Villa FCG Club Meeting
Before the home clash with Middlesbrough this evening the latest Fan Consultation Group (FCG) meeting with the club will take place.
While the focus is of course on Villa supporter issues, after an uncertain start to the season, it will also provide a chance to clarify a few specifics on the overall state of the club.
Hopefully, we will receive some interesting and informative answers for supporters.
Below is the agenda of questions that will form the heart of the meeting. The answers to the questions will be available soon in minutes form.
A set of supplementary supporter questions surrounding away tickets will be sent separately and the answers will be issued with the minutes.
FCG AGENDA – SEPTEMBER 12TH TUESDAY 5.30pm
1. Why has the discount at the shop and the AVTV access been taken away from the season ticket package? It seems to devalue the season ticket, as there is nothing to the package now apart from the ticket.
2. In terms of the ‘Villa Engine’ is it possible to have some specific examples of what has been implemented so far, beyond marketing/motivational taglines such as ‘Pride, Passion & Purpose’?
In terms of a style of play for the first team, it’s been said that the focus is currently promotion and the ethos of “only results matter” is being practiced to achieve this. If Villa fail again to get promoted this season, when does the style of play of Villa come to the surface and become a focus of the engine, as a way to be successful?
3. What is the situation being reported at the moment about the Chinese Government clamping down on investment in football clubs and how will this impact us? In the context of being in the Championship and also if/when Villa are promoted.
In terms of the PL, obviously there is an outstanding debt to Randy Lerner to be paid upon promotion, so what will our immediate ambition and capacity be in the PL?
4. Are there any plans to align the Pride Rewards scheme with Villa tickets or Villa’s retail merchandise?
It’s the expectation of a lot of people that they’ll be able to use the points on items in the shop and against tickets – the current scheme has some good ideas on collection of points, but the rewards don’t seem linked to the everyday things fans want.
When will we see the full functionality of the Pride rewards scheme? We have no date yet on when the cash loading will be available and there are still lots of people that can’t log into the system.
5. A common complaint is the 50p booking fee, especially by fans on the away scheme. They pay their money to join the away scheme, and then, if they go to every game, they have to pay half again on booking fees. What’s the club’s thinking on this?
6. Transport – whilst being aware of this new coach partnership that Villa have recently announced, what is the possibility of getting the old football specials – trains & buses – from the City Centre & other locations to VP back into operation? Leeds for example, run a shuttle bus before & after the game.
In terms of trains, would there be any scope in doing some kind of advance football train ticket related/linked to specific away match tickets? That has the flexibility to be used on a different date, in case Sky TV moves the date of the game? But still be a cheap ‘advance’ price.
7. Repainting the Witton Railway Bridge. The promotion precursor doesn’t apply here in terms of affording it, as it’s something the club has offered to do on numerous occasions. This is something that would improve the experience and first impressions of going to Villa Park via train dramatically and also benefit the local community at large.
If you were on the Commonwealth Games committee choosing the city for the games and you visited Villa Park by train, it’s not going to be too impressive! Can we use this Commonwealth Games angle to finally leverage action from Network Rail?
8. Is there scope for supporter consultation through the FCG group when it comes to kits? For example, there seems to be a different shade of claret & blue with every new shirt.
9. In terms of the various plans for an expanded Villa Park… Can you make any assurances that the architecture style will be congruous with the nearby Aston Hall and Jacobean style it mimics in places.
Villa Park should remain as the grandest old lady of football theatres in the UK and indeed the world. Much of the character has been lost with other stadiums, which is impossible to replicate in Steel and Glass.
Would it remain true to the style of traditional Leitch style grounds?
10. In terms of secondary ticketing agencies, while this isn’t a real issue while we’re not currently selling out games, can the club look into the Twickets model, where face value is the maximum cost for a ticket that can be advertised to a fellow fan.
Twickets have been successful in creating a morally sound alternative to secondary ticket agencies and has entered the football industry with Crystal Palace partnering officially with them.
11. Can you please update the group on developments and plans for half-time entertainment at Villa Park.
12. Can you please update the group on the Holte Car Park food/drink/entertainment initiative.
13. In terms of match day catering, is there a possibility for Coeliac (gluten free diet) options. The statistics are 1 in 100 people have this intolerance.
14. What is the possibility of having a dedicated area for Lions Clubs and other supporters groups to display their individual flags (in a location that could be picked up on TV – for overseas groups etc to see), which will add to the match day experience for everyone.
15. How involved will Aston Villa be now with the Commonwealth Game Bid? With Birmingham now representing the UK, would there be any grants/funding from that which may see improvements at Villa Park as a result? Are there any upgrades that are required?