Monday, September 29, 2008

Aston Villa: Football's best PR spinners?

Aston Villa must have one of the greatest bullsh...erm, public relations machines in the Premier League. Just a few days after only 21,541 turned out to see them humbled by QPR in the League Cup, striker John Carew has been wheeled out to praise the fans!

There is something disturbing about the system at Villa Park. It's understandable that boss Martin O'Neill has managed to make people believe he is better than he is - his media whoring has caused that - but that fans of such a traditional club fail to realise they have sold out to American gold is puzzling.

As for Carew and his words (presumably the words of the PR team, players don't actually say their own words these days - and that goes for any top-flight team), Villa appear to have turned into American wrestling of a while back, by using the logic "if we don't mention the past, it didn't happen!"

There is, of course, the chance Villa have decided to use the article on their official site to the fans who stayed away from the QPR game - perhaps even suggesting it was the fans fault the Championship side emerged victorious, and not the disinterest of the players or the tactical ineptitude of the manager.

Carew (well, it's in his name!) said: "There's nothing better than a packed Villa Park cheering us on. The players are going to need all the support they can get this season with Villa striving for success in a number of competitions."

So if that part of the article is intended as a dig at Villa fans, then I take my hat off and salute the Villa Spinners. And, incidentally, I would agree with them - real football fans don't pick and choose their games and it wouldn't happen with real (ie lower league) football clubs to such an extent.

There are still real fans left in the English Premier League, but a quick comparison of Villa's previous league attendance to the QPR debacle suggests they only account for around 50 per cent of those who attend matches - and it will be that hardcore who suffer the most when football explodes and dies.