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The B6 Soap Opera Continues

 

Aston Villa supporters face an uncertain summer ahead as events behind the scenes at Villa Park have fast become a soap opera. Unfortunately, the club’s PR team continues to see fit to keep hiding the script from Villa supporters. For once it would be nice to see at least a few spoilers to know what’s ahead, especially when there’s renewing season tickets to be considered.

If you haven’t noticed by now there’s a draconian rule on the information that comes out of Aston Villa to supporters these days. This week, even Randy Lerner’s words were filtered through an article by the club’s head of media Brian Doogan, rather than being presented as a statement or direct address to supporters.

Villa have been increasingly described as taking a needless and frustrating ‘cloak and dagger’ approach when it comes to dealing with the media, whose job it is to report on the club and thus ultimately relay information to supporters.

These days supporters have more joy getting their own information off Twitter than the traditional press who are increasingly shackled  by the club.

In recent weeks there’s even been anger in the air by the way the press corp were hoodwinked as Lambert failed to mention in a pre-match presser that Christian Benteke was injured, despite being asked  about injuries, while meanwhile the news of the Belgian forward’s serious injury was breaking all over Belgian TV.

Fast-forward to the recent suspension of two key members of Lambert’s managerial team, and MOMS was informed that within hours of news breaking of the club suspending of Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa, Villa’s head of media had issued a decree to some journalists who would be attending the pre-Saints game presser, warning them that Lambert should not be asked about the sackings.

If there’s an internal investigation by the club and the issue is potentially serious enough to maybe spill out into the courts, then you understand the caution, but address what will be the proverbial elephant in the room in that context and move on.

Doogan himself was a former sports journalist, so you’d expect he’d have empathy with the press pack since working at Villa, so it’s particularly sad to see him seduced to the dark side [of PR]. This is the guy who once spent two-hours on the phone trying to convince MOMS that Alex McLeish would be a good manager for Aston Villa. As Yoda would say ‘Blinded by the dark side he is!’

From a supporter point-of-view, we’re not actually too bothered by what Culverhouse or Karsa did or didn’t do; the returning to them of a similar sentiment to what Culverhouse reportedly said to Villa fans at the Boxing Day game against Palace, applies here.

We’re more concerned by the fact that our manager, whose team has suffered seven loses in the last ten games,  now has the heart ripped out of the very managerial team he’s built his management career with – at Colchester United, Norwich City and Villa.

The shy and retiring Glaswegian keeps the close council of very few, those few at Villa are no more, so Lambert now cuts a somewhat isolated figure.

It’s a situation that hardly fills supporters with confidence and I for one would like the press to seize the opportunity despite their warning to ask Lambert in the aftermath of what’s happen, such questions as:

How does a manager continue without the trusted managerial team he has relied on all his managerial career?

Do you feel you have something to prove to the Villa Supporters in the remaining games to keep your job?

Is sub-40 points good enough for Aston Villa, whether they survive or not?

If you were Villa boss next season, what’s key to ensure Villa really do progress this time?

Clarification is certainly needed as there seems to be very little consistent direction any more at the club, which is typified by Shay Given, a player discarded by Lambert now being welcomed back into the fold in a coaching capacity.

It’s finally time for answers…and proper questions are needed, if they’re allowed! UTV

 

 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Is Lambert a dead man walking ? Or is that just wishfull thinking from those impatient for success ?
    As for the suspended duo yes it would be interesting to know exactly what they have been up to ! Yes they were appointed by Lambert but underlings have plotted against their friends & leaders for milenia if the words “et tu Brute” are to be beleived , and undoubtedly the same will continue far in to the future
    What is important is the future of AVFC , what has happened , has happened & it is the future that is important . There are 5 more games , that’s potentially 15 points which would take Villa to 8th in the current table . Of course that relies on all the teams above our club losing their remaining games but crazy things do happen . And of course the reverse could be true . I’ve heard it said a few times that Lambert needs to man up , but how about those preaching doom & gloom man up ,as after all talk of losing is for whimps & losers . And the rumour I heard was that part of the dispute between the team was that they wanted to kick on after the Chelski win & Culverhouse vetoed it & Lambert did not know what his deputies were doing behind his back

  2. The club is a shambles from top to bottom. Myself and around 10 of my mates will not renew sts next season or buy merchandise until lambert is sacked and lerner outlines his future ambition of the club. Sacking Lambert and replacing him with another clone is no longer enough for us. If the ambition is just to survive then fair enough at least we know not to bother anymore. Of course the club would never admit that anyway and Im sure we will be linked with £10m plus signings to sell season tickets but we all know they will join another club. Myself and friends have supported the club for over 25 years and most of that time have had season tickets. We have made a decision not to go to saints game as hard as that is as we all know what is coming and frankly have had enough of watching clueless anti football. Win lose or draw on Sat Lambert still has to go. Having Sid Cowans as the friendly legend sitting next to him as a way to appease supporters will not make any difference to us. Until things change we will support the club from afar if that makes us disloyal then so be it if the chairman cant be bothered to watch us why should we?

  3. Lets hope someone records the whole conference (ie a redtop perhaps) and puts it on their site – for free. Please pan out a bit as well so we can see more of the room than usual 🙂

    • That would be a smart idea. A smart journalist would do that. To be honest, the problem is not solely at the doorstep of the Villa PR division. The other side of the coin is the quality of the press covering Villa. What are they asking? What’s their relationship like with the club?

      I’m a journalist in the film industry and there is nothing more depressing than the quality of the other journalists (especially when it comes to hearing their questions at press conferences and roundtable interviews). I’m talking soul-destroying – and they are being flown around the world and being put up in five-star hotels, for literally being idiots.

      If you build-up a good working relationship with your subject matter\industry, then access and answers become more forthcoming as the trust builds.

      At the end of the day though, if the supporters aren’t getting a clear message and are confused about the club’s direction, it’s in the club’s hands to make it clear and reassure them.

  4. dave has hit on one possibility, but unless he has inside knowledge, we cannot know. Lerner may sell, Or we may have years of an absent landlord.

    We don’t have a crystal ball. ALL we know for certain is that we don’t have clout. Fans at this club are irrelevant.

    So I will be rejoining the Trust. I recommend all fans do so. We have to get a voice and take sensible action, and tHE Trust is the best way to do this at the moment.

    trevor Fisher.

  5. MOMS is well written and always looks for the angle, which makes it worth reading, but where you start talking about the elephant in the room, actually there are several and the biggest one of all is the takeover, which lies behind all of this. Why don’t you write about that? Change is a comin’ and that tends to unsettle people, hence the unrest and uncertainty…

    • To be honest, the takeover talk is mere rumours fueled by wishful thinking (as far as I know). I wouldn’t rule it out, but don’t have any real insight at the moment. I do know the club’s main concern and focus at the moment is making sure they are safe from relegation, as that effects all and any plans.

      • Going to game has become a chore for us now. We used to get a buzz going to the ground no matter where we were in the league but now its a dread. When you think of street parking and hoping little kids havnt damaged your car, the traffic, the expense of food, petrol, merchandise etc. And for what!! Just to spend 90 mins of the most boring losing football VP has ever witnesses. To see Lambert and Lerner give us the most unwanted records in the clubs proud history. No thanks wev been taken for mugs too many times by Lerners regime but no more.

  6. no point in asking questions.Real issue is that we have no clout so cannot have an impact. That Lambert is a dead man walking is obvious. The task is to change the way the club Is run

    Season ticket holders have a weapon. Don’t renew till there is a commitment to the club to change the culture

    Glasgow Rangers fans are paying their money into a central fund to do just this.

    Why not Villa fans?

    Trevor FIsher

  7. I’d change “Lambert should not be asked about the sackings” to “Lambert should not be asked about the suspensions” if I were you

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