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Man the barricades for the Villa Are a Bit Crap protest
First things first. An apology.
I might have inadvertently speculated in last week's blog that a North London rioter was probably using my season ticket to cut up M-Kat after losing my wallet in the smoke.
Well imagine my surprise when the bloody thing was posted back to me via the nice people at Aston Villa Consumer Services Department with my return train ticket from London to Birmingham.
I thought I'd finally found a reason to stop going down there this season but it turns up like a bad smell in a lift.
I've no idea which Londoner sent the season ticket back up to Brum without the wallet it was lost in, my bank card, £40 in cash, fixtures card, and my journalism code of ethics booklet but I'd like to thank them.
Or curse them because that is just my luck.
I lose my season ticket after we get knocked out the last chance of winning anything and are firmly lodged in mid-table obscurity and it finds it way back to me.
Villa Park is not one of my favourite destinations at the moment, in fact it is lagging way behind bed and the kitchen at the moment.
It is no surprise we do better away from home than at Villa Park because everyone is one goal, mistake, substitution from turning on the team and manager.
And all this talk of a protest against Man City puts me off going down even more.
Protest at what? That we are a bit crap. We are not on the brink of bankruptcy. We are not in administration. We are not marooned at the bottom of the league.
Villa Park is not going to sold to Tesco and the whole club relocated to the NEC.
Our chairman is not fleecing the club and we have not got a manager who is on the fiddle.
Our chairman just made a bad mistake by thinking Villa fans would warm to McLeish like he had, and don't forget, not a lot of people actually wanted the job because the funds are not there to buy a team in.
What we have got is an owner who hasn't got as much money as the big boys, which if I'm not mistaken has been the case for the last fifty or more years.
We have a manager who is a bit crap, players that are a bit crap and we've closed down the Holte pub in the week, which is a bit crap.
But the way people are going on it is as if we are a club on the brink of oblivion, not the brink of a few years in the mid-table until we get rid of our high earners and hope the new financial rules will level the playing field in the Race for Seventh.
I dont remember people demonstrating when we were relegated in the 80s, I in the Trinity on that fateful day and all I remember was blokes in pastel coloured t-shirts invading the pitch and trying to kick Lee Chapman.
But the next season everyone had a ball going to away days they had never experienced before and actually saw the club win games. Look at our position in the league - 13th. 13th out of 92 clubs.
If I supported Darlington, Sheffield Wednesday or the multitude of clubs struggling outside the promised land of the Premier League and I saw this protest on TV I'd hate the Villa.
The expression "Don't hate the player, hate the game" fits our situation, I don't hate Lerner, in fact I like him, what I hate is the lopsided uncompetitive overrated Premiership, it is a league that almost every team that enters can not win. Four winners in 20 years says in all.
The protest will be a flop. It will change nothing but perceptions of Villa fans.
OK thousands of people have pressed the 'like' button on Facebook and hundreds of people have written bile about McLeish on the internet.
But how many of those will actually turn up to a protest? A fraction will. And they will be the same fraction who turn up at any Villa protest.
They were probably the people who were booing MON when we were third in the league.
And calling for Houllier's head when he wanted to get rid of our god awful defence last year.
Or the people who slated Ron Saunders style of football.
But if you are going to protest on Sunday could you just please follow these simple rules: Wear some decent clobber, your representing Birmingham after all, so no puffer jackets or Iko Iko jumpers.
If writing a slogan on a bed sheet, make sure all the letters dont scrunch up on the right hand side because I hate that.
If interviewed keep it simple and dont use sentences like "I'm protesting cos we got that Bloosescum ginger ****** managing our club like, cos, we are Villa en it, Villa shouldn't be having no Bloosescum as manager, I hate Bloosescum, Lerner out, he's only here for the money, ay he, Doug Ellis was better, I hate Bloosescum."
Say something like "I'm here to protest about that god awful soft rock version of The Bells Are Ringing they play at half time."
Or something pithy like "I'm protesting because, well, we are just a bit crap aren't we?"
Because that is the long and short of it, we are just a bit crap.
We’ve been a bit crap before and we will be a bit crap again.
But being a bit crap wont stop me getting my season ticket next season.
Up the Villa.
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