Supporting Aston Villa, the way Aston Villa want you to, not the Brigada 1874 way

How many times has it been written that the atmosphere at Villa Park isn't what it could be? Even the club know about this, because they harped on about the twelfth man so many times a couple of season ago.

And we all know the importance of a supportive Villa Park. What was it that Ron Saunders used to write in his programme notes about the support at Villa Park - he knew that if the players gave 100% and the supporters did, that more often than not we'd get the right result.

And it really does work. I don't know how many times I've written about the effect the home support has. Just look at the away support, it is the best in the country and I think it plays a part in our success away from Villa Park.

And don't shoot me down, the home support has been getting better, but I fear that will all come to an end soon and we'll go back to what can only be described as a reactive Villa Park. And by that I mean that the players have to do something for the home support to stand up and sing when what you actually want is the support to spur the players on.

Point of the post

At the match against Rotherham this week some supporters had their tickets taken off them and were asked to leave the ground. Others then left in protest, because actually, all they were doing was supporting the team. The reason given for these supporters getting throw out was persistent standing.

That sounds like rubbish to me and just an excuse because you see supporters standing all the time at Villa Park and every other ground in England. Hell, the supporters that travel to Villa Park stand all the time but you never see them getting thrown out. But it's a nice one to roll out when it's needed.

The excuse is needed and it's getting used, because this group of supporters are not just standing, they're doing something that the club have no control over. All the club want are supporters to pay for their ticket, spend some money inside the ground and leave. The truth is that our owner and CEO wouldn't care if we barely survived every season if Villa Park was full for every home game.

The supporters ejected and the ones that followed them were from a group called Brigada 1874. They're a group of Aston Villa supporters that have a set of principles around their support for the club. They're also the reason, not completely but a big part, for why the support at Villa Park is getting better. And I for one like the principles they created when setting up the group.

  • We support the players for the entirety of the game no matter how well or poorly they are playing
  • We stand throughout the game
  • We make as much noise and create as big a scene as possible on the terraces
  • We are anti-fascist, anti-racist and non-sectarian. Those who promote division based upon ethnicity, religion or nationality will not be tolerated in the group
  • We act in unison as a group, while we may have differences of opinion on some issues regarding the club we will always act in unity and back one another up at the game

I particularly like the last point because I'm writing this post and it may very well be different to how they as a group think and I might actually have some of it wrong.

But not only did some of their group get escorted out of the ground the other night, they have now tried to book tickets for Hull only to be told by the club that the person trying to book tickets has been blocked from buying future tickets for Aston Villa matches.

I think it's wrong

It's wrong on so many levels and I don't need to list them for you to see it. Sure, you might not agree with everything they stand for and you might actually prefer a game at Villa Park with little atmosphere so you can concentrate on watching the football. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

But one thing I think we will all agree on is that we want to see Aston Villa doing better. And another thing I think we will all agree on is that with a vocal home support, more often than not, results are better.

And nobody is blaming the stewards here because they are given instructions and they have to follow them through, but someone is giving them the instructions to pick on this particular group of home supporters before away supporters and supporters in the Upper Holte and Lower North.

They're getting specifically targeted because this group is making a difference. This particular group is doing something for the Football Club they love and I think it would be fantastic if everyone else stood up for this group of supporters and sing just as loud and proud.

Groups like this throughout Europe are usually embraced by the club, because the club know the importance, but also because groups like this usually have a larger following. Given time, I think this group will grow, maybe not to the extent of the Ajax fans in the video of the day, but certainly larger than it is today.

Three wise monkeys

Have you ever heard of the three wise monkeys? If not, read about them here. My point is that sometimes, just sometimes, you have to turn a blind eye to what is going on around you. There are plenty of examples of the club turning a blind eye to things and there are things that I'm not allowed to write about because not only do I have to turn a blind eye to it, but injunctions are created and I'm informed so I'm not allowed to write about them.

Supporting Aston Villa shouldn't be about sitting down and applauding a good pass. Supporting Aston Villa should be about something more and lets not forget, this is our Football Club and they're not going to throw everyone out, because today more than ever, it's about the money.

Video of the day


Click here to buy a Brigada 1874 benefit t-shirt. Image used on homepage.