OutTheDoorOn74 Campaign Founder Explains Why a Walkout is Better Than a Boycott

Mike McKenna of OutTheDoorOn74 explains why a walkout sends more of a message to Lerner & co than a boycott...

MOMS summed up our feelings towards the Out the door on 74 protest previously in this post here and we published another supporter view on it here. Our main concern was perhaps it should have waited until Villa were officially relegated, so that certain sections of  the fanbase weren’t alienated, but the walkout is up and running now and it certainly beats doing nothing.

Obviously the walkout has sparked a lot of debate and some fans on MOMS social media channel have said an outright boycott would have been better, which is why we thought it was a good idea to let Mike McKenna, the man who came up with the genesis of OutTheDoorOn74, to address the issue.

Regarding outright boycott, this fails to consider the fans who have prepaid season tickets and also those for whom going to Villa Park is akin to a religious tradition that is hard to break. That’s why MOMS proposed a commercial boycott in the ground (to run alongside any walkouts), so that such fans could partake in something, if they still wanted to express their unhappiness with the current state of the club. Also, there should be a purpose to protest, hence the proposed Supporters Charter for Improvement.

Below is Mike’s latest thoughts on the walkout initiative, which is also planned to go ahead at the forthcoming Spurs and Chelsea home games. These are not necessarily the views of MOMS.

 Out the Door on 74 Statement

Villans,

Many people have told the ‪#‎OUTTHEDOORON74 campaign that we should be backing a boycott rather doing a walkout. One guy sent us a particularly sad message saying how his disgust with the hierarchy and the half-hearted attitudes of the players had led to such anger and sadness that he could no longer suffer the pain of watching Villa no more.  My reply to him was this:

Really, really sorry mate about how you feel. We genuinely understand why people are turning away in their thousands and feel it is a tragic situation. “Wanting to go” is what we and thousands of others do.

Those that don’t go to games any more have made no difference to the state of AVFC. We would rather they all turned up and protested in some way. A sold out VP park calling constantly for Lerner Out who then walked out on the 74th minute v Spurs in their masses would be a massive statement the club could not ignore.

OTDO74Matchday-Banner-Spurs-1-768x284

When fans turn away they often don’t come back, no matter how well we do. I know people who used to go to every game and then stopped going during the Ellis protest years. Many just got out of the habit and never came back when Lerner took over despite all the initial investment and relative success.

If they wouldn’t come back during Lerner’s first three seasons I don’t know what would get them back. The most vociferous opponents to the OTDO74 campaign have tended to be those who don’t go to games.That’s  their choice and we respect their right to do as they please, but feel they should respect our decisions to keep going to matches and trying to change the way Villa is run.

 

Currently the club is completely broke, nobody apart from the players is making money. We dislike Lerner but he is still having to put money in – if he stops we are insolvent and believe it or not I think there is a chance we could go into Administration.

The rumour is that the finances are going to show another big loss. There comes a point where Lerner would be financially better off putting Villa into administration than cutting his sale price. People will scoff at the idea but it really isn’t that far-fetched when you consider Lerner is a preferred debtor, Reform Acquisitions in the UK losses can be used to gain future tax breaks by the parent company Reform Acquisitions in the USA. I don’t understand all this in detail but there is a tipping point.

People are losing their jobs at Villa Park and being treated very badly – the screws are really on – they are cost cutting everywhere. Some of the staff have been told to reapply for their jobs. One of the staff told me at Everton that it feels like the club is already in Administration!

 

During the last five years the gates have been falling, but it hasn’t made any difference to the direction of the club. The same was true of the Ellis years, Between 2001-3 when attendance money was more important, average gates dropped to around 31K but Ellis carried on. The gates are down by up to 15% since O’Neill’s years and it hasn’t made any difference. Boycotts organised or personal have never worked and never will in our opinion beyond losing long-term fans and future generations forever.

The OTDO74 campaign maybe imperfect and have little visible effect but we understand it has had a much bigger impact behind the scenes than people realize – the publicity it generated for Villa’s plight was massive – Lerner does NOT like bad publicity.

Loads of people after the game told us that they felt really proud for the first time in years when we all walked. Please join us. For us doing nothing generates nothing, doing something might, just might change something and help create a better future for Aston Villa.

Keep The Faith

Mike McKenna

For more info check out: www.OutTheDooron74.co.uk

More from MOMS on OutTheDooron74

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Out the door on 74 does have a positive effect to those of us who stayed it motivated us carry on the fight while people can still hear us ,in all great retreats someone has to stand to cover a retreat ,and stand I and others will but this time look for the raised white flags if the Villa Gestapo take these away again shame on them,its getting well interesting now but I can still laugh at it all I have my dignity my pride and as yet my sanity so as always stay true yourself keep the faith and Villa till we die

  2. Truth is none of us know how Lerner moves his money around the world and the corporate tax/efficiencies he gains from his global money empire. He bought all our shares for this very reason so we can’t know how/what exactly he is doing. This talk is pure speculation. With regards to attendances – we only had 25k average when we were second in the league in 1990 so not sure why we now think an average of 34k is a disaster? Problem is as Hollis tells us nothing (and we don’t trust Fox on any level) us fans continue to fill in the blanks….good luck to all in the outthedooron74 any action is positive….however I and my 76 yr old father will stay away completely…total boycott….Celtic fans forced change with a boycott, attendances were around 34k and went down to 8k. With the new board/owners and fans loyalty they rebuilt the club and attendances went up to over 50k. So fans will come back if they feel involved and welcome at the club they love…UTV

  3. Truth is none of us know how Lerner moves his money around the world and the corporate tax/efficiencies he gains from his global money empire. He bought all our shares for this very reason so we can’t know how/what exactly he is doing. This talk is pure speculation. With regards to attendances – we only had 25k average when we were second in the league in 1990 so not sure why we now think an average of 34k is a disaster?Problem is as Hollis tells us nothing (and we don’t trust Fox on any level) us fans continue to fill in the blanks….good luck to all in the outthedooron74 any action is positive….however I and my 76 yr old father will stay away completely…total boycott….Celtic achieved change in 1994 attendances went down to 8k form 34k, with the fans and the new board they re-built the club and were getting over 50k attendances. Fans will come back and in bigger numbers if they feel involved and welcome at the club they love…!! UTV

  4. the out on 74 campaign is the best option, boycotts don’t work and are not visible, which the walk out certainly is, and is having a major media impact

    Clarkey 88 is wrong to think the club can ignore them. This is largely a television game now, and the Public Relations impact is massive. While they can turn a blind eye to what fans think, they cannot ignore sponsors and other commercial interests, and I very much doubt that the present shirt sponsor is happy

    And the rest, Fox is at least right in saying Villa have not done enough in getting sponsorship What is happening now is disasterous for his financial strategy I welcome what Mike McKenna has started, lets hope it leads to more positive fan campaigns – but it is justified.

    Trevor Fisher

  5. The statements includes the line ‘currently the club is broke’, so do you think with everyone in the stadium already having purchased a ticket, a few hundred people paying to use the Holte Suite before the game, buying programmes, and merchandise, filling up on food & beer from the terraces, that Lerner or his Minions will care when people leave? Everyone could get up and walk out on the 5th minute and it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to them, they have your money. In my opinion support the team through thick and thin (as hard as that can be) but don’t line the pockets of the hierarchy, there’s plenty of dead wood at the club that could cover the wages of most of the staff at Villa Park.

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