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The VillaTalk Protest Thread


Supervillan78
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As requested on more than one occasion not to post alternative protest suggestions in the OTDO74 thread, I thought a general Villa Talk protest thread might be required to give people that platform. 

I would like to make it very clear that this thread is not designed to detract from or derail that campaign, as I fully support it! I both appreciate and respect all those individuals involved and congratulate them for all their hard work. 

I've personally wanted Lerner and his cronies out of Villa Park for some time and I welcome any and all suggestions that might facilitate this outcome as swiftly as possible. Now again I could be wrong but I suspect other people may feel the same way?, others however may not and again I respect your opinion.

If I'm wrong so be it, please mod's delete this thread by all means.

Lerner Out!!

UTV

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Buying tickets and walking out still puts money into the club so Lerner and Co are probably not too bothered. 

Not buying tickets at all will give Lerner and Co a good excuse when asked why the club didn't spend money in transfer windows. 

In my opinion, the only way to get him out is for him to lower the asking price. Whilst he has all that money in his bank will he really be too bothered about selling up, especially on the cheap? Fox said that Lerner isn't a motivated seller. 

I think the only way to get to him is through his family and dragging the name through the mud so much that they put pressure on him to get out of dodge. Some drastic actions that make the newspapers and other media outlets, not just here but, more importantly, in the USA. 

I think something like this would get good coverage:

Blow up doll, suited and booted and with Lerner's image for a face, a sign across him saying something like "IN LERNER WE DO NOT TRUST", a noose around his neck and hang it from the upper Holte somewhere around where it says "The 12th man". I think that might cause a stir. 

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Just now, villarocker said:

Buying tickets and walking out still puts money into the club so Lerner and Co are probably not too bothered. 

You don't think Fox looked bothered last night? You don't think the media attention is as good a jumping off point as we could have possibly hoped for? I do. 

On a completely personal note and away from OTDO74 I like the idea of a sit in. I do not like the idea of hanging a blow up doll of him via a noose from the Upper Holte. I don't think threatening violence is the answer. I do not think subjecting him to personal abuse is the answer either, unless it's calling him a rocket polisher at the game! That's part of the sport and has been for decades. 

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14 minutes ago, villarocker said:

Blow up doll, suited and booted and with Lerner's image for a face, a sign across him saying something like "IN LERNER WE DO NOT TRUST", a noose around his neck and hang it from the upper Holte somewhere around where it says "The 12th man". I think that might cause a stir. 

pretty harsh... but would be funny (in a very dark sort of way).

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DDID, I didn't say Fox wasn't bothered by yesterday's protest. I said Lerner and Co are probably not too bothered by it, simply because they still got the revenue of those that protested, which, with the current bunch of misleaders, is all that seems to matter. 

Also, I didn't indicate that we threaten violence against Lerner, or anyone else for that matter. Just try to make a big show of disgust for the man that is crippling the club. I don't wish violence against him or anyone else associated with to the club. I purely suggested a way in which to show anger towards the man in order to make the news. I think that disrespecting his family name is the only way to get to him because his other family members might just get pissed off enough to put pressure on him to sell us at a lower price. 

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1 minute ago, villarocker said:

DDID, I didn't say Fox wasn't bothered by yesterday's protest. I said Lerner and Co are probably not too bothered by it, simply because they still got the revenue of those that protested, which, with the current bunch of misleaders, is all that seems to matter. 

Also, I didn't indicate that we threaten violence against Lerner, or anyone else for that matter. Just try to make a big show of disgust for the man that is crippling the club. I don't wish violence against him or anyone else associated with to the club. I purely suggested a way in which to show anger towards the man in order to make the news. I think that disrespecting his family name is the only way to get to him because his other family members might just get pissed off enough to put pressure on him to sell us at a lower price. 

In which case you feel the only appropriate course of action is a full boycott? 

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I don't know what will or won't work. But, I feel that maybe the best way is to somehow tarnish his family name so much that it makes the rest of his family pressure him into a cheaper sale purely to protect the family name/image. 

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The only protest that will make any difference is a full boycott. No match attendance, no ticket sales, no shirt sales, no merchandise shifting in any way. This will attack the pocket of the owner to an even greater degree than the club already does and potentially makes the club even more poisonous as a brand for wider commercial revenue avenues in the long run.

This does have a few downsides though. Firstly, if the club is haemorrhagging cash more than it already does, the cutbacks are going to become truly awful before anything gets better, which could be catastrophic. Secondly, if/when Lerner's hand is forced, you exponentially increase the risk of us being sold to anyone with the cash that makes it worthwhile Lerner selling, meaning the club could end up being sold to the next Venkys or that chancer in Blackpool. Moreover, you have the issue of the clubs brand being potentially rancid at that point, making a turn around more difficult in terms of making money, and again you question the kind of person prepared to purchase a severely distressed enterprise in a market that rarely really makes much money in real terms for owners. 

The current protest, admirable as it is, is just a gesture that shows anger from the fan base. It might put some pressure on Lerner, that outweighs the pressure of his bank account, maybe, to either change his tack or sell more readily. I'd say the odds are against that, especially as his most recent moves have been designed to further remove himself from the club and also to instill a cost saving regime. It's most successful in being a vent for displeasure and a flag to the wider game the fans aren't happy, IMO, and I won't criticise it for that.

The bank account wins this fight IMO. Either we wait until someone pays the money Lerner wants, whatever that is, and hope they're good eggs with deep pockets, or the long game, potentially suicidal, to force a sale by reducing revenue further and forcing the market value to drop and encouraging a sale.

A full boycott is impossible of course though.

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Well, this discussion is proving very productive, isn't it?

Point for me is, some people have got their act together and organised a protest, OTDO74, which has achieved an admirable amount of media coverage, TBH, perhaps affording it a little more impact than it actually had - journos just writing "thousands walked out" and showing shots of empty seats at VP which may not actually be linked to the walk out.

But having achieved all this, from a standing start in about 3 weeks, in the face of lots of inertia/apathy/scepticism, why not just build on it and try to get even more impact from it?

Why would people want to start talking about thinking up a way of protesting?

YOU'VE ALREADY GOT ONE. a pretty good one as well!

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Don't see that people coming up with additional ways to protest is something negative or conflicting with the #otdo74 (which I support)

If anything I'd like to see more banners, t-shirts, flags, (pig heads or mopeds) at the games.

Nothing of this stops you from also walking out on 74

Edited by sne
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13 minutes ago, Ingram85 said:

Don't see anything wrong with the symbolic 'hanging' of a blown up effergy. He has had a noose round Villa's neck for years.

It's symbolic, not an actual threat.

It's too easy to bend and spin in other directions that are unsavoury, and it's always immediately linked to more violent and unpleasant types of protest. No good comes of that, IMO.

You can use the same symbolism though with more nuance. The lion being lead to the gallows by Lerner, etc.

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41 minutes ago, Chindie said:

The only protest that will make any difference is a full boycott. No match attendance, no ticket sales, no shirt sales, no merchandise shifting in any way. This will attack the pocket of the owner to an even greater degree than the club already does and potentially makes the club even more poisonous as a brand for wider commercial revenue avenues in the long run.

This does have a few downsides though. Firstly, if the club is haemorrhagging cash more than it already does, the cutbacks are going to become truly awful before anything gets better, which could be catastrophic. Secondly, if/when Lerner's hand is forced, you exponentially increase the risk of us being sold to anyone with the cash that makes it worthwhile Lerner selling, meaning the club could end up being sold to the next Venkys or that chancer in Blackpool. Moreover, you have the issue of the clubs brand being potentially rancid at that point, making a turn around more difficult in terms of making money, and again you question the kind of person prepared to purchase a severely distressed enterprise in a market that rarely really makes much money in real terms for owners. 

The current protest, admirable as it is, is just a gesture that shows anger from the fan base. It might put some pressure on Lerner, that outweighs the pressure of his bank account, maybe, to either change his tack or sell more readily. I'd say the odds are against that, especially as his most recent moves have been designed to further remove himself from the club and also to instill a cost saving regime. It's most successful in being a vent for displeasure and a flag to the wider game the fans aren't happy, IMO, and I won't criticise it for that.

The bank account wins this fight IMO. Either we wait until someone pays the money Lerner wants, whatever that is, and hope they're good eggs with deep pockets, or the long game, potentially suicidal, to force a sale by reducing revenue further and forcing the market value to drop and encouraging a sale.

A full boycott is impossible of course though.

Good post.  If a full boycott is, as you say, impossible and even if it could happen, would likely lead to irrevocable damage to the Villa brand, catastrophic cuts and a heightened risk of being sold to ‘anyone’ we can rule that out as a feasible option can't we?  So that leaves the current protest or do nothing but wait. Well I would respectfully argue that the current protest wins!  Even if the odds are against us like you say, it demonstrates our collective anger, it attracts more media attention and it will find its way into the psyche of executives like Fox, which could be significant when decisions are being made in the future.  As you say, 'it might' also put pressure on Lerner to change tack. Of course it is a long shot but we have little to lose and everything to gain. Moreover,  OTD74 has the added benefit of avoiding, or at least lessening, some of the more damaging consequences you suggest would arise from a (hypothetical) full boycott.  OTD74 makes most sense.

Edited by Gary Thomas
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Perhaps.

As said I think ultimately this comes down to money. I don't think the owner will be bothered at all by fans choosing to leave early. A few thousand walking out, having paid their money, and a few chants and banners, will be worth far less to him than the money he's holding out for over the mythical lower price we'd like him to take.

I'm not Randy Lerner obviously, but put me in his shoes and for arguments sake give me 10k people walking out early and a few embarrassing banners every match, or losing £XXm on my property, and I'm taking the name calling and walk outs until the end of time.

However, force my property to keep costing me more and more money versus the return I get on it and I'll want shot of it less it become the millstone round my neck even more.

I think you can do that without a full boycott if enough people choose to boycott enough revenue streams for the club. It's a difficult sell to the fans though and probably won't happen, but it's the only way the fans can be anything other than an impotent actor in real terms for me.

And again I don't want to criticise the current efforts. It's something and it makes the disquiet real for the wider game. I just don't think it's going to do much in real terms, unfortunately. But it's something.

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I think something needs to be done with the bright future scarves, think throwing them on the pitch will get the media attention but also likely to get stewards and other dickheads in the ground to kick off

A few hundred of them covering the mcgregor statue would be good though

The chant of "stick your bright future up your ass" will almost definitely going next home game too

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The fact that the stewards confiscated flyers and wrestled some kids with a Lerner out banner to the ground is just sad.

If things continue like this from the club, risk is it will turn ugly.

In a strange way I both fear and look forward to that.

Had this been in Greece, Turkey, Serbia, South America or even some clubs in Sweden the stadium would be in flames by now.

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You have two enormous problems re scarves:

1) Any protest requires significant numbers of people to still possess their scarf, be able to find their scarf and remember to take their scarf to the game, and

2) Any protest that involves throwing things onto the pitch is a] bad publicity, b] possibly against the law and c] definitely in violation of the terms and conditions you sign up to when purchasing a ticket. 

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Nothing would have the overall impact of a total strike by supporters. An empty Villa Park would be a massive shock and a footballing first, however there is no way this will ever be achieved sadly.

Secondly, credit to the organisers and participants of the OTDO74 protest, very creditable, good response and good media coverage too. The co-ordinated walk out was very effective and will likely be better observed and practiced next time as it establishes its place as the method of unifying and galvanising the fans against the ownership and management.

Importantly and notably the press are also reporting on the verbal anti-Lerner and Fox chanting which wouldn't be possible if no one turned up! Also, fans needs to show their support of the club and attending games in numbers, despite the League position and attitude of the players, is a great fillip to long suffering loyal supporters and a demonstration of solidarity, as is singing together - this is the football way (not hanging effigy's of the owner or management which is tasteless and classless IMHO).

What I do hope, is that when our relegation is confirmed, the fans stay after the final whistle and chant and sing pro villa songs, in great spirit in huge numbers after Fox and the players have left the stadium to go home to their mansions in their ferraris and Bentleys, to show exactly how well supported and how badly let down the clubs support and life blood has been  - something Lerner, Fox, and all the mercenaries we employ will never understand. The unlucky ones will be there in August, in the Championship, Fox etc won't be there and they won't care.

Edited by thunderball
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Said it last night but everyone try and find your proud history, bright future scarves.

I will try to find mine for the last home game as I think everyone waving them at the directors box at a certain point in the game and singing derogatory chants about the vision the club gave us 10 years ago would be quite a statement.

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