In their next two home games, Aston Villa come up against two teams that according to a recent survey taken by Betway have surpassed Villa in the ‘Big Club’ stakes since Villa’s three-year exile from the Premier League.
Everton and West Ham place 7th and 8th respectively in the Top 20 table of English football’s ‘Big Clubs’, with Villa coming in at 9th.
The survey was taken by over 3,500 football supporters with fans judging teams across 10 categories and scoring them out of 10 for each.
The main five criteria given the most weight in the survey were: total silverware, match-going support, European pedigree, worldwide support and total Premier League seasons.
Stadium size, recent silverware, transfer spend, recent Premier League seasons, and number of internationals rounded off the 10 categories.
Villa’s three seasons in the Championship and a closed Upper Trinity will not have helped their scoring in the survey, hence even West Ham leap-frogging them in such an analysis.
Villa still place fifth in overall trophies wins in the history of the game, but they’ve only threaten to add to that tally in recent times when they were beaten finalists in the 2015 FA Cup and 2010 League Cup final.
Villa also now only have the 8th biggest stadium in the league, so with West Ham now boasting a 60,000 ground (the fourth biggest in the league), it will potentially need on-pitch success in the short-term to move them up the ‘Big Club standings’.
While the survey doesn’t particularly prove anything and the demographic of the survey sample is unknown, you could argue it is a taster of how supporters do perceive clubs at this moment in time.
Villa had in recent history been seen in the same group of teams as Spurs and Everton, but Spurs’ recent rise in European football and their new stadium (the second biggest in the league – 62,062), have moved them up a level.
While Spurs were building a new stadium last summer, Villa were potentially facing administration due to unpaid tax bills, which goes to show the fine margins in success and failure for even the bigger clubs of English football.
With Villa gaining new wealthy owners in Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, and getting promoted a season ahead of when the new owners perhaps had expected, it means the club are at least now in a position not to lose any further ground to teams they have been traditionally ‘bigger’ than.
If Villa remain in the Premier League for the foreseeable future, it would be hard for them to slip out of the top 10 clubs in English football, but the ambition of the new owners will dictate they will be disappointed if they have made a dent on the top six in a decade’s time.