Aston Villa Fans Charter 2018/19
The senior managers of our club are committed to ensuring that we continually improve the level of service delivered to supporters.
It is vitally important that all our employees at all times:•
- Understand that they represent the club
- Have a responsibility to uphold the commitments within this charter
- Have the responsibility to uphold our values
- Deliver warm and friendly customer service
- Help anyone that requires information or assistance
Consultation & Information
Our principle consultation process is the Fans Consultation Group (FCG).
For more details on the FCG process, please visit www.avfc.co.uk.
In addition to the FCG, supporters are invited to contact us at any time should they have any ideas or suggestions that will help improve our operations.
We would be more than happy to arrange to meet with you.
Our nominated Supporter Liaison Officer is Lee Preece (Football Operations / Projects Manager), who can be contacted on 0121 326 1502 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With regards to the provision of information, supporters can keep up to date with club information by visiting our website or following us on:•
- Website www.avfc.co.uk
- Twitter @avfcofficial
- Facebook www.facebook.com/avfcofficial
- YouTube www.youtube.com/user/avfcofficial
- Linkedin www.linkedin.com/company-beta/111728/
- Instagram www.instagram.com/avfcofficial/
One way we can keep you updated with club news and important information is via email, so we would urge supporters to ensure we have the correct email address for you.
If you would like to update or check the email address we have on your record then please call us on 0333 323 1874.
Our complaints policy
At Aston Villa, we always strive to provide our supporters with the best possible service.
If you feel we have fallen short of your expectations, be it the level of service you have received, a policy we operate or a product we have sold it is important that you let us know.
How do I make a complaint?
Where possible, we ask that you put your comments in an email to email@example.com or by writing to Supporter Liaison Officer, Villa Park, Birmingham B6 6HE.
In order for us to reply to a complaint it is essential at the time of writing that you provide us with the following information:•
- Your client reference number(s)
- Your current address
- Your contact telephone number(s)
Please note that without this information we may be unable to respond to your comments.
What will happen next?
All complaints received by the club are forwarded to the Supporter Liaison Officer and logged in to our complaints system.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and confirm to you the following:•
- The date your complaint was received
- A complaint reference number
- The department responsible for replying to your complaint
It is our policy that the department to which your complaint relates is responsible for our reply.
After carrying out an investigation in to your comments we aim to reply at our earliest opportunity.
What should I do if I have any feedback on the handling of my complaint?
Contact details for the Supporter Liaison Officer will be included on the acknowledgement of your complaint.
We would welcome your comments on whether or not you feel we have responded accordingly to your comments.
On the rare occasion we may be unable to meet your expectations with our response, we will direct you to the Independent Football Ombudsman for you to escalate your complaint.
Further details can be found at www.theifo.co.uk.
Is it worth me complaining?
Our complaints procedure is an invaluable way of measuring the success of our operations.
In a game of opinions, it is impossible for us to implement policies and procedures that will satisfy everyone.
However, it is vitally important to us to listen when you feel we have got it wrong.
When considering our future strategies, analysing the complaints we receive is a fundamental part of the decision making process.
As an integral part of the Villa family, we ask that you take the time to notify us when you have a complaint in order to help us get things right in the future.
What type of complaint does this policy relate to?
This policy relates to complaints made about the level of service you have received, a policy we operate or a product we have sold.
It is impractical for us to implement this policy if your complaint relates to playing matters (team selection, performance etc).
All "pitch related" feedback we receive is noted and forwarded accordingly, but it is not feasible for us to engage on an individual basis regarding playing matters.
Any public comments the club wishes to make regarding playing matters will be made via our website www.avfc.co.uk and other social media channels.
If your complaint relates to the conduct of our employees, it may be necessary for us to deal with your complaint outside of the commitments made within this charter in order for us to comply with employment law.
We will strive for the widest possible accessibility to our matches by offering:
Access for All
We will advertise ticket availability, prices, change in ticketing policy and fixture changes as quickly as possible via our official website & social media platforms.
Match tickets cover a broad range of prices and a minimum of 5% of our capacity will be available to non-season ticket holders.
In certain areas of the stadium, concessions will be given to:•
- U18s (aged 17 and under)
- U21s (aged 18-20)
- O65s (aged 65 and over)
- Full-time students
- Serving members of the Armed Forces
- Supporters with a restricted view of the pitch (supporters will be informed of the restriction at the time of purchase)
Seats with impaired views are defined by the following criteria:
- Restricted view – the view of either goal mouth is impaired
- Obstructed view – the view of a large portion of the pitch is impaired
- Severely obstructed view – the view of a large portion of the pitch is severely impaired
Access for families
Particular emphasis will be given to encouraging young people and their families to Villa Park.
We will always provide an area of the ground for the exclusive use of family groups and junior supporters.
Access for disabled supporters
We offer a system of concessionary ticket prices tailored for disabled supporters.
The scheme will apply to those supporters where a reasonable adjustment has been made to facilitate viewing or where a personal support need has been identified.
Concessions will not be based on impairment type but will recognise that some disabled supporters have a restricted choice of viewing area in the stadium and / or could not attend a match without personal support or the provision of an auxiliary aid.
Where the need for personal support has been identified the club will admit the personal assistant free of charge on the understanding that they are providing a service to the disabled supporter to enable them to access matchday facilities.
For full details on disabled ticketing please call 0333 323 1874 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access for away supporters
Aston Villa will abide by competition rules governing the allocation of tickets to visiting clubs.
Prices for away supporters will be no higher than those charged for home supporters for comparable areas of Villa Park.
Concessionary rates will be honoured.
A copy of our Away Fans Guide will be sent to the visiting club’s Supporter Liaison Officer in advance of each fixture in order for the visiting club to disseminate the information that will help your visit to Villa Park be an enjoyable one.
Access to cup matches
The price of tickets for cup matches will be agreed with our opponents.
Season ticket holders will be given the opportunity to purchase their usual seat in the event of a home cup match.
A cup scheme will be made available to season ticket holders who wish to have their seat purchased automatically for each home cup match.
If their usual seat is allocated to the opposition (due to competition rules) or the area is unavailable to purchase for a cup game then alternative seating will be offered.
Access to replays of abandoned games
Free admission to the re-arranged fixture will be given if a match is abandoned after spectators are admitted to the ground but before kick-off.
Half-price admission to the re-arranged fixture will be given if a match is abandoned after kick-off.
Access to refunds
We will refund the cost of home match tickets (not booking fees) if the Ticket Office is notified no later than 24 hours prior to kick-off.
Access to Season Tickets
We will offer a finance scheme to enable supporters to purchase season tickets by instalments via Zebra Finance.
Access to away match tickets
Priority will be given to season ticket holders that regularly attend away matches, and then to other season ticket holders and members.
Remaining tickets will then be placed on priority sale, subject to availability.
An away season ticket membership scheme will be made available to season ticket holders who wish to have first priority to purchase tickets for each away league match (Subject to availability and terms and conditions).
Access to away match travel
We will offer a travel service to away matches and will depart from Villa Park subject to supporters securing ticket for the match via our ticket office (Travel will not operate for those teams located a short distance from Villa Park).
One of the club’s central aims is a commitment to welcoming families and bringing our young lions closer to the club.
Our revamped junior membership will continue to be more open, inclusive and welcoming than ever before – providing benefits across tangible and digital means to ensure everyone can feel Part Of The Pride.
The membership, which will be free to all junior season ticket holders, offers member’s great benefits throughout the year including exclusive competitions like the chance to be a mascot or a flag bearer, invites to the increasingly popular Christmas parties to meet first team players, and many other opportunities to be closer to the club.
Our mascots Hercules, Bella and Chip are also on hand at the many other junior focused events held at the club – with a focus on welcoming new families to Villa Park.
This is epitomised by our regular family fun zone on matchdays which continues to grow and improve based on supporter’s feedback to the club – achieving the EFL Family Excellence Gold Standard in 2017/18.
Returns and exchanges policy
At Aston Villa Football Club we offer a 30 days returns policy (in addition to your statutory rights) to return or exchange an item bought online or in store with a valid receipt or delivery note document.
Some restrictions apply – see restrictions below.
You may return your purchase at any of our retail stores within 30 days of purchase.
The original form of payment and receipt are required to process your return at the full purchase price.
If the receipt is not available an alternative proof of purchase is required.
If your item is defective, faulty or incorrect please contact Customer Services prior to returning it at email@example.com and our team will advise you how to proceed.
Please note that the Aston Villa Store will not accept liability for any returns shipping costs incurred which our Customer Services team have not previously agreed to cover.
If you do return an item by post, please allow up to 14 working days for our refund or exchange to be processed.
We regret we are unable to refund or exchange the following unless the goods are faulty.
1. DVDs, videos, PC & video games, underwear, swimwear, pierced jewellery and items specially manufactured to your order
2. We are unable to refund or exchange an item once it has been personalised to your order.
We are sorry that one of our products has become faulty or you are unhappy with the quality and we would like to help you resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Please return the item either to our Aston Villa retail stores or the online department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will advise you how to proceed
We will look into your query as soon as possible.
This returns policy does not affect your statutory rights.
Corporate Social Responsibility – The Aston Villa Foundation
The Aston Villa Foundation is the club’s official charity and the banner under which community work and social responsibility activities are undertaken.
The Aston Villa Foundation mission statement is to ‘Working together to enrich lives”.
This sees the Foundation work with a range of partners and stakeholders – inclduing the Aston Villa fan base, to provide a range of projects and initiatives for the community around Villa Park and the wider Aston Villa family.
The Foundation delivers these projects and initiatives across the strategic themes of:•
- Sport and physical activity
- Health and well-being
- Education and learning
- Inclusive opportunities
- Community relations
Under the banner of Community Relations, the Foundation coordinates Aston Villa’s “Supporting Our Own” corporate social responsibility strategy.
Supporting Our Own sees both the club and foundation supporting local community groups and organisations with grants and training opportunities, recognising local volunteers for fundraising support and connecting the club more effectively with local residents.
Charitable donations policy
In 2018/19, the club will support Acorns Children’s Hospice and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital as our official charity partners. This will see the club work with both organisations to help raise the profile of their work and increase awareness amongst fans as to how they can support these important local charities.
With limited resource, we also endeavour to support a broad and diverse range of good causes to reflect the many organisations and people in our local community.
To ensure this diversity is achieved we will not consider multiple requests for the same charity and our fundraising criteria is as follows:
- Priority will be given to charities based in Birmingham and the West Midlands
- Only registered charities and those without political affiliation will be considered
- We do not support individual fundraising causes
Please note that any charitable requests must be received at least six weeks before the event and must be accompanied by a letter from the benefitting charity confirming the event.
Information and data on our fans may be stored on a computer or manual files in order to maintain accurate records and may be analysed to assist us in providing a tailored experience to you.
We may, from time to time, contact you by letter, phone, email, SMS, app notification or otherwise to inform you about events, products or services that we think might be of interest to you.
You can advise us at any time if you wish to opt out of receiving this information and have the choice to opt out of just correspondence from third parties, or all correspondence.
Unless you have given your consent, we will not provide information about you to third parties to use for their marketing purposes.
You have a number of additional rights under data protection legislation including the following:•
- You can ask us for a copy of the information we hold about you
- You can ask us to correct any information we have about you if you think it is wrong
- You can ask us to erase information about you (although we may have good reasons why we can’t do this)
- You can ask us to limit what we are doing with your information
- You can object to what we are doing with your information
- You can ask us to transfer your information to another organisation in a format that makes it easy for them to use
To exercise any of these rights please contact Matt Swindells on 0121 327 2299 or by email email@example.com.
We are committed to safeguarding children and adults at risk.
The club seeks to create a safe, secure culture enabling all vulnerable groups to participate in a broad spectrum of activities relating to football.
All staff share in this commitment and are aware of our safeguarding policies.
We have a team of 24 staff who are committed to championing safeguarding and all our senior stewards all have enhanced training.
On matchdays, safeguarding staff can be identified by a purple arm band.
Safeguarding wristbands are also available for young children and vulnerable adults.
For further information please contact Maggie Martin our Head of Safeguarding and Welfare on 0121 327 2299 ext 592 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively for anonymous referrals please use email@example.com.
ALL IN aims to ensure that Aston Villa Football Club is an inclusive institution that provides a welcoming environment to supporters, the local community, customers, employees, contacts and competitors. We want to ensure that the club and all its subsidiaries are free from discrimination of any kind, embracing all regardless of age, race, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, sex (gender), religion or belief.
ALL IN transcends all levels of the club. We are committed to promoting equality, valuing diversity and combating unfair treatment. Through ALL IN, the Club aims to ensure that the message of equality is followed and actively practised. Aston Villa will strive to guarantee that anyone involved with the club, no matter the capacity, can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to enjoy their engagement at the club without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment, bullying and abuse.
Both the EFL and the Premier League provide a framework to help us achieve ALL IN. Our primary objective is the EFL Equality Code of Practice. Once we have achieved the EFL Equality Code of Practice, the club will aim to achieve the three stages of the Premier League Equality Standard (preliminary, intermediate and advanced level). Our objective is to achieve this before the summer of 2021.
The Board lead on equality, inclusion and anti-discrimination.
The day-to-day responsibility for the functioning and operation of the club lies with our Executive Group.
The Executive Group consists of:
- Ian Hopson: Finance Director
- Mel Millner: Interim HR Director
- Vicky Wilkes: General Counsel
- Ian Dimmock: Operations Director
- Luke Organ: Chief Commercial Officer
- Rongtian He: Overseas Business Officer (Executive Assistant to the Chairman)
- Sharon Barnhurst: Club Secretary
- Tommy Jordan: Communications Director
- Karen Croft: Executive Assistant to the Board
The Executive Group have the responsibility to ensure that everyone representing Aston Villa embraces ALL IN and help us achieve equality and increased diversity across all areas of the club.
This extends from our Board to our subsidiaries and includes our Aston Villa Foundation.
Lee Preece, Football Operations/Projects Manager, has been nominated by the Board and the Executive Group as our ALL IN Lead Officer & Equality Champion.
Should you ever see, hear or experience any form of racial abuse, discriminatory chanting or harassment, call the Kick It Out incident line in confidence on 0800 169 9414 or download their free reporting app from iTunes or the Google Play store.
Further informationFor a copy of our Ground Regulations please visit www.avfc.co.uk.