Update: With the direction the 2015/16 season is taking, it maybe time to dig up these plans that were in place for a second season under Alex McLeish or Paul Lambert relegating Villa…
When state secrets enter the public domain, it normally makes for interesting reading in the press. Normally, government policy is involved and it makes you wonder ‘what if?’ Recently, the Queen’s unused nuclear war speech from the era of the cold war was disclosed. Probably the biggest ‘what if’ consideration in recent history was what would have happened to the UK under Nazi occupation? Plans are always hatched at governmental level at the time, but the public only find out about them decades later.
Here at MOMS, for the past two seasons, we’ve been preparing for fates worse than both of these potential historical happenings.
What could be worse than Nuclear War? I hear you ask. Well, what about a second season under Alex McLeish? What’s worse than the hardships that losing the World War II would have brought? How about getting relegated last season under Lambert?
If either of these earth-shattering football events had happened to Aston Villa FC, MOMS was preparing for a fallout that would cause severe side effects for any supporter of the claret and blue.
Rather than keep you in the dark for a generation about the plans put in place to counter such catastrophes, in the name of full disclosure, we detail all below.
Planning for the Worse
In English football, such events as McLeish managing your team and relegation, normally lead to one thing – a fall in attendances. Even the most ardent Villa season ticket holder would have struggled to deal with the shame, if the worst had come to the worst. In American sport though, sports fans found a way round dealing with such stigmas, while still attending your team’s games.
After years of underachievement, the supporters of the NFL franchise the New Orleans Saints took to wearing brown paper bags during their team’s games to save face. Soon they earned the moniker of the ‘Bag Heads’.
Wearing a brown bag was the perfect way of still supporting your team, without suffering the indignation of anybody witnessing your presence at the game. Supporters who had told their game-going buddies that they were going ‘shopping with the wife’, often found themselves side-by-side with their pals watching the games, without each other ever knowing the other was at the game.
It was a technique that caught on. When the supporters of the Miami Dolphins had to suffer watching the increasingly poor performances of their team, they had a ready-made solution to the problem, but being from Miami they took the time to make their bag designs a little bit more fancy.
It was a technique that caught on with fans of other sports. When fans of the basketball team The Nets suffered the dubious honor of starting the 2009-10 season 0-18, the worst stretch by any NBA franchise to begin a season, out came the bags. Proving that they could work in just about any sport.
The Villa Solution
So looking back to the dark days of the Alex McLeish reign at Villa, we can now disclose that plans were made for the nightmare prospect of a second season under Big Eck.
If you wanted to support Villa, but didn’t want to be seen viewing negative football, watching Heskey play in a Franz Beckenbauer role, or see Collins and Dunne continuously hoofing the ball, you would have found one of these in your season ticket pack:
The prospect of Paul Lambert taking over Villa brought fresh hope and galavanised Villa supporters, but it was touch and go at the end of the season. What would have occurred if the unthinkable had happened and Villa relinquished their ever-present Premier League status? Help for watching Villa play in the Championship, was at hand…
Although, Lambert had been very helpful in the attempt to recycle the bags, it still left us with 41,991 of them. It seemed such a waste. Luckily though, we found the perfect solution. With Christmas only a few months away, we decided to cash-in on the forthcoming festive season by making the perfect Chrimbo gift for Birmingham City fans. After all, if there was ever supporters in need of a good bag to watch games in, it was them.
Obviously, since the number of Birmingham City fans that actually attend St. Andrews only reaches around 20,000 on a good day, we intend to sell the rest of the bags to West Brom fans; who we’re sure will appreciate the upgrade in quality compared to the Tesco bags, they normally wear to games. UTV
*A Venglos View is a satirical (and sometimes surreal) look at Villa. Check out other Venglos Views