Following on from Carl Chinn's initial call for a roots and branch change to the way in which Aston Villa FC is run, (which led to the formation of VFC and a number of successful VFC led initiatives), a broad coalition of long time Aston Villa supporters met in London (on 6th August 2003).
Representatives of Villa Fans Combined (Jonathan Fear and Navid Nazir),
Professor Carl Chinn MBE, Buck Chinn (representing Aston Villa Shareholders
Association), respected businessman Howard Hodgson, media personality Jonny
Gould and David Carson, a corporate lawyer at a leading London law firm,
called on fans to support two radical initiatives:
The nomination for election at the forthcoming AGM (12th September) of two supporter approved Directors to the Board of Aston Villa. The proposal is grounded in the widely-held belief that the Board would benefit hugely from truly independent, radical thinking Non Executive Directors who would be better served to represent the fan base who feel increasingly alienated from the Club and disillusioned with its performance, both on and off the pitch.
Villa Fans Combined note that given the concentration of voting power in the hands of a minority of shareholders (not least the 33.61% held by the Chairman, Doug Ellis) the prospect of securing a successful nomination is relatively slim. Nevertheless, independent board representatives enjoy significant support within the fan base and the decision was thus made to proceed with the two nominations subject to ratification by rank and file supporters. The identity of the candidates will be disclosed in due course.
If successful, the two candidates will press for the implementation of key
reforms outlined in the "Hodgson Report" which is now available online at www.villafc.com*.
The meeting further explored the idea that a corporate vehicle be promoted which will allow fans and investors alike to combine under one umbrella in order to hold a
stake in a common pool of Aston Villa shares. It is intended that the corporate vehicle could be independently governed by democratically elected representatives of fans and investors with the expressed aim of securing the recommendations of the Hodgson Report. To this end, a Feasibility Study has been commissioned in order to look at the economic, legal and practical implications of establishing such a vehicle.
Professor Carl Chinn MBE shares the sentiments of an ever-increasing body of
supporters and says "I believe that the constitution of the corporate vehicle will
represent an exciting and dynamic initiative designed to bring Aston Villa closer to the fans. Professor Chinn suggests that the vehicle represents the best shot at achieving the fundamental objective that all true supporters of Aston Villa share: that is, taking the Club back to its rightful place amongst the European elite of football clubs".
VFC spokesman Jonathan Fear says "these proposals are fundamental steps forward for all the fans of AstonVilla who want to see radical changes made at the club in order for our manager to have the platform from which to build success. These proposals would have been put to the Board of Aston Villa who very publicly offered to meet us but have failed to do so".
"With or without the co-operation of the Board, the fans are demanding change so we can once again have a board that the manager, fans, players and shareholders deserve. To that end, the aims of VFC have not changed, we call for Mr Ellis to stand down as Chief Executive of Aston Villa as we feel, having had 21 years, it is more than time for a new direction".