Aston Villa FC
After many seasons of being housed
at one end of the ground,
away supporters are now located on one side of the Doug Ellis Stand,
towards the North end, where up to
can be accommodated. This was at the request of Manager
Martin O'Neill who wanted Villa fans to be present behind both goals.
One bi-product of this move has been that the general atmosphere inside
the stadium has been boosted somewhat.
Away fans are allocated both the upper and lower tiers of
the stand. The concourse at the back of the upper tier is particularly tight
and easily becomes crowded, whereas there is more space behind the lower
section. There is a fair selection of food available and it is the first
football ground that I have visited that offers meat products that are
Halal. There are a selection of pies (all £3.30), Burgers (£2.60), Fish &
Chips (£3.50), Southern Fried Chicken and Chips (£3.50), Vegetable Samosas
(£2) and Chips & Curry Sauce (£2.50). There are wide screen televisions on
the concourse, showing past encounters between the teams before kick off.
There is also betting facilities available in the form of a Ladbrokes
outlet. Entrance to the stand is gained by entering your match ticket into
an electronic reader.
A visit to Villa Park is normally
an enjoyable experience, with the stewards normally taking a relaxed and
friendly attitude. One concern though, is that there is very little
separating the home and away fans and this could lead to crowd problems in
Now, as I support the other team in Birmingham (and no it is isn't Solihull
Moors!), it has been suggested that I am
biased against Villa Park. Well all I can say that I have been to the
ground on a number of occasions, in fact I can now claim to have sat in
every stand, so that just shows you how unbiased I really am! Plus I have
even been on the pitch. But that is another story...