Major Villa Park redevelopments causes uproar amongst the fans

As Aston Villa continue to improve on the pitch, the developments off the pitch to try and increase Villa's global stature are crucial in the club's progression. However, recent developments regarding the stadium have caused a lot of controversy amongst the Villa Park faithful.
Villa Park - Home of Aston Villa Football Club.
Villa Park - Home of Aston Villa Football Club. / Visionhaus/GettyImages

A large number of Aston Villa season ticket holders have been given the news that they will be moving seats next season as a result of changes to Villa Park and its infrastructure. Many of these fans have been told they will be moving a number of seats or rows away from family and friends and whilst that is upsetting enough for most, the lack of communication regarding the plans has frustrated a huge portion of the fan base.

The season ticket renewal process for the 2024/25 season opened last Monday and many were told only a day or two before hand that they had been displaced. This of course gives the fans little time to consider why this may have happened before needing to confirm their renewal.

The redevelopment of Villa Park means that almost a thousand season tickets across the North, Doug Ellis and Trinity stands will be displaced.

Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest - Premier League
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest - Premier League / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

The plan to expand the stadium capacity will see the club increase the number of fans attending a match at Villa Park by 1,200 per game which of course will generate much greater revenue. As outlined by Aston Villa president of Operations Chris Heck in a recent interview with former Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor, the development plan across the Villa Park aims to offer fans more choices of premium seats. These premium seats will range in prices and it is believed the club feel this will help to create one of the best match day experiences in football.

Of course, as mentioned, the increase in premium seating and the number of seats available at the stadium will help to generate greater revenue and therefore more money will be available for the club to spend on players. Aston Villa have qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in over 40 years and the aim will be to maintain that level of standard for years to come. However, Villa's current level of revenue is very unlikely to be enough to do so.

As reported by John Townley for the Birmingham Mail, a spokesperson for Villa has had this to say on the recent developments:

"While these changes are being made to benefit the fan base as a whole and deliver results on the pitch, we are sorry this has affected your seat."

In the last 24 hours further outrage has been caused by the introduction of a new hospitality section in in the North Stand. 'The Cells' which is claimed by the club to be a 'unique GA+ experience that offers an enhanced matchday experience' is being priced at £1,560 for adults and again means fans with season tickets in the section could be displaced.

Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League
Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

It appears as though there are a high number of premium seats being introduced for extremely premium prices. Many of the facilities include food and beverage offerings (at an added cost), digital drinks ordering and a self-pour bar as well as opportunities to meet former players and get a fee matchday programme. The biggest benefit of this type of ticket is the ability to jump the waiting list for season tickets for those who are prepared to pay over the odds to secure one of these seats.

For Villa fans, it is the lack of communication and consultation that has caused anger. Most are very understanding that prices need to increase in order to help fund the club's ambitious plans and when things are going so well on the pitch it is easier to agree to. However, prices are now sky rocketing and many are losing the seats that they have had for a number of years in favour of hospitality packages that haven't been agreed to by the fans. This follows the introduction of the Terrace View last year that was again introduced into the Holte End with very little fan consultation.