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Hello General,

First time poster in your thread; thank you for gritting it out. It is appreciated!

I know you do not comment on transfer matters directly but can you please take note of the following regarding Stewart Downing. To put things clear why don't Villa take a hard line approach with Liverpool and explain just like Daniel Levy had done at Spurs and clarify that Downing is not for sale and that this would be the end of it?

This is twice now that THEY have upset our players recently, firstly with Barry and now with Downing; I can't understand what part of two-year contract they fail to grasp!

I would also echo the sentiment over a preference for claret shirts and blue shorts. All claret is not Villa at all!

Thank you,

ZZ.

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General

This is a trivial matter, but why does the club webstore refer to a new product (and a beautiful one at that i may add) as ...

Aston Villa Authentic N98 Jacket - Team Red/University Blue

What on earth is team red ?

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Good afternoon sir,

Next time Alec wants to meet up with a section of fans, give me a call / e-mail / pm.

I'm sure he'd appreciate having someone there with the same accent (I only live in Wigan for work I am, like Eck, a jock) I could act as translator for some of the others :wink:

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General Krulak

My family which consists of me, my father and my 2 children have had season tickets for the majority of our lives. My dad has had one since the early 60's , me, the early 80's and my children, the mid 90's.

As of today, my father will 100% NOT get a season ticket. The last few weeks have finally put paid to his love for the club. Now, my dad was at the 1957 cup final - thats how long he has been going. He has seen the club bankrupt in the 60's, relegated in the 80's - but he has been there. But the last few weeks have finished him - he will definately not renew - you have lost him - I wonder how many others you have lost - seems many people have asked the question about ST sales with no response.

Now - me and the kids. You have almost lost us. I have £950 sitting in my bank account. It has been there since May awaiting what would happen. When the McLeish fiasco happened, I was of the opinion of "forget it - thats it" , but as the anger subsided, and the comment from yourself which was basically "You will hear a lot from our board and management over the next few weeks, a hell of a lot" as well as the annual "Randy always backs his managers" - I thought "OK, I've got until July 13th to renew, lets just wait and see what happens"

And what has happened - absolutely bugger all. There has not been ONE single announcement about ANYTHING. I have not heard a comment from Faulkner (in fact, I found out from this site yesterday he is on honeymoon) , NOTHING from Randy Lerner , ONE comment from yourself (above) , NO signings , players LEAVING or reportedly leaving , rumours of a rift regarding backroom staff - in fact, NO backroom staff.

And we start training in exactly 11hrs time AND WE HAVE NO GOALKEEPER

Sorry general - what the **** is going on - and why the hell should I part with £1000 - please tell me, because there is nothing I like better than going down the Villa, but sorry Mr krulak - I cannot justify wasting this amount of money in these times.

I WANT THE VILLA TO CONVINCE ME - can't you see that - however, it seems to me, for some reason, all the Villa want to do is alienate more and more fans, and every week you come up with another reason to do it.

I could go on and on - we play a game in two weeks - WE HAVENT EVEN GOT A HOME KIT !.

As someone said - I have never felt darker, and after 30 years of Doug Ellis, I cannot believe I am saying that.

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Alot of people are mouthing off about a lack of action in the transfer window General. Personally, I'm not particularly concerned yet. Arsenal have done NOTHING, Chelsea have done NOTHING, Spurs have done NOTHING, Man City have done very little given their ££.

However, what I will say is that Randy needs to realise that a hefty sum of £ IS required for us to even dream about making a spirited pursuit of 4th, 5th & 6th place and an assault on one of the cups.

May North Stand redevelopment commence Summer 2012??

Kind regards

Giddy

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General back to training, no goal keeper and not the managers choice of backroom staff - any idea when we are going to be fully staffed?

EDIt So now #avfc tells us on Twitter that there is a new fitness coach who has arrived from Blackburn Rovers and is taking this mornings training session - seems like there has been movement but we 'mushrooms' haven't been told officially :)

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Hi General

I was just looking on the official site as I am considering buying the away kit and saw it cost £45. While I wouldn't say this is a bargain it is a price I think is reasonable and I may well get it.

However, I was shocked to see the price the club are charging customers paying by Euros:

Example:

Away kit (short sleeved) £45

Away kit (short sleeved) 68 Euros (an exchange rate of 1.51)

Away kit (long sleeved) £50

Away kit (long sleeved 75 Euros (an exchange rate of 1.50)

Current GBP/EUR rates are at about 1.12-1.13 and rates even at their highest in the last year have not reached 1.23.

How does the club justify charging customers paying by Euros (a market I would imagine we are trying to tap into!) at such a rate?

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Hi General....I was shocked to see the price the club are charging customers paying by Euros...How does the club justify charging customers paying by Euros (a market I would imagine we are trying to tap into!) at such a rate?
I dont want to answer on behalf of the General, but I asked him that very question last yr as its also similar with the $ exchange rate. The basis of his reply was that the he would contact John Greenfield and see the reasoning. After several weeks and many more requests to the General, John responded with something along the lines of that online sales/website are dealt with by a third party (kitbag I think) and there's nothing that they can do about it because it's not just Villa but all clubs who use this firm.

So to add to this question who pockets the extra revenue?

So international Villa fans should be made aware that by choosing to pay in STG instead of euro/dollar they can make a significant savings. But not enough is been made of this issue and fans dont realise that they're being ripped off.

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Hi General,

Here's a quote from something Paul Scholes has said to the Telegraph

“I always felt when I first started going away with England, players — especially players at clubs like your Aston Villas — try to use England as a way to get to a top club. Which, I don’t know, you feel: are they there for the right reason? I think they are very selfish people.

He's not wrong, every time our players go away with England they leave our club not long after.

Goal.com for the full article

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General Krulak here:

1. Ralphy. "We are not selling our best players"....that sort of statement is very easy to make but does not stand the test of time...certainly not in the Premiership. 1) EVERY Club has its price and to think that they don't is naive. 2) EVERY Club needs to watch the timing of the contracts of their players or they will see them go at almost no price. 3) EVERY Club has to weigh the advantages of keeping a player who wants to go...expecially depending on the timing of contract. To simply say that the way to go is say "we are not selling" is naive. Two players that have been continually mentioned on this site and others were BOTH offered more money to stay than they received to go....but, in the end, they went. To think that Randy is simply selling off players because he wants to do so is to not know your owner...after all these years.

2. stubbo26: Although it may shock you (sad that some will be disappointed with this news), our Season Ticket sales are progressing well. We are right on target. There appears to be many who continue to see progress with the Club and see what we are trying to do for the Club.

3. brommy: Thank you. I honestly believe you will be rewarded for your faith in the Club.

4. Contrary to what is found in some of the media, Alex is NOT at odds with Randy. You can be assured that there was a meeting of the minds prior to the hire.

5. OAKS: I will not get into the transfer business but I can tell you this...our Manager has not been sitting on his hands and neither have our legal people and others. JUST BECAUSE YOU AREN'T READING ABOUT IT IN THE PAPERS, DOES NOT MEAN ACTION ISN'T TAKING PLACE. For 5 years you have seen how we try to NOT negotiate in the media...it NEVER does any good to conduct business that way. If this is honestly the lowest point in your Villa career, then you have had a pretty darn good run.

6. dundeevilla: Why do players "want out"...are you saying you really don't know the answer to that one? Do you think it is because we are driving them out? That we secretly are beating them at practice?

7. A few words about our Manager....he is doing a great job of bringing the team together. He is meeting with them as a team and as individuals and is stressing the importance of team over individuals. Morale is high and he is helping in many ways that will be important to the Club as the year progresses. I have yet to meet anyone who dislikes him....he knows what he is doing and has gained the respect of the players.

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Great post General, I tend to agree with Paul Scholes it does irk a lot of people who use our club as a stepping stone and treat us with disrespect (Gareth Barry and whatever happens with Downing) - but at the same time let'em go the grass is not always greener as James Milner (professional to the core) is currently experiencing - I'd rather have a 9th placed finish knowing the players played for the shirt and club than a 6th place finish with ones that didn't.

Regarding the media - I think the people and fans associated with Aston Villa should have learned an absolute stern lesson this past week with the horrendous actions of the British Media. (Thoughts?)

And I've seen why you've gone for McLeish - he comes off as a leader and a motivator - who will hopefully have us back up in that gritty steely very hard to beat category under O'Neill, so respect to you for not buying into names.

Finally my question - has Randy thought about delving into the loan market more often when it comes to players? Because that could be beneficiary in going forward - i.e the European Clubs and not just in this country?

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Do you think it is because we are driving them out? That we secretly are beating them at practice?

General, the way some of our lads have been acting up in the past year or so I give you and Alex the greenlight to start the beatings :winkold: ...Keep up the good work and I look forward to the upcoming campaign!

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Hey General,

My questions is, and I'm not sure if this is one you can answer properly right now...

Must we sell in order to buy? Even if it means selling the players who arnt quite making the first team. I know you have said many times, 'When has Randy not supported the manager', which I agree with... But then, we have always sold a player of some sort anyway. For the past three seasons, they have been key. So, if we fail to make anymore from sales, will this mean that we will have just the Young money to spend, maybe a tad more? Or do you see it as we don't really need a massive influx of players, and we will just replace Young?

Either way is cool, it's just, last summer was quite frustrating, as we didn't bring anyone in. Not sure why that was?

Just be good to know because I'm on holiday in august for a week and I spent loads last year looking at various sites on mobile and texts to mates for transfer news and there wasn't any :(

Cheers General! You the best!!

Hey General - good weekend so far?

Any thoughts on my last post?

Thanks.

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Well done in appointing Mcliesh as manager as he is a very good manager both on the pitch and off it. We really need some players now and i have no doubt Mcliesh will add fantastic players if he has brought the likes of Aleksander Hleb and Obafemi Martins to the likes of Small Heath Alliance.

Please Give Stephen Ireland a chance ! and also sell all the deadwood such as Richard Dunne and Emile Heskey as we do not need players like this any longer :/ Also if a big money offer comes in for stewy Downing LET HIM GO! N'Zogbia,Hutton,Parker and Foster would be very nice thanks... ;)

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General Krulak here:

1. "Sell to buy"...that is a perennial question. As you have seen from the beginning of Randy's time at the Club, we have not always had a sell to buy requirement. At the same time, if you don't look hard at players and the overall wage bill, a Club can get into real financial difficulties. This is the reason you see Clubs like ManU selling key players...trying to keep competitive and still manage the wage structure. So, at the end of the day, it has much more to do with the wage bill than it does with transfer fees.

2. I will not be going to Hong Kong but Randy might. His time is pretty compact so it would have to be a quick turnaround for him.

3. ZodiakIronFist: There is no question that the loan market can be very beneficial from several standpoints and we are always looking to see if there is a player out there who can benefit the Club.

4. Stephen Ireland: There is no question that he can be a very good player for the Club. I do know that Stephen has sat down with our Manager and had a very good talk. We believe he can be a real plus for us and want him to step up to his potential.

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General if we do look at loans can we possibly look at loans with "fixed fees" at the end of the loan spell? we should always look to do this even if we have doubts on a player..

That said, Will their be anymore training pictures/videos on the OS? (I presume new signings will be shown in action on AVTV etc?)

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General,

This is the reason you see Clubs like ManU selling key players...trying to keep competitive and still manage the wage structure. So, at the end of the day, it has much more to do with the wage bill than it does with transfer fees.

Which key players are these? I can only think of one player they have sold which could be described as 'key' in the past few years and that is Ronaldo, whi went for a world record fee and to move to a club he has wanted to play for since a child, near to his homeland.

I haven't seen Manchester United sell four top stars in three seasons - as with have with Barry, Milner, Young and now Downing. Please can you explain further?

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General,

If our wage bill is such a problem, is it now the time to consider perhaps selling naming rights to our stadium? I know it may not be popular with some fans, but lets face it, you've shown with your decisions this summer than what the fans think isn't all that important to you. It may also bring in money which means that we can afford better managers and keep the players who are decent at the club.

I am sure that most Villa fans would prefer to have decent players and a sponsored stadium, over average at best players and no sponsored stadium.

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