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What have the Romans ever done for us?


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A big VillaTalk welcome to LL114

The Life of Brian contained one of the great comedy dialogues. "What have the Romans ever done for us?" where the dismissive John Cleese (IIRC) is irritated to be reminded of " sanition, oh and it's safe to walk the streets at night" amongst others. A recent pub conversation with a non-Villa supporting football fan regarding "Life since Randy arrived" set me thinking what I really wanted from the new regime and "What has Randy ever done for us?".

When the Re-branding DVD and booklet arrived I realised that "It" had finally happened. To save you asking, "It" is the fact we have written and audio-visual evidence that at last Aston Villa is being run by proper professionals. Re-read the booklet but this time replace the word "club" with "company" and the word "football" with "product". What you've actually then got is a mission statement that is typical of a highly succesfull multi-national organisation. The only thing missing is a time-line that tells us when to expect European glory but considering where we were 12 months ago thats probably just nit picking. The DVD just oozes the kind of "NFL-savvy" 'tude that people previously or currently employed by IMG would come up with. We knew right from day one that Randy moved in very different circles from the last incumbent. The DVD is pretty classy, it's very respectful.

Since the takeover I've felt that it is/was important for the club and fanbase to "get over doug and just get on with it". That was potentially difficult but the club have achieved it in my opinion. The last home game, with the team of '82 present was a great day. I wondered how this would work though. Would it be cheap and tacky? would it make me cringe? Would the free scarves be worth taking home? There seemed to be huge potential for embarassement. I'd like to know exactly how much planning went in to that weekend because match day worked. Oh boy did it work. As well as being celebratory there was also an aspect to it that was almost, well, cathartic. A lot of 'baggage' got left behind that afternoon leaving us all to move on. All things considered it was pretty classy, it was pretty respectful.

So what have the Romans, or in this case Randy, ever done for us? It's easy to mention the coaches to Chelsea, the away ticket allocations, the Supporters consultation Group, 'cos everyone does. So I thought abit and came to the following conclusion.

"Optimism and Pride"

At the start of the season Villa fans found "optimism" after years of despair and by the end of the season we'd all re-discovered "pride".

Optimism because, at last it feels like we've got the best possible type of people running a business that we all think of as 'our club'. And Pride. Pride in the fact that my 'free scarf' said "Made in the UK" on the label, not China. Pride in 'my club' doing the right things, not the easiest or cheapest things.

Proud History, Bright Future? - I think so.....

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It makes you proud, not just that LL114 is completely right, but that Holte Enders have such wisdom and perception.

Anyway, it's a spot on article and captures the underlying mood amongst so many of us very nicely indeed.

Now post more, Steve, please.

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Yes, some very true comments John.

I too have received my 'brand pack' with interest. In my opinion it does ooze class and whilst it is of course standard business promotional material it is all about ASTON VILLA with true recognition of our history as well as outlining the hopes and aims for the future. Even the free scarves, mine which, as a season ticket holder; the Club allowed me even though I was out of the country at the time of that magical match; are quality and no cheap one day free giveaway!

Why do we love ASTON VILLA? Even the name sends a shiver down the spine still, after almost fifty years. Maybe these guys are starting to understand why a little bit. They are certainly making a pretty good attempt at repesenting our interests.


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woop! my first post since joining villatalk. i've sadly no season ticket being a scroungey student - for those like me who didn't recieve the DVD wotsit you can watch it here:

LL114 is definitely right - it oozes class, optimism and pride. up the Villa!

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.....very good post and one that I endorse.

The time line you mention for euro glory, can't be answered by anyone because no one knows including Randy Lerner......Randy Lerner knows what is happening and is planned for AVFC, but there is a small consideration called competition, who will be equally keen to mirror our aspirations and Randy has no control over that.

Be assured, whilst the previous incumbent allowed the likes of Newcastle, Spurs, Bolton, Chelsea( forgiven under the circumstances) to go past us..... It will not be so easy to go past AVFC under Randy Lerner.

One powerful value that has crept back in to Villa Park is .....HUMILITY.....and IMO it can move mountains.

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