 and counting...

 

 

Looks like it will be honoured afterall...

 

Aston Villa Football Club identifies and sympathises in the strongest terms possible with our supporters and those in our community who lost loved ones on the tragic night of November 21, 1974.

We have engaged with representatives of the Justice 4 The 21 campaign, who have been invited to our game against Southampton next Monday when a roll call of the victims' names will be displayed on the stadium screens in their memory.

We also support the initiative whereby our fans have committed to a period of applause in the 21st minute in remembrance of the tragedy and those touched by it.

We will welcome the participation of members of the Justice 4 The 21 campaign when our fans have the opportunity to remember their deceased loved ones during a period of tribute and memorial service, an annual occurrence at the end of the season at Villa Park.

In memory of the 21, in particular, we offer our prayers and our support to the families, friends and members of our community whom they loved and left behind.

 

 

http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10265~4314105,00.html

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minutes applause doesn't feel an appropriate way to remember the murder of 21 people and the maiming of over 200 in Birmingham pubs to me

 

should be a minutes silence or nothing imo, but sounds like the twatter brigade have hijacked the issue and seem set on the applause

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minutes applause doesn't feel an appropriate way to remember the murder of 21 people and the maiming of over 200 in Birmingham pubs to me

 

should be a minutes silence or nothing imo, but sounds like the twatter brigade have hijacked the issue and seem set on the applause

 

You make a good point about a minutes silence being more appropriate.

 

However the 21 minute applause is likely to get more media attention and as such be more effective for the campaign.  

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see, i might agree with that if the situation was similar to the hillsborough/anti-sun campaigns that liverpool have done in the past, but those campaigns were already widely known and had specific songs/banners that could be chanted/unfurled at the appropriate time (e.g. i think they did something on a bbc televised game a few years back around the 5 minute mark)

 

with this, all i can see happening is a fair few standing and clapping, a sizeable proportion being confused as to what is going on and a brief mention by sky

 

so i am not convinced it will do much for the campaign, meaning a minutes silence would be far more appropriate imo

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minutes applause doesn't feel an appropriate way to remember the murder of 21 people and the maiming of over 200 in Birmingham pubs to me

 

should be a minutes silence or nothing imo, but sounds like the twatter brigade have hijacked the issue and seem set on the applause

Agree, applause seems wildly out of tune with what should be a somber moment.

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.....Hope your little brother gets well soon.

Seems like the errors of the club are not just confined to the pitch.

Sadly, you was not expecting special treatment, but my suspicion is that's what they thought it was.

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Well when Doug left I know a lot of Villa related school activities went too.....I suspect our strong bond with Acorns satisfies our commercial charity/community aims.

 

Hopefully someone from the club reads this board and you get a message, not special treatment in my eyes but good/right public relation...sorry, investor relation.

 

Best wishes to your brother.

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