The kids beat the first team and the 74th minute walkout.

These are not new stories, I know, but I’ve been busy and have only just read them.

It appears at first glance that the under 21s beat a first team squad by three goals to nil.

I have to say this makes interesting reading, although I have to wonder who made up the defensive part of the senior side when you realise that Mark Bunn, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Jores Okore and Aly Cissokho didn’t play. Gabby Agbonlahor, Rudy Gestede and Libor Kozak were also absent and when you look at it like that, surely it means that most of what we perceive as our “best” players didn’t actually play?

That said, some “decent” players were involved, with Carles Gil, Jordan Veretout, Idrissa Gana, and Ashley Westwood, all expected to start at the Britannia, alongside Brad Guzan, Ciaran Clark, Kieran Richardson, Alan Hutton, and Scott Sinclair getting at least a run out.
Not that I’ve seen how long any of them actually played. For example, Bunn wasn’t involved and it seems Guzan played at least some part. So who was the main goalie? And which goalie actually conceded the goals?

It’s a bit of a non-story for me, but it doesn’t look good doesn’t it?
If indeed it was the case that the senior team played most of the game, perhaps I ought to reconsider my stance and concede that those of you calling for the kids to start might well be right.
Well, let’s see how many kids Remi Garde throws in against an ugly Stoke side.
I can’t see it being many, if any at all, myself.

Onto the latest protest idea then and it appears that a group of fans have started a campaign for a walkout in the 74th minute for the next three home games.
The 74 represents the “1874”, in case you hadn’t guessed.

Well, I won’t be reading unfortunately, as I detest Facebook with a passion. If Facebook was a tasty lap-dancer, I wouldn’t touch it with Defoe’s, put it that way.

My personal sentiments on that part aside though, I have to say I think this is doomed to failure.
It’s not that I want to put a downer on the idea, as I’m all in favour of some sort of protest that I thought might actually achieve something, but who is going to want to walk out of a game that we might be (ahem) winning?
And if we’re losing, or very possibly getting soundly beaten, won’t there be a mass walk out anyway?

It’s not a clear enough sort of protest for me, as many fans will ignore it, rightfully thinking that they’ve paid their money, so want to watch the game.

No, if you were to ask my opinion, we need some method of protest that is much more of a show stopper, as your regular protests are becoming old hat and too routine.
Something that would grab world-wide attention.
Something akin to the Albion pitch invasion, but that goes further in actually getting the game abandoned.
Let’s face it, the club got a £200k fine when it’s fans were only celebrating, so they might as well do the real thing for the right sort of reason.
I’m not talking about the last game of the season either.
The Newcastle game would be the one, especially if they’re going down with us.
Imagine if the two sets of fans teamed up on the pitch, in protest at the way the game is going and the way the clubs are being run.
Imagine the headlines. Genuinely worldwide and high up the agenda. A real kick in the proverbials for the Premier League, Lerner and Ashley.
Now that’s what I call a protest.

But of course, that sort of thing would be bad for the club and the media would probably only twist things, just as they did against the Albion anyway. Still, imagine those headlines.

Before anyone rants against my wishful thinking, don’t worry. It won’t happen.
People don’t do outlandish things like that anymore.
It’s only in my dreams and I can’t be seen to advocate people breaking the law and running on to the pitch anyway, can I?
The reality is you’d get some idiotic Villa and Newcastle fans knocking lumps out of each other, because that’s what happens.

Coming back to the real world, I’m much more minded to agree with those who say we just shouldn’t attend at all and indeed, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, that I haven’t attended at all this season. I refuse to hand over money to a regime that obviously refuses to compete; it’s as simple as that.

And while my one titchy bit of a protest won’t make much difference, the club would do well to consider that if I do attend, I don’t go alone, because at least two grandkids accompany me.

The club, or more accurately, Lerner is peeing our future up the wall and that’s the part that really annoys me.
He’s already made the penultimate mistake in not demonstrating support for his manager.
Will he make the ultimate one in not investing to get us straight back up?

That’ll be the question in just a few months, won’t it?

Suffice to say that I think any more normal method of protest is destined to fall on deaf ears.
Lerner doesn’t give a stuff about what we think and the media is 100% behind him, make no mistake. The protest against McLeish’s appointment said it all, when it was dominated by the graffiti at BMH. And still he ignored the fans.


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  1. Sir Earl Barratt
    Sir Earl Barratt February 23, 2016 at 6:50 am . Reply

    Badger, whilst I agree it’s not particularly original I feel we have to support the walkout. I take my hat off to those scousers, they all got behind it – they were two up and the press coverage was massive. For this to work we all have to go and I will be taking my kids out the door on 74! The reason why Lerner, Fox et al have been able to serve us up seasons of dross ending in our relegation is that they know us brummies have a chunter, a few angry tweets but we’re not prepared to do anything. It doesn’t matter in the long run whether we are winning against Everton, it’ll make no difference in the long run.

    I don’t think we’ve any choi but to join in with what’s been organised otherwise we end up with ten or so protests all nothing to do with each other which loses its effect, making us look exactly what we are – a total shambles of a club.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 February 23, 2016 at 7:44 am . Reply

      Good for you SEB; need to do something BUT on the Brum Mail survey nearly a third said they WOULDN’T walk out which suggests Badger might be right. I won’t criticise the idea though because at least one fan is trying to get a real visible action going within the law. Good for him.

      But it seems a third of those fans attending are quite happy with matters at Villa Park!

      On another matter I see it’s being reported that Pullis is set to leave Albion in the summer. Whilst he doesn’t play the most attractive football he would be perfect choice to get us out of the Championship and maybe knock a few heads together.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 23, 2016 at 7:41 am . Reply

    It’s pretty obvious that if and when the word gets around the media will make it news, I agree that any sort of protest might help, you would think the staff could also help by joining in, that would abandon the game, I disagree that if you don’t go don’t buy it damages the club, the club is already damaged and the aim is to get rid of the owner, Badger like myself have started by not buying, its right what people say about us Villa fans we are a set of fans that moan and take it and the higher owner and his henchmen know that.we have to make news to all that we love our club and we are doing it for having a great history, and the players of our past.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum February 23, 2016 at 7:17 pm . Reply

      Bill, if all the staff walked out too, that would be awesome. I guess a few staff have mouths to fees unfortunately…

    #HELENIUS February 23, 2016 at 8:11 am . Reply

    Baffles me why fans are still going at all!!! Surely there is something, anything better to do on a Saturday afternoon that attend the worst football games in Premier League history!!!

  4. Stubbs
    Stubbs February 23, 2016 at 8:38 am . Reply

    A walkout after 74 minutes is pointless. By this time fans would of paid an entrance fee, brought food, drink and a programme and more than likely browsed around in the club shop. They’d be spending money which completely goes against the whole point of the protest/boycott.

    If there is going to be a protest/boycott it needs to effect the whole day not just 16 minutes. Turn up and protest outside the ground before and after the game but at no point enter Villa Park.

    Your idea regarding the Newcastle game would be awesome. A fine wouldn’t bother the fans but a possible points deduction at the start of next would. Mind you with the squad we have we’ll struggle in The Championship so a points deduction won’t make much difference.

  5. Saddened
    Saddened February 23, 2016 at 11:36 am . Reply

    Walking out after 74 minutes ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…. thats like doing your shopping in Tesco’s in two thirds of the time, spending the same on your groceries…. FFS who thinks if this shite !

    BOYCOTT is the only way forward, we are NOT fans we are customers, according to fat Fred Elliot – with less customers his plans are flawed and they will spend money on a better proposition to entice us back …. if we keep going and spending, they have won all round.. !

    1. Sir Earl Barrett
      Sir Earl Barrett February 23, 2016 at 12:50 pm . Reply

      My money has already gone in the three season tickets I bought so a boycott of my three seats would be equally as pointless following your argument. Instead of a walkout, why don’t we all bitch and mock on this sight and Twitter? That’ll really show the club that we mean business. Typical Villa fans knocking others for trying to do something and then doing nothing yourselves. Any protest done in the privacy of your own home is the most pointless thing I’ve read.

      1. #HELENIUS
        #HELENIUS February 23, 2016 at 3:33 pm . Reply

        But 74 mins – Nobody will know whether its a statement of protest or because we’re losing 4-0.

        At least empty at HT.

        I’ve made my protest by not attending a single game this season or bought any merchandise. And until those clowns upstairs have gone, I won’t be returning anytime soon.

        I would expect any right minded person to follow suit, then again some people like to watch pub footy in a nice stadium every week.

      2. Saddened
        Saddened February 23, 2016 at 3:44 pm . Reply

        Your only grumpy because you’ve spent your hard earned cash already and I don’t blame you, I gave up my season ticket after 20 years…. Im sick of it mate but 2,000 fans walking out a few minutes before full time will do bugger all !
        Lerner probably doesn’t even watch the games, he has been to the Villa 3-4 times in the last three years, he has meetings in London then buggers back stateside – he is only interested in his bottom line, and walking out after spending your cash, doesn’t bother or affect him one dot.

    2. #HELENIUS
      #HELENIUS February 23, 2016 at 3:20 pm . Reply

      Fred Elliott. Hahaha. Brilliant I say, brilliant

    3. Stubbs
      Stubbs February 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm . Reply

      Ha ha ha ha ha@ Fred Elliot………That’s hilarious ha ha ha ha ha.

      No doubt the club will try and counter attack the boycott by offering something along the lines of a free creme egg to every “customer” who purchases a ticket for the Everton, Spurs and Chelsea games!!

  6. steve
    steve February 23, 2016 at 1:24 pm . Reply

    I think the biggest demo will be when they start their annual phone around on who will be renewing next year.
    The one good thing out of all of this is as you go down the divisions the club becomes more reliant on the fans as it loses out on TV / sponsorship deals hence they will be forced to make it more attractive to us.

    1. Saddened
      Saddened February 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm . Reply

      Exactly Steve – Lerner and the asset strippers are relying on us keeping spending, we are merely customers in their business plan, if they can get away with us being mid table in the Championship and turning a profit they don’t care…

      But……. if attendances fall significantly and merchandising drops, they will do something about it….. Remember the comment ‘its not all bad, merchandising is up” ! they don’t give a toss where we are in the league, but if people keep attending they will keep cutting costs.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 23, 2016 at 4:48 pm . Reply

        Boycotting the club will not happen in sufficient numbers to interest the media and we need a concerted attack on the club from all the UK media which will be picked up stateside. OK, maybe walking out after 74 minutes won’t work but it has attracted media attention and some fans are trying to bring pressure to bear. I’m pretty sure Hollis, Fox and King will not like a lot of negative personal media attention and will soon be putting pressure on Lerner in turn.

        The Liverpool fans succeeded by using a walk out over ticket prices; I suggest a boycott would never have been as effective.

        OK so you don’t agree with the walk out but I think the fans prepared to give it a go are worthy of our support rather than our derision. Keep the criticism for those doing nothing at all.

        1. saddened
          saddened February 23, 2016 at 6:59 pm . Reply

          H60 the Media cannot stand the sight of the Villa, so will not support the fans in any way….
          For the board they are only interested in financial results as they see us as a business, with us as customers – not fans.

          The Liverpool event was a completely different situation, 10,000 walked out and Sunderland fought back and earned a draw…. How many people would walk out if we were 2-0 up.

          Sorry I am a realist which is why i didn’t renew my season ticket – paying into this awful regime and expecting change will not make a scrap of difference.

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 February 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm .

            Saddened – I don’t think that’s entirely true (about the media). We may perceive an anti Villa bias but the reality is they will take any news that sells ‘papers’.

            FWIW I agree with your point about the circumstances within which fans will walk out and I also tend to agree that it’s unlikely to be as effective as fans think but at least there are fans putting effort into some form of protest which has already attracted some media coverage.

            Boycotting the club financially will ultimately harm the club more than Lerner I’m sorry to say.

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm . Reply

    Just had a call from a friend to say that he was talking to his mate, he apparently was at the last home game in close proximity to Fox with his 9 year old son, he walked up to Fox and said can I have a word with you?, 3 bouncer stepped in and ejected him from the ground. Fox didn’t turn his head to look. True i don’t know.

    1. Sir Earl Barrett
      Sir Earl Barrett February 23, 2016 at 5:26 pm . Reply

      I’m inclined to believe any story that starts ‘a mate of a mate’ and is followed by the word ‘apparently’ Bill. It’s the heartbeat of any good tale.

  8. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm . Reply

    Believe or believe it not, the story that came out about having personal protection falls in line with the young lady that told the media he has, I wonder if we pay for that? You bet your life we do.

  9. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion February 23, 2016 at 6:54 pm . Reply

    Well, I am sorry to learn that the Kids are only half as good as Liverpool, but they have to be worth the chance to replace the first team en masse. I would even turn up to see them. There is no chance of me ever again watching the unsaleable relics of Lambert’s era combined with the Freebies and feeble Franco-phones that now inhabit the first team.

  10. Rocky1
    Rocky1 February 23, 2016 at 8:39 pm . Reply

    I cannot see what walking out on 74 minutes will prove if I am honest, they would not give a flying fuck. If you use the Liverpool game as a bench mark then most walked out before that at 3 nil. I stayed until the end against Liverpool and drove home in no traffic which was a bonus. The only way you will hit them is not to spend any money in the ground on merchandise, programmes, food and drink. Hit them where it hurts in their pockets, all that walking out will do is effect the players. They will have all the food and drink left over and will have paid the staff to stand around with no paying customers to serve. Get some cans from the offy and buy a burger from outside the ground or buy a your stuff from the shop and take it in with you. if you do the maths 30000+ fans spending on average £5.00 a game over 3 games is £450.000 plus staff wages on top. I could be miles out as it could be a lot more rather than less. Surely that will have more of an impact than walking out having already parted with your cash?

  11. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 February 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm . Reply

    Doug Ellis to buy back club and give to his son…..WM tonight ?????

    1. Hitchens 69
      Hitchens 69 February 23, 2016 at 11:00 pm . Reply

      Even if that were to be true – what would it achieve? We need massive investment alongside a complete restructuring of the club and management at board level. I doubt whether Doug or his family have sufficient wealth to take on the job of rebuilding the club.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 23, 2016 at 11:01 pm . Reply

        That should have been Hitchens 60! Flipping iPad!

      2. badger123
        badger123 February 24, 2016 at 2:22 am . Reply

        Deadly doesn’t have the wealth to even buy the club and wouldn’t be able to raise it either at his age.
        That’s a complete non-starter, imo.

        1. Saddened
          Saddened February 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm . Reply

          He will have the money once we are in Div2, in fact by the time Lerner has finished with us, I could afford The Villa

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath February 23, 2016 at 11:24 pm . Reply

      Gosh I bloody hope not

  12. steve
    steve February 23, 2016 at 10:21 pm . Reply

    this relegation has been coming for years and the majority of fans (myself included) have sat there in apathy.
    if we want change then we have to at least try to instigate it. leaving on 74 minutes is at least doing something rather than nothing. it is time for us to either put up or shut up.
    my only concern is that a lot of fans might already have left by the 74th minute.

  13. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm . Reply

    See Deadly has been having his four pennies worth. Support his criticism of Lerner but why after saying everyone is to blame does he focus on the manager and players – they were, after all, appointed and bought by the board / transfer committee! Some things don’t ever change 🙂

    1. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson February 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm . Reply

      Hitch, Ellis doesn’t know what time of day it is, met him 4 years ago and wasn’t able to remember things, his functionality is from his lads. How ever he manages at board level is a mystery.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 24, 2016 at 9:12 pm . Reply

        As I said Bill – some things never change 🙂

  14. claret and blue
    claret and blue February 24, 2016 at 10:04 pm . Reply

    As with most things, protest from the fans is a process and a 74 minute walk out is a first step. It’s a statement of intent. Even if not a large or effective one its a statement nonetheless. That’s what’s needed at this stage, a seed needs planting and even if it’s a few thousand walking out whilst trying to rally the fans around, who don’t follow them, it’s still a statement. Those who didn’t walk with them will certainly notice and pick up on the idea for the next match and so on in a snowball like fashion. Absolutely for it myself. The act itself at the first match on 74 minutes will probably be meaningless on the face of things on the day but it’s what happens after and onwards which is where that first small act will have made all the difference!

    As a couple of posters have said here already and potentially even more important is not to spend a penny! If you’re bringing kids grab em something outside the stadium and bring it inside.


  15. pat57
    pat57 February 24, 2016 at 11:12 pm . Reply

    After giving it quite a lot of thought I’m beginning to agree with the 74th minute protest and the commercial boycott. It may not amount to much in the grand scheme of things but it’s something that can be done so why not do it? It might at least give supporters the crumb of comfort that they can achieve something.

    Otherwise what?

    If it gives any of the prats currently running the club a second’s thought then it will have been worth it.

    TBH quite liked the tennis ball idea too. Quite original of Dortmund that.

    Anyone for tennis?

    1. steve
      steve February 25, 2016 at 10:03 am . Reply

      i don’t want any body searching for or grabbing my balls on the way in.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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