Your questions answered: September 2011
Fans ask and the club responds.
2nd Sep 2010
Your questions answered: September 2011


Question One: In times of austerity, would the club consider ticket concessions for the unemployed?

We are always exploring opportunities and ways to encourage the inclusion of all of our existing as well as prospective fans. We endeavour to offer concessionary priced tickets - and discounted tickets - which we consider to be sensibly priced. We also recognise that the current financial climate is particular challenging and will certainly consider this suggestion as to its viability.

Nicola Keye Head of Consumer Sales

Question Two: The bells at kick off sound like a funeral. The tempo is too slow and needs to be quicker to resemble terrace singing. We have lots of songs that are dear to us so can we get them played before each game and get the fans behind the team?

The walk out music remains one of the hardest subjects to solve. The main problem we face is that everyone's tastes are slightly different. Some love the solitary bell, some don't. Some love the song with vocals, some don't. To try and move this forward we will be doing a fan vote on www.avfc.co.uk.

Russell Jones Head of Marketing

Question Three: Can we have Acorns back on the shirt?

We were very proud to be the first Premier League club to have a charity on our shirt for the 2008-09 and 2009 -10 seasons and over the past few years have developed a very close relationship with Acorns, which continues to this day. Acorns is now the club's official charity partner and players, staff and fans all continue to support Acorns through a wide range of activities. Our current shirt sponsors are Genting, who we have a deal with for this season and next. Our aim is to continue to have a commercial shirt sponsor beyond that, as we see this as being an important element in maintaining the club's commercial growth in years to come.

Paul Faulkner Chief Executive

Question Four: With the General having stopped posting on messageboards, has the club considered a forum within the official site that allows a Q&A on supporters issues?

We are always keen to receive feedback and ideas from supporters, and indeed, the SCGs were set up for that very purpose. In addition, fans can also contact the club directly via phone or email at any time (0121 327 2299 or postmaster@avfc.co.uk) if there are pressing issues. Complaints can be registered on customercomplaints@avfc.co.uk. We are always looking for ways to improve and will consider the idea of setting up an effective forum for additional communication on the website. General Krulak's presence on a number of messageboards was always something that he did as an individual rather than as an 'official' club activity, and so there are no plans to replace the General's threads with other members of staff.

Paul Faulkner Chief Executive

Question Five: Is there a possibility to rename the Doug Ellis stand to the Acorns Stand?

We are not currently looking at renaming any of the stands at Villa Park.

Paul Faulkner Chief Executive

Question Six: Would the club consider giving some free tickets away to local schools? Especially kids who play for after school clubs. Or even offer junior ticket deals where a player can hand out tickets?

With the right process in place, this could be a great idea. Since the SCG we have spoken to a number of Head Teachers and PE co-ordinators and are currently finalising a pilot of a ticket based scheme for primary schools. Watch this space.

Russell Jones Head of Marketing

Question Seven: Would it be viable for the club to incorporate cup tickets into the existing price of a season ticket?

In previous seasons, the club did offer a cup ticket-incorporated season ticket but, on review decided that it did not represent the best value to the season ticket holder as it COULD artificially inflate the price of a season ticket, particularly if any of our cup runs did not feature a home fixture. However, we constantly review our season ticket offering and would consider the possibility of a cup-inclusive season ticket if we could guarantee value for money for the supporter.

Nicola Keye Head of Consumer Sales

Question Eight: Would the club be prepared to publicly back any campaign for the creation of a safe standing area at football grounds in England as seen in the German leagues?

This is a very interesting and potentially complex topic, especially given the circumstances around the Taylor Report and introduction of All Seater Stadia in the Premier League in the 1990s. It is therefore difficult to give a simple answer as to whether we would or would not publically support any campaign to create safe standing areas at grounds without first having more details and information on the specifics of any campaigns. We would certainly look to fully understand and evaluate any specific proposals around safe standing areas, and then participate in the wider debate that would follow. It has been a number of years since club officials discussed this issue with representatives of the Football Supporters Federation, and it has also not been raised for discussion at any recent Premier League meetings.

Paul Faulkner Chief Executive

Question Nine: I was disappointed when the club abolished the U12 ticket category in favour of U8 and U16, Why was this? It seemed fairer to have a middle category.

The club aims to provide an extensive range of concessionary priced tickets as well as some of the best valued priced tickets in the Premier League. The introduction of the U8s season ticket was a further attempt to strengthen our offering and provide even more value-for-money for supporters with young families. The U8s price category is one which is in existence at a number of all football clubs and, with its introduction, actually meant that the club could offer a season ticket price which was even cheaper and fairer to the families of younger supporters.

Nicola Keye Head of Consumer Sales

Question Ten: The waiting time for refreshments at half time can be high, causing fans to miss the second half. Would it be possible to consider having a separate sales point for the various refreshments? I.e. one serving hot drinks and the other cold.

Currently the layout of kiosks where both food and draught beer are available is segregated. Fans can queue for either drinks or food separately. However kiosks which serve both food and drink (but not draught beer) are not segregated therefore queuing times can be longer. We do offer coffee carts on Lower Holte, Lower Trinity, Upper Trinity and Lower Doug Ellis - these only offer hot beverages and snack items - eg flapjack. Alcohol only kiosks are located on each concourse there are 11 in total and each offer soft drinks as an additional offering.

Alison Plant Head of Hospitality and Events

Question Eleven: Why is there not a replica goalkeeper shirt this season? The store has said that Nike have decided not to produce one but this does not seem to be the case with Arsenal and Manchester Utd.

The men's home goalkeeping shirt is on sale. We spoke with Nike at great length regarding the provision of other sizes, but were advised that due to a reduction in the product range offered to the club only the men's size would be available.

John Greenfield Head of Merchandising

Question Twelve: What did exactly happen this year with regards to this seasons ticket renewals? After renewing my season ticket I was sent reminders from the club telling me I had not renewed.

Reminders were sent to any supporter who had either not yet purchased their season seat or had chosen the use the Zebra Finance Instalment route with which to purchase their season card. Of those supporters who did purchase via Zebra Finance, it is only the supporters where the club had not received confirmation that they had successfully completed the application process - particularly those who had yet to return their signed contract as confirmation - who were sent renewal reminders. Overall the season ticket renewals and fulfilment campaign has been viewed as a success, and the club has received a lot of positive feedback with reference to the welcome packs and initiatives such as the inclusion of free AVTV subscription.

Nicola Keye Head of Consumer Sales

Question Thirteen: Is the club still considering opening a museum at Villa Park?

Yes. This has been raised previously in SCG2 and SCG4, and our position remains the same. In any future development of the North Stand, we will explore the possibility of creating a suitable space to allow us to house a museum. We could not create a visitor's experience that would do justice to our heritage without significant investment, so it would be necessary for us to carry out a feasibility study to ensure that such investment could be recouped, and that the facility would be commercially sustainable. We continue to recognise the importance of our history, and would welcome the opportunity to share our proud story via a museum.

Lee Preece Football Operations / Projects Manager

Question Fourteen: Can the online ticket system please allow you to see seat and row numbers?

The online ticket office "select-a-seat" option does provide the details of the block and seat row when hovering over a particular seat and will display the seat number when clicked on. However, we embrace any suggestions which can enhance the online user experience and will send your comments to our system developers to see if the seat number can also be added to the hover function.

Nicola Keye Head of Consumer Sales

Question 15: For low attendance games, why are seats in the Trinity Upper closed off as fans in this area have to move but still pay more for an inferior seat.

The Trinity Upper is only closed for cup fixtures where attendances are expected to be much lower than a Premier League fixture. The decision to close this area was to generate a greater atmosphere for the players and all supporters within the stadium. Therefore, we sold seats as close to pitchside as possible, encouraging supporters to sit in the lower and middle tiers of the stadium for cup games. Our pricing structure for cup fixtures is designed so that supporters who sit in the central areas (half way line seating in the Trinity Road and Doug Ellis Stand) pay slightly more than sitting in the wings or behind the goal. Our home fixture versus Hereford United ranged from £10-£12 and was the highest attendance of the round. We would never close the Trinity Upper or any other area for a Premier League fixture as season card holders have already pre-purchased these seats for the remainder of the season.

Nicola Keye Head of Consumer Sales

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