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Dave’s Villa Blog



As Villa head into the final furlong with Europe on their minds, Dave Woodhall makes a surprising plea – for higher ticket prices!

If we’re going to finish fifth, three points at Goodison last Sunday was essential.

The draw we ended up with should have favoured Everton. However, we were the ones happiest at the final whistle while the home side looked shattered that they’d let a win slip away.Three points behind with two games left – it should be too much for us to catch up, but we’ve got a better goal difference and two eminently winnable matches. Everton have got Arsenal away, Newcastle at home and a team feeling the strain of a long, hard season.

By five o’clock on Saturday we should be above them, which would pile on even more pressure.

Wigan won’t be an easy team to beat – they’re still fighting to avoid relegation and although they seem safe, the bottom of the league always throws up a surprise at the end. Sheffield United thought they were safe when we played them at this stage last year, then found themselves with visits to Colchester and Scunthorpe instead of Villa Park and Old Trafford.

The big news of the week has been the announcement of next season’s prices. The average rise is 7%, but as ever, there are winners and losers. The biggest losers are those who sit in the lower North Stand, who will be facing a 32.5% increase, from £200 to £265. It will still be cheap by the standards of other Premier League clubs, and therein lies the dilemma.

Our tickets have been cheap for years – it was one of the few things Doug did right in the last years of his reign. But with Villa almost certainly guaranteed a place in Europe one way or the other for 2008-09, we’ll be looking to sign players during the summer to take the next step. And you can’t build a team to qualify for and compete in the Champions League on £200 season tickets.

The best teams have the biggest incomes and if Randy’s stated intention of bringing the glory days back is to come true we’ll have to pay for it in many ways, not least at the turnstiles.

Our new owners have done a magnificent job in improving almost everything at Villa Park, from catering facilities to the level of optimism felt on match day. If they can keep improving the team, prices won’t really matter. Just as long as you can still afford them.

Has Dave got it right? Shoud Villa charge more? Leave a comment on The Stirrer Forum.


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