In the build-up to the play-off semi-final versus Middlesbrough last night at Villa Park, the club encouraged Villa supporters to get to the game in time for a special pre kick-off surprise.
On arriving at the game, apart from the flame throwing pyrotechnics on the pitch, the eagle-eyed amongst us would have noticed a giant flag furled up under the roof of the Holte End.
The flag/banner that never appeared had a picture of a fierce lion’s head with ‘We Are Villa’ written across it.
So what happened to the flag, that would have been a welcomed addition to the night’s proceedings?
MOMS spoke to the club this morning and was informed that during the testing of the lowering and raising mechanism of the flag, they encountered a few issues and that it wasn’t working 100%.
One concern was it wasn’t raising fast enough, so Holte Enders’ views might have been blocked for a longer than necessary time during the build-up to the match. Worse still, they weren’t 100% convinced it wouldn’t get stuck for a period of time.
So, the decision was taken not to risk it. Which in light of the high stakes nature of the game and the fact it was being covered live by Sky TV was the sensible thing to do.
“It’s Beyond My Control”
Naturally, the club weren’t too impressed by the company enlisted to make the flag happen, as they’ve ultimately failed to deliver.
MOMS knows a thing or two about being let down by others, when it comes to big flags, so it can sympathise. There’s nothing worse when your good intentions are undermined by others and forces you can’t control.
It’s All Good
The good news is that the club will make sure the flag can be used next season and we’ll have that in the stadium’s arsenal going forward.
Hopefully, its first unfurling will be the first home game next season… hopefully, in the Premier League.
A few years back, MOMS had spoken to the club about the potential of hanging displays from the roof of the Holte, as a few other clubs around the world had done it to create impressive spectacles. It’s something that doesn’t happen much at English football stadiums, so it was a chance for Villa to do something a bit more unique and take advantage of the Holte’s size.
Obviously, the mindset of the club at that time wasn’t right for anything remotely creative to happen. So, it was great to see such initiatives beginning to happen now.
The flag didn’t look corporate (I’m assuming there wasn’t a hashtag on it!) and it seemed like a genuine present for supporters. It’s something to look forward to next season.