During the last home game against Swansea City, the Aston Villa supporter group and AVST affiliate, Brigada 1874 took down their ‘Fight Like Lions’ banner from the Holte End in protest at their treatment by the club. While supporters stand for the entire 90 minutes in other areas of the ground, they receive constant harassment from stewards for wanting to do no different on what should be the vibrant kop end of Villa Park.
The AVST feels this situation could have been solved if it had been given proper due consideration during preseason. After all, the club did announce a ‘singing section’ in L7 & L8 of the Holte End at the end of last season, but that doesn’t seemed to have been backed or organised with any real thought or conviction by the club.
The AVST are currently helping to work on a solution to this situation, as we feel such dedicated supporters of Aston Villa should be allowed to exercise their full support for their team on match days.
Below is Brigada 1874’s side of the story taken from their forum on the issue of the ‘Fight Like Lions’ banner and recent events.
Brigada 1874 on the ‘Fight Like Lions’ situation
In his press conference before the game against Swansea City, the now former boss Tim Sherwood called for Villa Park to be “bouncing” to inspire the team to a much needed three points. The call echoed the tone of the initiative developed by fans and the club last season when the club was teetering perilously close to relegation. The slogan that initiative came up with was “Fight Like Lions”, it was a slogan that the club, the team and the fans embraced and one that sat alongside a feeling of renewed optimism around Villa Park. Since the start of the season the motivation behind this initiative seems to have evaporated from the club’s agenda.
‘We don’t want to sit idly by like deckchairs on the Titanic, as we watch our great club slide into obscurity.’ – Brigada 1874
As part of the fan led initiative to support the team out of the mire the group passed the club our “Fight Like Lions” banner, that had been painted the previous season during another poor run of form. The banner was positioned at the back of the Lower Holte as a rallying cry to the players. Following another ejection of a fan for standing at the Swansea game the group removed the banner from the ground.
Ourselves and other fans have grown increasingly frustrated with the hypocritical attitude of the club. From announcing a “singing section” in L7 and L8 last Spring to being ejected from that section for standing, to being told to support the players, to the group having displays in support of the team banned, it feels like the club are strangling the atmosphere from Villa Park.
There have been few moments of joy at Villa Park over the last 4 years, but the one thing that has remained exciting about going to games has been the sense of camaraderie felt by those who stand and support the team through thick and thin. That buzz you get when a chant tales off only to be picked up again by more fans, singing yourself hoarse, giving everything for the team, for some this is what has kept them going to increasingly expensive games of uninspiring football.
If fans aren’t allowed to passionately support their team then attendances will continue to drop. We don’t want to sit idly by like deckchairs on the Titanic, as we watch our great club slide into obscurity. A solution to the current malaise is possible but it requires the will of the club and at this moment in time to many of us it doesn’t feel like this exists.
Brigada 1874’s new official Twitter account – @brigada1874avfc