Before we go into the latest disgrace of those who continue to drag the good name of Aston Villa FC through the dirt, lets first familiarise ourselves with a section from the club’s ‘Customer Charter’:
With a quiet confidence based on a pride in our history and our successes; with a passion for the club and its fans; with energy, enthusiasm and a spirit that befits a club with a lion as its mascot; with an engaging personality that welcomes all-comers; and with a professional attitude at all times – on and off the pitch.
A photo posted by My Old Man Said (Aston Villa) (@myoldmansaid) on
Villa Park Censorship
Throughout the season there has been several incidents of supporters being thrown out of Villa Park by over-zealous stewards. Most situations would have been avoidable if common sense had prevailed, including the several incidents at the home game against Liverpool, that the club didn’t even apologise for.
Against Everton, we saw a new level of attempted control and censorship. Teenage boys being chased and tackled because they simply had a ‘Lerner Out’ poster, a site that appalled both home and away fans alike. Also, flyers from the #Outthedooron74 protest were also being confiscated at the door.
Who’s property is it? Is it offensive? What happened to freedom of speech?
Anybody who’s attends Villa Park in the R1-3 sections of the Lower North (and in the Lower Holte) are used to having a policeman stand there with a video camera permanently fixed on them for the duration of the game.
Surveillance, censorship and control are seemingly the order of the day at Villa Park. Why pay to watch football under those circumstances? It’s insulting. Watching football is not a crime.
After the incident of the teenage fans being wrestled down took place, fans in the North Stand were in uproar against the posse of stewards attempting to censor the peaceful protests. It’s no surprise it results in chants from fans like: “Get a proper job, get a proper Job”, “Tom Fox what a wank*r, what a wank*r” and the new “Randy Lerner out” song (as in the below video) bellowing out from the North Stand.
The Villa board with such zero tolerance instructions to their stadium management are in danger of antagonising the kind of bitter conflict against ownerships seen at clubs like Charlton, Leeds and Blackpool.
Supporters are unhappy in the first place due to the actions of the board, so the board shouldn’t be perpetuating a vicious circle with its poor and unnecessary treatment of its own supporters.
If stewards uttering the phrase “it’s come from the top” carry on throwing out fans young and old for no justifiable reason or aggressively censoring fans’ peaceful protests, then the Villa board, middle management and their pathetic bodyguards are going to deserve everything that will come their way, for they would have reaped what they sowed.
The stewards might be able to wrestle posters off a couple of teenagers, but what happens when they’ve antagonised thousands of Villa supporters to the point where they think ‘enough is enough’?
It’s time to act smarter and ditch the diktat. Villa Park is a football stadium situated in Birmingham, not North Korea.
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