Supporters and shareholders of Aston Villa have joined together to fight what they see as the “endless cycle of under-achievement” their club has suffered for the past 20 years.

PRESS RELEASE: May 12th 2003IMMEDIATE

Villa Fans Combined want to register their utter disbelief at the season that the fans have had to endure and call on the board, especially Mr Ellis as the majority shareholder, to stand aside. After 21 years, the cycle of underachievement simply cannot be allowed to continue. The worry is if we carry on without a new direction and major changes throughout the club then Aston Villa will follow West Ham (who share many of the same policies as our current board) into Division One.

It is crucial for Mr Ellis to do the decent thing and make it clear that he will listen to reasonable offers from investors who are looking to take this club forward with a more dynamic and structured approach. It is equally important for potential investors to now come forward and make themselves known and to work with Villa Fans Combined with our many contacts, in order to bring about this change. The potential at Aston Villa is massive and at present it is being stifled by the lack of a clear vision and poor management structures within the club.

We, as fans, implore the board to listen very carefully to what we are saying, as the last thing that we want is to organise and carry out long and protracted protests throughout next season. However, if the quality of the football and the level of entertainment carry on as it has and if we continue to struggle for enough points to stay in the league, then mass protests will be just one of the options left to the fans in order to bring about the change that is so clearly wanted by so many. We have noted Graham Taylor and several of the high ranking players including Olof Mellberg, Steve Staunton, Dion Dublin and Ian Taylor all saying that investment is clearly needed. So it seems everyone apart from the Board realise the precarious position Aston Villa are in.

We also note that the board will be meeting with Graham Taylor this week to talk about what direction the club are looking to go in. We strongly suggest that a representative of the fans is included in this meeting as we consider ourselves to be the lifeblood of the club and attendances this season have proved that fans are no longer willing to pay to see the sort of football that is being offered. We worry that more and more fans will simply lose heart and show the board what they think by voting with their feet and staying away. We calculate over 207 000 seats were unsold in all competitions this season alone and feel that statistic speaks volumes. (Full attendance list below).

VFC supporter Carl Chinn has added "If Doug Ellis has the interests of the club at heart he should not let the good work he has done be washed away by increasing disillusionment. He must accept responsibility for the unrest and think seriously. If he doesn't have the money or the inclination to move the club forward then he should allow people with cash, commitment and imagination to come forward and help push Villa back into a position of prominence in English football. I know those people are around. But they won't show their hands until they can sense a massive change"


Contacts:
Jonathan Fear
Navid Nazir
info@villafc.com

Notes:

Attendances at Villa Park this season:

Premiershipattendancemissing fans
Liverpool41,183-1,419
Man City33,494-9,108
Charlton26,483-16,119
Everton30,023-12,579
Leeds33,505-9,097
Southam25,817-16,785
Fulham29,563-13,039
WHam33,279-9,323
Newcastle35,446-7,156
WBA40,391-2,211
Middlesoro33,637-8,965
Bolton31,838-10,764
Tottenham38,576-4,026
Blackburn29,171-13,431
Birmingham42,602full house
Man Utd42,602full house
Arsenal42,602full house
Chelsea39,358-3,244
Sunderland36,963-5,639
 
142,905 fans down for the Premiership
 
Worthington Cup
Luton20,833-21,769
Preston23,042-19,560
Liverpool38,530-4,072
 
FA Cup
Blackburn23,884-18,718


Making 207,024 fans short over the season. Over 200,000 people not spending money on football, merchandise, food and beverages etc. Surely the fact we only had 3 full houses tells the board something? The lost revenue has got to be in excess of £7million per season.

ENDS

Contact info@villafc.com

Previous Press Releases:
4th May 2003: VFC Update - The right moment?
10th April 2003: Treffick Shareholding, Uncertainty and the Fear
4th April 2003: Club for Sale - Time For Change

www.villafc.com


This website is not associated with Aston Villa PLC
The official website can be found at www.avfc.co.uk