|1.||Aston Villa FC|
A football club from the Midlands who over the last 20 years have turned a run down and dirty part of the Birmingham into a slightly less run down area with a nice very ground. The ground itself, Villa Park, was kindly modernised for them by their old owner and lifelong president Doug Ellis, who happened to own a construction company to whom all contracts were awarded so there’s no question as to Mr Ellis’s loyalties. For many years the fans wished for more to be spent on the team, but in his foresight Mr Ellis realised that to sell the club and get the most return he had to have a good stadium, or at least that was what the shareholders were told. In either case it appeared that he was correct as he sold the club to Randy Lerner, who is the current owner, but with the recent credit crunch probably wishes he hadn’t. The Aston Villa fans are a closely raised group of individual, almost family like in their appearance, the number of toes is said to range anywhere from 4 to 12, local NHS trusts have stated this is the best and almost only way to tell them apart from each other. They can be heard singing a number of one syllable songs on match days with “villa” repeated a number of times being the favourite. They also sing a song “Holte enders” but from an outsiders view this is a strange one, as only one of the stands is called the Holte end so technically only that stand are Holte enders, but its appreciated that this is a technicality and completely lost on their fans.
As many football clubs do, they have their local rivals who are called Birmingham City. The rivalry became almost humorous when Birmingham City were relegated from the top flight and the manager, Alex McLeish, that took them down twice was, for all intense and purposes, bought for £2.5m. This was a shock to both sets of fans as the Birmingham City faithful would have paid £3m to send him to Aston Villa FC. The Villa fans however did fight for what they believed in, protests and demonstrations were broadcast on Sky Sports News and local TV channels from outside the ground. Banners made from dirty bed sheets were shown with a number of messages stating they didn’t under any circumstances want the ex-Birmingham City manager. The message to the board may have got through but unfortunately the banners were littered with spelling mistakes so a little may have got lost in translation.
Since the 80’s there’s no doubt that Aston Villa have been the team of the Midlands competing in the top flight for probably more years than all of their local rivals put together. However, with the lack of interest/investment made by Randy Lerner and the consistent selling of their better players has left the Aston Villa team in a precarious position and could very well spell the end of the clubs long run in the top flight.