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Park Life: New pitch update, kit love, special camo effect revealed and big Season Ticket numbers

5 things to know about Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens Match re-run: Watch us put four past Burton
Park Life: New pitch update, kit love, special camo effect revealed and big Season Ticket numbers

Turf’s up

Our new pitch for the 2018/19 season is close to completion with Operations Director Ian Dimmock hailing it an “incredible achievement”.

The playing surface will be ready for our opening home game of the campaign against Wigan on Saturday 11th August.

He told us: “The new state of the art ‘Desso’ surface is really taking shape. 

“The pitch has been reseeded and has even passed its first cut. 

NewPitchHolteEnd“All the existing trackwork is now completed, which replaces the shock padding. The installation of the artificial track surface has also been completed. 

“It really is an incredible achievement by the grounds team to replace the pitch and the entire subsystem in such a short space of time.

“We’re looking forward to fans seeing the awesome surface for the first time as the new season starts.”

New investment

Dr Tony Xia and Aston Villa Football Club (“the Club”) announce that NSWE, a company that is jointly owned and controlled by businessman Nassef Sawiris’ group NNS and businessman Wes Edens, will immediately inject significant investment capital into the Club. At the same time, Dr Tony Xia will become Co-Chairman and remain on the board.  

The capital injection and transaction have been approved by the EFL and the parties will work through all confirmatory approvals required by the EFL as soon as possible.

The Club’s management remain focused on strengthening the squad and are fully aligned with the new investors who are supportive of their ambitions.  

Dr Tony Xia and the Club are energised and excited about their interactions with Nassef and Wes and their teams and are confident that as strategic partners they bring exceptional business, sport and leisure expertise that will enhance the Club’s future prospects. The parties look forward to working in partnership to drive Aston Villa forward to success.

You can check out the full story.

Renewal rate highest ever 

Season Ticket renewals at Villa Park are the best on record, with 89% of supporters keeping their seats – an all-time high since we began recording data in 2003/04.

More than 20,000 fans have snapped up tickets for 2018/19 in total.

We currently have more Season Ticket Holders signed up than this time last year, too – a solid 700 extra.

The current total is also higher than a number of past Premier League seasons, including 2012/13, 2014/15 and 2016/17.

In fact, our Season Ticket Holder count at the mid-July point is second only to the 2010/11 campaign, following us finishing sixth three seasons on the spin.

We had a record-breaking Early Bird Window between February and April, while many have come back to purchase during the summer months.

Join the other 20,000 fans who've become Part of the Pride for 2018/19 – get your Season Ticket today.

CamoNumbersShirtDynamic designs

Stand out from the crowd this season with specialised digital transfer names and numbers on the back of your Aston Villa shirt.

We launched the home, away and goalkeeping tops this week and they’ve received glowing praise from the claret and blue army. 

You can order your usual names and numbers from the Aston Villa Store at Villa Park or Online Store – or you can be a bit alternative.

Luke 1977’s Link Street Store in the Bullring – close to Grand Central in New Street Station – is offering camo designs, which offer different effects, fonts, layouts and colours.

They include:

  • Lion Head Repeat
  • Tiger Camo
  • Stars Claret
  • Stars White

They look set to be available from Tuesday.

Pre Order Story Graphic 02Kit hits

Kit chief Raz Didarzadeh has spoken of “more love than ever before” concerning the response to this season’s shirts.

Didarzadeh, our Retail Contracts Manager, has been absolutely thrilled with the reaction to all three tops – home, away and goalkeeping.

He has been monitoring social media and also has also spoken to fans who have purchased in big numbers over the past couple of days since the kits went on sale.

He says he’s been delighted with all the kind words.

He told us: “It’s fair to say that new designs generally don’t please everyone all of the time.

“You’ll never get a 100% response rate because everyone has their tastes. However, this is the best reaction I’ve known to new shirts. We received a 93% rating on social media, for example, which is unprecedented. 

“I think one of the main reasons for that is that we’ve listened to the fans more intently – we’ve taken on board supporter sentiment.

Pre Order Story Graphic 03“We went for a deeper claret, a topic that was huge with the fanbase and we also monitored the response to the third kit last season, which created a huge buzz with our supporters.

“We saw that the fans loved that white design – and reacted quickly and accordingly.

“You also can’t underestimate the impact of Luke Roper of course, a huge Aston Villa whose fan background gave the whole process an increased affection. Alongside Fanatics, too, we have a great team who have been involved and we’re delighted with how everything has worked out.

“We’ve received more love than ever before in the process and can’t be happier with that.”

The home kit has been our biggest hit with pre-orders – with a 180%+ uplift in sales .

Fans are now able to buy the shirts in person from our Aston Villa Store or from our Online Store.

Luke 1977’s Link Street Store in the Bullring – close to Grand Central in New Street Station – will also be stocking the shirts but in smaller numbers than here at VP HQ.

Euros and Villans Book CoverGet in quick

Today is Deadline Day – but we’re not talking about transfers.

Time is running out for any Villa supporters who would like their name included in Euros & Villans, which is published next month.

The book, written by former programme editor Rob Bishop, is a 208-page hardback limited edition of just 1,982 numbered copies. 

It covers all of our years in UEFA competitions, with anecdotes from players and supporters, statistics from all 89 games, and over 200 photos.

There’s also a foreword by Lee Child, the lifelong Villa supporter whose Jack Reacher novels have sold over 100 million copies worldwide.

The book is due to go to print next week, so if you want your name, or that of a friend, included, you need to pre-order by tonight.

For details of how to pre-order, check out Rob’s Facebook page @eurovillabook, or follow him on Twitter at @robbishopavfc

Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 20th July 2018