Three things you can do if you love Aston Villa

There's been loads of talk about banners and protests and all sorts of other stuff we can do at Villa Park. I think it's self-defeating, because Randy Lerner is a bean-counter and he won't give a stuff about the banners or the protests as long as we all turn up at Villa Park for the Liverpool game, buy our programmes, eat our pies, queue up at the Villa Village store and buy all our Christmas presents there.

I agree with those who say we have to hit Randy where it hurts. At the moment, he's happily counting his money - Scrooge-like - after a 40,000 gate for the United game. He's hoping and expecting the same for Liverpool. More in fact - because he knows we'll all be buying our loved ones that little something from the club shop.

If we do, Alex McLeish gets a stay of execution. Randolph Lerner will get another stash of money to count, whatever the performance of our team on the day. And if anyone tells me we are likely to go for it against Liverpool, they are sadly deluded. We all know what will happen.

But I also agree with those fans who, like me, want to support the Villa but don't want to support McLeish. So here's an easy three step guide to supporting Villa in the coming weeks, while showing our disgust for Lerner and McLeish.

1 Switch your support from the first team to the reserves and the academy side. Everyone's struggling for cash at the moment, and it's Christmas too. Don't pay a fortune to go to the Liverpool game: instead, think about watching the reserves at home to Swansea on Wed 14th or even the Academy at home to Cardiff on Sat 17th. You'll be a better Villa fan for it, you'll feel good, and the lads will enjoy your support.

2 Buy your Villa presents from eBay or other online sites. I've had a look around eBay and you can get all sorts of fantastic Villa stuff - retro and current kits, tracksuits, signed memorabilia, Villa-badged balls ... the lot. Presumably from other Villa fans a lot of the time. Don't stick your cash in Randy's wallet - buy Villa stuff, but get it somewhere else.

3 Get down the boozer. Villa are live on Sky Sports 1 against the Scousers on December 18th. Why not round up some of your Villa mates, and instead of heading for the Holte End - watch it in the pub. The licensing industry is having a tough time of it at the moment, so if you get 9 mates and have ten pints each, you'll give your local publican a happy christmas! You'll probably have a better craic anyway than if you go to Villa Park.


Seriously, though, surely Randolph will only pay attention to one logic - the logic of the wallet. So let's pull together and hit him where it hurts most. Up the Villa!