By Molly Jennens
As I walked up Witton Lane towards Villa Park, a single supporter chanted “We want Randy Lerner out”, 60 minutes later it was ringing out around all four stands inside the ground.
The planned walk out was to protest about just that; Randy Lerner, Tom Fox and everyone associated with the club from middle-management upwards. After five years of painful decline under owner Randy Lerner, Villa fans are now voting with their feet. Unfortunately, for Lerner to walk away, he has to find a buyer first.
There wasn’t very many at Villa Park to begin with, just over 29,000 (the ‘official’ figure claimed) turned out to watch Aston Villa lose 3-1 to Everton on a cold, Tuesday night. In all honesty, it looked as if the spirit of the players had already walked out before the game had even begun. Heads down, shrugged shoulders and wandering eyes looking for the next player to blame.
A handful of fans couldn’t bare to watch until the time of the planned protest, with many leaving after Lukaku made it 3-0 just before the hour mark. Then on 74 minutes, a few thousand more left their seats, with the scoreline no doubt helping make-up the mind of some of the previously undecided fans.
After 74 Minute Walk Out
While not a mass exodus, admittedly, the atmosphere did change. Previous to those who walked out on 74 minutes, the mood was close to mutinous at times as the supporters made their feelings known. But, it did fall quieter after the protest.
I’m not too sure what I expected, at first I thought I’d be the only fan left at the end. However, I was joined by many in the North Stand, who stayed to watch on, or in some people’s cases admire Everton’s play rather annoyingly.
Whatever you decided to do, walk out or stay, you are right. If you walked out, good for you, it is the start of something that could grow and could get an answer. You are the ones that are attacking those at the top who are incompetent at running a club.
If you stayed, brilliant, you showed to the players and the manager you still support them, you even witnessed Gestede’s goal and let’s be honest we don’t see many goals nowadays other than the opposition’s.
That doesn’t mean to say that those who walked don’t support the players. It also doesn’t mean that those who stayed aren’t angered by the club’s situation at the moment. We are all in this together, and we are all showing our frustrations in different ways which is fine. The most important thing is to not be apathetic to the situation.
For me, I have never been in favour of the protest, I would much rather watch the whole 90 minutes of football, however difficult that may be. I’m continually reminded that football is nothing without fans, so I am abiding by this saying. I will continue to sit and support the footballers of my beloved club, despite how little effort they display at times.
The most painful thing as a supporter is to have to sit through a game which you cannot change the outcome in the slightest, so if you’re walking out fair enough. But shouldn’t we wait until there is an R by the side of the club’s name? In my opinion, that is when it will have the greatest effect.
For now at least, we are still a Premier League club, with the slightest chance of retaining that. So why not come together to cheer on the club we all love, to try and prevent the inevitable from happening? You don’t have to support the board; there are plenty of chants now to show your disgust. You just have to get behind the players and motivate them, as unfortunately it doesn’t appear like Rémi Garde is capable of doing so.
Whatever, you decide to do, do what is best for you. You are the fans, not the “customers” of one of the greatest football clubs. However you decide to show your frustrations, remember that form is temporary and class is permanent and one day we will see Aston Villa great again.
And make sure you follow MOMS on Twitter too – @oldmansaid