Your questions answered: September 2010
23rd Aug 2010
Removal of the large video screen was incorporated into one of the club's most recent renovation projects conducted on the North Stand's R-Block this past off-season. It was undertaken as part of ongoing efforts to improve certain aspects of grounds. At the present time, there are no immediate plans for its replacement; however, to help with the communication of pre-match video and player-specific information during the match, we are experimenting with various video content formats that can convey this type of information from the new [video system] located above the Cornerflag. We will endeavour to continually address the concerns expressed and hopefully develop a solution that meets with everyone's approval.
Question Two: Could AVTV be made free to season ticket holders?
The AVTV product was fully re-launched in August 2010 through a joint venture between Aston Villa FC and our digital partner, Perform Group. Fan feedback on the new product has been excellent and we believe that AVTV is very good value at £4.49 a month. We will continue to work on price promotions to drive subscriptions but do not have any imminent plans to move this to a free service.
Question Three: Is it possible to have a Villa anthem which can be played before kick off to help generate an atmosphere?
Whilst this sounds very easy, it is in fact very difficult to find a song that everyone agrees is an appropriate anthem. However, we have started working with a couple of supporter groups on this exact subject. The common thread appears to be creating a song around a popular fan chant, "The bells are ringing for Claret and Blue". We hope to have a demo version of this soon, which we will circulate through fan forums for feedback before playing on a match day.
Question Four: Are there any plans to improve the PA system?
The club is aware of some distortions during message transmission in certain areas of the Stadium. As the system was installed some years ago, repair of its existing components is not readily feasible. As mentioned previously, the club has commissioned several sound engineers to develop an overall program to correct the system - and whilst we have received their recommendations, a comprehensive solution is rather involved due to several logistical aspects of a new/retrofit system installation. As such, a firm plan for any requisite work has not yet been programmed.In the interim, we are exploring options to manually adjust the sound levels in certain sections - with the goal to address as soon as practicable.
Question Five: Can something be done to prevent fans smoking illegally in the lower Holte toilets?
The club are aware that some supporters refuse to comply with the anti-smoking legislation; they exhibit a disappointing attitude and lack of respect for their fellow Aston Villa supporters. Many people found smoking in toilets and concourses have been ejected from the stadium and banned for a number of games. These smokers are usually resistant to the requests of stewards and dealing with them can be confrontational. Should the situation not improve then council wardens supported by police will be operating in the problem areas; these wardens have the power to impose on the spot fines. It would be a great shame if such action was necessary due to the anti-social behaviour of a few reducing the enjoyment of the many.
Question Six: Does the new ticket exchange partner have an allocation for each game? And if so what security precautions are in place for the local derby and big games?
Yes, the club works very closely with Viagogo and has a sales audit process which is undertaken before every game. The club also reserves the right to cancel any ticket sales for safety purposes.
Question Seven: Will Villa Direct offer fans either a discount or credit note for people who have prepaid and now have to wait until November for their shirts?
Villa Direct have offered customers free shipping [both UK and worldwide] and shirt printing to prepaid purchasers.
Question Eight: Will Villa be looking into running text competitions?
If fans would like us to run text competitions then this is certainly an avenue we are happy to explore.
Question Nine: Could WI-FI/3G network be improved in and around the ground?
The club is aware that Wi-Fi connection within the bowl on matchdays has become an increasingly requested service. Currently, 3G service is not under the club's control and the mobile network cells readily available are unfortunately not capable of handling the high volume of devices encountered on matchdays. As part of our continued commitment to our supporters, the club may investigate provision of this service by a 3rd-party vendor [usage rates applying] similar to that provided at other stadiums and venues. At this time, a timeframe for this evaluation is unfortunately not available.
Question Ten: Is there a refund policy for tickets sold on any one game which are then reduced in price?
Yes, the club will refund any 'single' match ticket up to 24 hours before game is played. The club will also refund any ticket 'package' 24 hours before the first game is played.
Question Eleven: Can the website keep fans up to date on players injuries i.e. progress and player health more regularly?
Injury news is a staple in our coverage on AVTV and on the website. The first place to pick up the latest injury news is on the website and we will, of course, be delivering the official line. With long-term injuries, such as Fabian Delph, it is not worthwhile providing regular updates - the type of injury he is recovering from simply takes time. We will be posting an interview with Fabian soon to let fans know about his progress and, happily, he is on course to return early in the new year.
Question Twelve: Can the club communicate the problems experienced with the kit and are there plans to renew the relationship with Nike after 2012?
We have put out a statement on our website/local television and radio. We will be discussing the way forward with Nike once we have resolved the replica kit issue.
Question Thirteen: Are there any plans to continue using the roaming beer sellers in the stands?
Providing there are no licensing issues that arise through the season, we will continue with the beer hawkings for the remainder of the season in their current locations [lower Trinity and lower Holte]
Question Fourteen: Some of the dishes from the Healthy Eating Menu have been unavailable to purchase even though they are advertised as available. Is it possible to ensure all dishes are available to purchase if advertised?
We will endeavour to ensure that all the Healthy Eating Choices advertised are available to purchase it is a new venture at the request of the fans and as such in the first few games have just been finding our feet.
Question Fifteen: Are there any opportunities to increase the awareness of the AV bus service?
We will look to see if we can increase awareness of the services. All of the services have spare capacity at present, so there is plenty of opportunity for newcomers to join the very loyal band of regulars that have seen the service become an integral part of their matchday experience. Full details of the services can be seen on the website, and we recommend that supporters purchase their seats on the service in advance. In the meantime, if you are aware that a service runs in your area then please give it a try!