We Want Our Villa Back: An open letter to the Holte End

 

Dear Holte Ender,

This letter hasn’t been easy to write and it’s also taken time to decide if we should, but as Aston Villa supporters can we really go on any longer like this?

Our three Villa sites have come together to write this letter because there has been a lot of talk the last few days of protests. Add to that, unsavoury scenes between Villa supporters in the stands at recent games, both at home and away, it’s now time to do something.

As Villa supporters, we all want the same thing – We Want Our Villa Back.

We believe there is no better way of showing the board how we feel than having an empty Holte End for the first eight minutes of the Liverpool match this weekend, one for the past eight seasons under the current regime. After the eight minutes then take your seat and support the team fully for the remaining 82 minutes, a number synonymous with Villa’s finest hour.

Under the previous Chairman, when the Holte End wanted to be heard, Doug Ellis would hear and more often than not, he would act. In truth, he often acted before it got this bad. Our current owner can’t hear the Holte End as he’s sat thousands of miles away, so let him see it.

Why have we gone this far?

For reasons only a few people know, Paul Lambert was awarded a new contract this season after two seasons of under achievement. But as it’s the decision of the Club to stick with the manager and in our role as supporters, knowing the owner isn’t going to change his mind while trying to sell the club, we have to play our part.

However, things are not right at Aston Villa and it’s not just under Paul Lambert. There have been too many seasons of under achievement and this great Club and its supporters deserve better. It’s clear to the footballing world that things are not as they should be at Aston Villa and unless things change soon, the decline will continue.

This is a peaceful demonstration followed up by good old fashioned Aston Villa support. This is a message that if absolutely everything is not done to drive Aston Villa forward, it’s possible that more supporters are going to leave the Holte End, but this time not come back.

And if you’re reading this, you have a big part to play, even if you don’t sit in the Holte End. Download this #WeWantOurVillaBack Letter, print as many copies as you can and hand it out to fellow Villans at Villa Park this weekend.

Saturday is fundamentally a warning sign and we truly hope that by acting together as supporters, we’re demonstrating that our role is still one that should be considered very important by the Club.

#WeWantOurVillaBack

avillafanwww.avillafan.com

MyOldManSaidwww.myoldmansaid.com

The Villa Blogwww.thevillablog.co.uk

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38 COMMENTS

  1. First time on this site and I’ve got to say how impressed I am. This demo has sparked a lively debate on this and other forums, but I like the way moms has stood up to the posters who have questioned others being ‘real fans’. We’re all fans and we all want what is best for the club – winning games of football! The way we go about getting to where we need to be is always going to divide. Let’s hope some good comes from this.

  2. Agreed about the division amongst the fans, and I gasp when I when I think about the fact this must have been considered before 3 prominent associated websites decided to support it.
    Anyway they are in for a nice surprise because I have a collection of about 500 cardboard Stan Petrov masks, left over from Wigan, and I have arranged for them to be put on every empty seat prior to 3’oclock.
    I think this will send a poignant message to the stay-always, and also look like good for the cameras

  3. onelukey; to answer your question, none.
    I was 10/11 years old when we were relegated to the old third division along with another founder member of the football league (Preston North End) and I can’t recall too many games played on a Wednesday night in the following season (1971-72)
    It’s no excuse I know, but my Dad (God Rest Him) was a bluenose and flatly refused to take me to VP. I didn’t have any money and wouldn’t have known what bus to get from Acocks Green anyway.
    I won’t bore you with the details, or enter into a pissing contest with you about the amount of times that I have also stood on the Holte, or in an away stadium on a cold wet night, I would insted rather remember the most famous Wednesday night in our history, 26th May 1982 🙂 And I can confirm it wasn’t cold that night.

  4. Now, now lads,

    This won’t get us any where.

    A question for Dave Smith, How many wet and windy Wednsday nights have you spent on the Holte supporting the lads in 1st Division [the old Third Division] ??? not many I’ll wager.

    And that’s why I’m blowed if I’m going to let some Sherman Tank pertend he’s a Brummie and cares like we do about about AVFC whilst he’s over 3,000 miles away, by his own admission he said he wants out !!

    Yes there will be divisions there always will be. there was divisions back in the sixties when we got the old board out, and yes it wasn’t nice, but we came through all that brown smelly stuff smelling of the European Cup my friend.

    I think ALL Villa fans need to look deep within their heart and soul and decide which side of the line they stand.

    Agreed it won’t be pretty, but will you turn up and watch them in the 1st Division on a cold wet windy night ????? because I have !!!

  5. Rich, I think the proposed protest is a poor idea as I believe it has the potential to back fire in so many ways, least of all make the Holte End look divided. This is Aston, not the San SIro we have individuals with strong opinions, we have a different culture (prouder I think) than the Italians who have a history of impulsive behaviour and poor desicion making (check out the history channel)
    Personally I too have had enough with the current regime and I would be happy to support something that hasn’t got as many holes in it. But have I got a better idea? Well I’ve not really given that any thought but I guess I will do now you’ve asked, as I do agree that doing something is better than doing nothing.

    • Cheers for the reply Dave. I do understand where you’re coming from.

      Something has to change at the club though. The decision making at all levels has been nothing short of atrocious for far too long now.

      I personally applaud the MOMS guys for trying to take some action.

  6. Lambert is just the fall guy. Who knows where we would be if MoN were here for another year? Circumstances decreed that our owner (who loves the Villa) is required to sell. He’s not going to sell to a Thaksin /Gold /Sullivan. Whatever money is being offered. Do you really think that there have been no enquiries? C’mon peeps. Get real, PL is doing what he can in very difficult circumstances. I say, give the people at our club a break. They are trying their best.

  7. For those who decide to desert the team for the first 8 minutes on Saturday, please see below my suggestions for things you can do in 8 minutes to kill the time;
    * take the oppertunity to use the welfare facilities, it will ease the crush on the rest of us at half time.
    * avoid buying your program until after 3.00 o’clock, again this will free up the usual queue at the program stalls.
    *buy an extra pint it all helps Randys profit margins.
    * use your mobile devices to record yourselves on the concourse, you owe it to your Bluenose workmates to give them something to laugh at on Monday morning.
    *organise a best ‘selfie’ competition (must be photographed with an official steward)
    * avoid singing any songs on the concourse until at least one minute after 3’o’clock (there might be an unforeseen associated death, and subsequent one minutes silence) I’m sure you wouldn’t want to disrespect that.
    Oh and finally don’t get all arsey when the rest of us start sing “We can see you sneaking in” at 3.08
    UTV

    • Dave

      I’m just reading between the lines here but I get the impression that you don’t think this protest is a good idea.

      Just out of interest, is this because:
      a) you don’t think there is anything wrong with the club at the moment?
      b) you have a better idea regarding how the supporter group can voice any concerns that they may have regarding the frightening downward spiral of Aston Villa?

  8. At last !! the real problem has finally been identified, and a protest against the disease that is ruining our club organised.

    As a 1967 vintage protester “The Board Must Go” and run off the “Old” Trinity Road steps by the mounted police, we finally did get the board out, or be it to late to stop the shame of us falling into the old third division.
    The regime that followed vowed AVFC would never be put in that position again, so I for one don’t think this protest has come a minute too soon.
    I totaly agree with the quote below, as an ex season ticket, and share holder we did have the oportunity to face Doug once a year,, yes he had his limitations, but like us, cut him, and he bled Claret and Blue, unlike the Sherman Tank who is never here, and doesn’t feel the hurt like we do.

    ‘Quote from letter’
    Under the previous Chairman, when the Holte End wanted to be heard, Doug Ellis would hear and more often than not, he would act. In truth, he often acted before it got this bad. Our current owner can’t hear the Holte End as he’s sat thousands of miles away, so let him see it.

    Yes let him see it !!!

  9. It’s ironic that the comments on here from “real fans” ridiculing the open letter are actually the most apathetic in respect of the plight of our club.

    Well done to the sites involved. Something needs to change and, who knows, this could be the catalyst.

    Also good to see that our current sorry state has been highlighted in the national press:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2907842/Aston-Villa-mixing-Bayern-Munich-Real-Madrid-right-Paul-Lambert-s-useless.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

    • Exactly. Fair enough if someone has an opinion that they’re not keen on the demonstration as a method, but to then talk about ‘real fans’ or ‘support’ stinks of apathy and the suggestion that they are happy with the status quo and the failure of the last five years plus.

      This is typical comment culture though.

      To be fair to some fans though, there’s a few that say while they won’t do it, they support the intent or/and they offer alternative ideas. This is the more progressive way to go. The club can’t go on like this, so lets have the attitude of ‘how we going to solve this’ rather than the poo-pooing of any supporter effort. UTV

  10. An open letter to MOMS
    I don’t care much for social media or websites for that matter, but understand that both can be entertaining, informative, helpful, and influential
    I signed up to MOMS after I stumbled across an article taking the piss out of the national press and subsequently read everything else I could find, I fell in love with your site when I saw a section requesting pictures of your European Cup experience (it bought back so many happy memories) and from then on I was hooked……right up until today when I read that you have succumbed to supporting the most stupid of ideas I have ever heard….”FFS Sky have been dicking us around for years, and now we get to play Liverpool at the proper time on a Saturday at 3 o’clock and some clown thinks it might be a good idea to stay on the Concourse for 8 minutes before taking our seats to show the world that we care and we want change!
    The Liverpool faithfull will take the piss relentlessly leaving our brothers in the lower North Stand with the job of covering our arses…..well fuck off I’m not having it, I will be stood in front of my seat L6 row R 157 singing for all I’m worth waiting for the so called Cavelry to arrive. I have a mate who works on the Maintenace down VP and he owes me big time, suffice to say he has been informed to ensure that the TV screens around the concourse suffer a malfunction at exactly 3.00 hours …..enjoy your extra pint !

    • Cheers for the comment Dave. Appreciated. Can you get your mate to do something similar to the TV screens in the the hospitality suites in the Trinity Road stand at half-time? That’s where the idea came from, from those ‘supporters’ that seem to always take around 10 minutes to get back to their seats for the second half!

      As you may remember in 1996 (when we had a very decent side) Liverpool went 3-0 up and 2-0 up in the first ten minutes, in two games within the space of a month (one being the FA Cup semi-final), so i feel Liverpool fans have had their fill taking the pi** out of us at the start of games!

      Seriously speaking though, as I’ve mentioned in other comments here, I’ve witnessed the same demonstration at the San Siro, and it was pretty impressive when the cavalry did arrive. Villa supporters have no way the organisation or the solidarity of the Inter ultras to pull something like that off and guarantee it’s success, so it’s just an an open invitation to the growing masses of supporters who are fed up with what has been going on for five years now. Even the last time we got relegated was less painful than recent seasons.

      In the perfect world the North, Trinity & Witton would show solidarity, cover the Holte’s back and deal with our Scouse guests (surely they can sing for 8 mins), and then like a coiled spring with 82 mins of shock and awe, the Holte would send the Liverpool faithful home packing.

      At the same time, members of the board would see the difference of the absence of the life blood of the club, and the difference it makes when supporters are focused and backing their men, rather than criticising their own players for misplaced passes, in-fighting ala the Leicester & Palace game, or doing impressions of a library.

      Part of this is to get supporters coming forward with their opinions and input about the club, stirring the passion and making sure we don’t all slip off into a coma. You won’t and I salute you for that. UTV

  11. Yes what happens if we miss a goal in the first 8 minutes? That would terrible. Now consider without added on minutes we have averaged goal every 171 minutes. So the chances of us scoring are over 21 to 1 against!!!! I was not going down but may do now. Well for 82 minutes. When they see these stats maybe other stands will join in. Those that dont can turn their backs in the 8th minnute for a minutes silence.

  12. I’d love to see what the glory hunters in the holte would do, if we did do that id love if the villa fans worked together to remove them

  13. One way this can backfire spectacularly is if we scored in the first 8 minutes. Not too sure if the new signing will be thrown straight in by Lamebert – you’ll never know with his bizarre tactics.

  14. I think personally ..its great to see .
    people trying .
    its better than sitting back..doing nothing.
    everyone is entitled to their own views.
    I choose to attend all the matches for AVFC home away cup games the lot.
    I have witnessed so much frustration in the stands .
    fans are sick of seeing their club..been made a joke of .we are better than that .
    we need change …its obvious.
    1.I will be taking part
    2.signed petition
    3.supporting the team thereafter

    we have a choice ..
    well done to all who are attempting to make a difference .
    i respect that
    if it makes a difference we all tried
    if not
    WE TRIED…we love our club .that is what we all have in common

    my advice read the letter
    stand as 1 ….

    we want our villa back ……

  15. Interesting idea for the 8 minute protest but also very naive and utterly useless, I will be in my seat from the start to applaud the players out onto the pitch. You won’t be missed mate.

  16. Tough One.
    We should always and do support the team.
    But i think the majority of us want to see something positive coming out of the club for a change.
    This drip drip week after week depression is getting worse.
    The chairman does not go to games – i don’t know about Fox.
    The Holte End is already emptying. Some of my best friends who have been going over 30/40 years some of them have stopped because they have lost interest. Everybody has a threshold point they may or may not cross and more and more are reaching theirs. These are the core fans who are leaving.
    Something has to change.
    I say as a one off protest an empty Holte End / Stadium would certainly reverberate around the world.

    As a possible alternative could we not support the team solidly and then all leave after 82 minutes.

    Great site by the way been reading for ages but only contributed the last couple of days

  17. Couldn’t agree more inside villa park is for supporting the team, why not protest outside trinity road after the game where the board can hear voices

  18. I know a number of villa staff that sit in the holte. If they participated in this they would get the sack. I don’t think they should feel they have to do this.

    • Nobody is saying anyone should ‘have’ to do anything, although ultimately they may lose their job anyway, if the club is relegated. This is a proposal, an idea for a single demonstration of supporter power.

      At the moment, the atmosphere can be toxic with supporters berating the players and each other. Villa fans hitting other Villa fans with kids at the Leicester game.

      This is a gesture that will make the club buck up it’s ideas in terms of communicating with it’s fans.

      Remember the last time we heard from Lerner? It was May. And he told us his heart wasn’t in it anymore.

      If he’s changed his mind (because he can’t sell), then he should tell us.

  19. Hang on a minute (thats 7 then!) how are you going to feel if the scousers go 1-0 up during this time? do you really think this is going to help the team. crap idea to allow the scouse faithful 8 minutes to gain the morel high ground…grow up!

  20. Enough is enough. We need to take a stand. Let’s protest and bring out the banners at Villa Park this weekend. We need to take our club back before it’s to late. Aston Villa is the greatest football club in the world and I for one can’t stand how it is being run. Lambert is clueless, inept and not fit and proper to manage our beloved Villa. We need to make this loud and clear. I urge all Villa fans to back the protest, even if you disagree with it, as you can’t disagree with the level and standard of football we have to tolerate with Lambert in charge. We will always be Villa through and through but protesting does not show a lack of support. It shows that we care, because this is our club. Not Lerner’s and especially not that deluded Lambert who thinks we are playing excellent every single game. Lets all get vocal and let Lambert know that he is not fit to be manager of Villa. As we say, “The Villa Is Ours, The Villa is Ours, f*** off Lambert, The Villa is Ours”. Come on the Holte End, make these words loud and clear on Saturday.

    Villa Till We Die!!!!

  21. True Villa fans want the absolute best for their club, and that is taking action in these troubled times. But by all means keep ignoring what is going on and stay on your high horse. The fact you actually believe we will score demonstrates that you are completely dillusional.

  22. You want a team desperately lacking in confidence, and in need of positivity to come out in front of an empty holte end, yeah genius idea. I’ll be in my seat with the real fans.

    • ‘Real fans’ don’t sit by watching their club slowly die. I’ve been at a game where a 10 min demonstration happened. Inter fans in their ‘Holte’ in the San Siro held back in the stairwells for the first ten minutes of the game vs Parma. Two goals were actually scored in this time 1-1. When they arrived into the stand (i was with them) it was incredible, I’ve never seen support like it for the final 80 minutes. Inter won 5-2. So they weren’t real fans, I suppose?

  23. An open letter with no name at the end. Why ( anonymous fan ) do you think you know better than the professional people running the club with years of experience and expertise. Oh yeah…you go to watch and talk about it afterwards in the pub.

    I really hope we score in the 7th minute while you are very smartly hiding in the toilet.

    True Villa fans will be in their seats for the kick off. Have you made plans to pickup all your leaflets off the floor?

    • Well, Mr Patronisation, The three websites names are at the end. We’ve all followed Aston Villa properly for decades longer than either Lerner or Mr Fox (for example), before they transitioned their business/careers into ‘soccer’.

      During this time we’ve learnt the context of what losing 9 and then 10 home games a season means in the context of Villa history. We’ve also learnt that 38 points (that Villa have achieved in two of the last three seasons) normally gets a team relegated.

      Also, and this might be something that’s news to you, we’ve learnt that if you only have one shot-on-target a game and that doesn’t result in a goal, Villa will tend to lose games. 11 goals in 21 games if repeated in the second half of the season, will likely see the club relegated.

      Any ‘true fan’ would be concerned by it’s club’s position and question if the so called ‘years of experience and expertise’ are up to the job.

      I seem to remember a bunch of concerned Swansea fans deciding to take action when their club had been destroyed by ‘professional people running the club with years of experience and expertise’. They didn’t sit in their seats and simply watch their club fade.

      They brought the club and rebuilt it themselves, from the being one game away from being relegated from the football league to winning the League Cup at Wembley after beating Bradford City.

      Remember Bradford City and the semi-final of that League Cup. Things haven’t exactly improved since then have they?

      • BTW – the last thing the leader of ‘the professional people running the club with years of experience and expertise’ said directly to Villa supporters:

        “I owe it to Villa to move on, and look for fresh, invigorated leadership, if in my heart I feel I can no longer do the job.” – Randy Lerner, May 2014.

        Our hearts are still in the club. Is yours? UTV

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