After the Hull City game, I expected Lambert to be given his marching orders if he lost the FA Cup game, so it was surprising to see the Villa board act sooner. The timing of the bumper TV deal and the appointment of Villa’s first chief commercial officer put Villa CEO Tom Fox in a position where all his planning and restructuring would go up in smoke, if Villa got relegated. He couldn’t risk having Lambert as Villa boss any longer.
There’s a lot of work to be done to avoid the drop and it’ll start even before a new manager is appointed. The players for starters owe the supporters for recent dismal displays. If they can show more effort starting in the FA Cup, then the fans will get behind them and that combo should be enough for Villa to avoid relegation and they can start planning ahead for real.
In the meantime, here’s five reasons for Villa fans to be cheerful…
1. Bedsheet Power
After the fan arrows of last weekend led to the Okore goal, at the Hull City game was an even more spectacular result after a ‘Lambert Out’ bedsheet was unfurled and within 24hrs the Paul Lambert was gone.
Obviously, the bedsheet didn’t do it on its own, Lambert’s record went a long way to sealing his own fate, but the importance of it can’t be stressed enough. Some apathetic fans seem to think football supporters have no voice. That’s rubbish, they just have to use it.
Those lads unfurling the banner did more than just that just roll out a bedsheet, the banner was on every TV station covering the game, pictures of it where in every newspaper and every internet site covering the game. It would cost an advertising agency representing Villa fans hundreds of thousands of pounds to get such a message that much media coverage.
In the same way MOMS and the other two Villa site’s open letter to the Holte End inviting them to demonstrate was covered by the whole of the national press for a week, and was discussed on Sky Sports, BT Sports, radio and even Football Focus. Supporters can have a say and exert pressure.
2. Spread the Wealth
Speaking of supporter’s pressure. If football supporters as a whole all stood together they would be a massive consumer group with a massive influence. The Premier League this week announced an incredible £5.14bn TV rights deal , now we all know that is likely to filter down into player and agent pockets, with little consideration shown for supporters. BUT the money could be good news for supporters if they all collectively start speaking out.
With such a ridiculous increase of money why not cap away prices at £20 (a cap on player’s wages would be good too!). The Football Supporters Federation has launched a petition asking for the £20 away ticket capping. Sign petition here and then the FSF can approach the Premier League and the clubs with a proper backing. Lets at least try and get a share of the TV wealth for supporters.
3. He’s Gone
Yes, this should be number one in the list, but that would have been too obvious! The main reason for the recent decay of the club (apart from the dudes that gave him a new contract) Paul Lambert has been sacked. Villa are in the relegation zone, but at least they have an ok squad and a third of the season to right the wrongs.
4. Many candidates
Some folk seemed to think that we had to keep Lambert because there was no one who could take the Villa job…hmmm, a bit of a myth that one. For starters click here for 30 possible candidates.
5. A Chance to Kick-On
With all the upheaval and depression of the recent weeks, this FA Cup weekend provides Villans with a chance to pull in one direction and it gives the players the chance to put a bounce in everyone’s step by getting through to the next round.
The rest of the season will be tough, but if we’re in the last eight of the FA Cup that will give everyone hope and confidence that will help in the fight ahead.
Oh, and don’t give me this ‘It’s better to get knocked out of the cup to concentrate on the league’ boll**ks!’ The FA Cup will be essential in keeping spirits up. If we get knocked out against Leicester, I would be much more concerned about Premier League survival. Besides, I dearly want to win the FA Cup! UTV
PS – It’s free to join the Football Supporters Federation. Click here and don’t forget to scroll down to ‘My Old Man Said’ in the bit that says: Are you a member of a supporters’ organisation? UTV