Just how big are Aston Villa?; Trying to be objective

Okay, I’ll be honest.
I’m bored and all the so called news is just transfer conjecture.
But I haven’t posted for a while and thought I should, if only to let you know I’m still alive.

There was a comment I read today, somewhere, by a Leeds fan who suggested that Kalvin Phillips moving to the Villa would be a step back.
Now that is of course, a laughable statement, given that Leeds have been in the Championship for god knows how long and have won miles less than us in their history.
But I’ll give them credit for having ruled the roost in the early 70’s and having an excellent fanbase.
As a slight aside, I have it on pretty good authority, that even at BMH they were called “dirty Leeds” quite recently.
Er no, I’d better not post that, had I? Oh dear, I have; never mind.

And then I saw a BBC news article, where WBA have enroled Slaven Bilic as their latest manager and it showed a shot of their ground. Which had me thinking “that’s a small stadium compared to Villa Park, they’re not in the same league”.
To my mind Albion are a big club, so how does that compare to us?
They have loads of history, but have done nothing for ages and even their fanbase is probably outdone by Wolves, who have also had their golden moments.

Wolves are on a roll, having firmly established their place in the Premier league and I also see them as a big club, with loads of history and a good fanbase too.
But they’ve also done little during my personal experience.
Of course, I’m biased, but to my mind, we’re by far the biggest club in the Midlands.

Which got me thinking about how other supporters perceive our club.

Here’s a list of clubs in the Premier league that I think are not as big as the Villa;

Norwich, Sheffield Utd, Brighton, Southampton, Burnley, Bournemouth, Palace, West ham, Leicester and Watford and Wolves.

The keen eyed amongst you might have realised that I was working from the bottom of the Prem table and have left Newcastle out.
They’re hard to rate, as although their fanbase is massive and admittedly bigger than ours, they’ve done well, but not as good as us over the years.

In my lifetime, we’re on a par with Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City. Their recent history has obliterated ours though.
Which only leaves Spurs and Everton.
Spurs are way above us, as it stands now, especially as they have the London factor, that will pull a few thousand fans in as a tourist day out to their nice new big stadium.

Everton is what we should be aiming for.

But we’re the new boys, just back in the Prem.
So whatever I think doesn’t really matter.

Many Prem clubs will see us as the newcomers who haven’t had the money they’ve had over the last few seasons.
And we’ll be expected to struggle, no matter how big we think we are.

One thing I do know is that if we survive this season, we’ll have to seriously look at upgrading the stadium, even if it’s only to keep the Wolves from the door.
We can’t have the Old Gold seriously competing with us, can we?

40 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Badger123 June 27, 2019 at 5:03 pm .

    Hmm, no news and tbh I was expecting more signings by now,
    I’m guessing we’re not going to roll over and pay the daft prices wanted.
    Which might mean we have to wait quite a while until clubs realise they could really do with the money on offer if they want to strengthen.

    If Villa think they’re best waiting, I’m fine with that.

    There’s talk in one of the papers that we might spend upto £120 million!

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 June 27, 2019 at 6:26 pm .

    No one knows who we are going to sign. Take Moreas for example, totally out of the blue. The only slightly obvious one is Mings although the transfer fee could still put a stop to that. Not many names we are linked with offer much excitement. Fact is we are going to have to achieve what the huge majority of play off promoted teams fail to do, which is retain a premier league place in 2020-21!
    This has me thinking about Badgers post regarding where we sit in relation to other teams. Currently we are 20th and have to prove ourselves again. Norwich and Sheffield United were better than us last season so we have to improve. Smiths transfer window is going to be crucial in achieving that. If we stay up then we need to play catch up quickly if we are to get anywhere near being a top six team again. We potentially have big spending owners but we can’t complete with current top six. Also our stadium needs to be upgraded to a minimum 50,000, and ideally 60,000 because Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham are already there and Chelsea have plans to do so. Even Wolves are pushing for a 40,000+ in the near future. Our previous history of silverware is becoming a distant memory for fans younger than 30! It’s time for our club to begin the process of creating a new successful era so we aren’t living in the past anymore.

    1. Avatar
      Badger123 June 27, 2019 at 8:25 pm .

      Holte, the post was designed to make us think, as I believe there’s a bit of a disconnect between where Villa fans hope we’ll be and where we actually are.
      Call it downplaying expectations, if you like.

      As you rightly say, we are playing catch up and are at a big disadvantage.
      We’ll be doing well to just stay up this season, as history has shown.

      That said, I’ve previously stated that I believe we have a better chance of survival than Sheff or Norwich because of our resources at hand (even bearing in mind FFP).
      If we’d had Dean Smith all season, I think we’d possibly have won the league, so maybe that moves us up a couple of places?

      I think if we can survive this season, we’ll be ok for 20-21, no problem.
      And then we’ll need to expand the stadium.
      Fwiw, I think 60,000 is what’s neded, although that’s a big ask and I don’t know how you’d achieve it (5000 in the Witton lane and 5000 in the North stand, maybe 1000 in the corners, but then what?).
      Play the right sort of footy and the crowds will come, imo.

      But we’re getting ahead of ourselves 🙂

      If we are going to spend that £120 mill, does that put us in the Fulham class, where everyone said they destroyed a good team by buying too many outsiders?

    2. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron June 27, 2019 at 10:02 pm .

      Very good points, Holte. The longer we go without success, the more distant it becomes, the less people remember, the less important it becomes.

      What Ian Holloway said about the Villa a few years back has always stuck in my mind. I hope the new regime can bury that kind of thinking once and for all. The sooner, the better! For the record, we don’t seem to be “half-arsed” any more. Let’s home that leads to us becoming “famous” once again…

  3. Avatar
    Badger123 June 27, 2019 at 9:51 pm .

    There’s nowt else on telly, so I’m half watching England-Norway women.
    Seems like Prem against a Sunday league side to me.
    And Norway are supposed to be a strong side?

    Hmm.
    I suspect the investment is showing out.

  4. Avatar
    Bum Bum June 27, 2019 at 10:26 pm .

    Wolves will do a Bournemouth, have a couple of good seasons punching above their weight, and back down. In that I honestly mean no disrespect to the Old Gold. And I wouldn’t want to upset Zep’s Robert Plant, one of the nicest men in rock.
    Did I ever tell you I once had a wee wee in a urinal in Ronnie Scott’s next to Robert Plant?

    And why haven’t we signed Mings yet??!!!

    1. Avatar
      Badger123 June 27, 2019 at 11:13 pm .

      Hah, nice one BB 🙂

      Mings has only just got off holiday, but I think we’ll get him, as I do believe he wants to come to us.

      Wheels in wheels etc…..

    2. Avatar
      originallondonlion June 28, 2019 at 1:51 pm .

      While you are taking the p*** Bum Bum – can I point out that Bournemouth haven’t gone down yet! Like you I suspect it is only a matter of time with that tiny stadium, but I would be happy if Villa do as well in their first couple of seasons back up, and play as attractive football as Eddie’s team while doing so.
      As it happens, I think Smith is a similar sort of manager so I expect we will.

      1. Avatar
        Bum Bum July 1, 2019 at 11:29 pm .

        Who’s taking the piss?

  5. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron June 27, 2019 at 10:46 pm .

    Apparently, Webster’s stats are better than Mings’…him and Mings might be the dream partnership and he sounds like a more than adequate replacement for Axel. Having said that, I’m sure the money it would take to get Webster would get Axel, so why not go back for him? – he’s younger and already has a link with the club and the team, so surely a better fit?

    1. Avatar
      Badger123 June 27, 2019 at 11:15 pm .

      Again, it’s all about the deal, imo.
      I suspect it’s all about add-ons, myself.

    2. Avatar
      Bill Pearson June 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm .

      Villa Park sold to our owners 56.7 million.

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 June 28, 2019 at 7:12 am .

    It’s like waiting for the apocryphal number 9 bus …… but don’t worry when one comes along there will be at least three.

    Keep the faith UTV

  7. Avatar
    Badger123 June 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm .

    So Forest have sacked MON, apparently for falling out with too many players.
    I reckon Roy Keane’s probably to blame, hence him going earlier.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 June 28, 2019 at 4:23 pm .

      No sympathy here Badger – I see him as outdated and arrogant – yesterday’s man.

  8. Avatar
    Hitchens60 June 28, 2019 at 4:21 pm .

    Villa Park sold for £56.7m to NSWE Stadiums Ltd on 31st May (last day of our 2018/19 accounts), thus wiping off our losses and making us compliant with FFP (which you can only do once!) Gibson can moan all he likes but if the club decide to sell the stadium and include it in their accounts then they are completely within their rights to do so. I admit, though, to having one small (very small) piece of sympathy – Derby sold their ground to one of their owners companies for a reported £80m – that seems way overvalued to me but, then again, it’s up to the buyer and seller to agree a price.

    Happy Days!

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 June 28, 2019 at 4:24 pm .

      Apologies Bill – didn’t clock your earlier post

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 June 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm .

    See there is reported as being a lot of interest in Keiran Davis going out on loan this season. I like this kid and reckon he has a great future (if he can stay injury free). Think a year out on loan (as long as he plays regularly) is a sensible move.

    1. Avatar
      Bill Pearson June 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm .

      No worries Hitch it jumped into That position anyway. That sale can only be a good thing to our club . It’s put us on Parr with the other big clubs money wise.

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