Aston Villa

Football Club Aston Villa is an English professional football club from Birmingham, West Midlands, founded in 1874. He is one of the 12 founding clubs of the Football League in 1888. Since 1897, he has been performing at the Villa Park Stadium, which seats more than 42,000 spectators and is one of the ten most capacious stadiums in England. From 1992 to 2016, the club played in the Premier League, becoming one of its 22 founders. In 2016, the American entrepreneur Randy Lerner sold the club to the Chinese company Recon Group. Currently playing in the Championship, the second most important division in the system of football leagues in England.

One of the oldest and most titled clubs in England: on the account of “Aston Villa” seven championship titles of the First Division and seven victories in the FA Cup. Aston Villa is also one of the five English clubs that won the Champions Cup. The main rival of Aston Villa is Birmingham City, with which the Birmingham derby is played. The club’s traditional colours are burgundy t-shirts with azure sleeves, white shorts and azure leggings. The club emblem depicts a golden lion standing on its hind legs, on a blue background, with the motto “Prepared”.

Head coach of the club – Dean Smith. The current team captain is James Chester.

The Aston Villa Football Club was founded in March 1874 by members of the Wesleyan Church of Villa Cross in Hendsworth, West Midlands (now part of Birmingham). The club’s four founders are Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price, and William Scattergood. His first match Aston Villa played against the local rugby club Aston Brook St. Meris. Under the terms of the match, in the first half, teams played according to the rules of rugby, and in the second – according to the rules of football. Soon, Aston Villa became one of the strongest teams in the Midlands, winning its first trophy, the Big Cup of Birmingham, in 1880. The captain on this team was Scot George Ramsey.

In 1887, the club won its first England Cup. The team captain in those years was the famous Archie Hunter. In 1888, Aston Villa became one of the founding clubs of the Football League (William McGregor, the club’s director, is considered the founder of this tournament). Aston Villa was the most successful English club in the Victorian era, winning the championship five times and the English Cup three times by the end of the reign of Queen Victoria. In 1897, the Villa won the “double” (championship and FA Cup). In the same year, the club began to perform at the new stadium, Aston Law Grounds, which became known among fans under the name Villa Park.

In 1920, Aston Villa won its sixth FA Cup. After this began a period of decline. In 1936, “Villa” for the first time in its history dropped out in the Second Division. The main reason was a bad game on the defensive: the team missed 110 goals in 42 matches, with 7 of them scored by Ted Drake in the famous match on December 14, 1935, when Arsenal defeated Aston Villa with a score of 1: 7 at Villa Park “. Like other English clubs, because of the Second World War, Villa did not play for seven seasons, and also lost several players in the war. After the war, a former player of the «Villa» Alex Massey, who became the head coach of the club, took up the restructuring of the team. In the 1956/57 season, Aston Villa won its first trophy in 37 years, beating the “Busby Kids” team from Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Two seasons later, “Villa” retired to the Second Division. However, under the leadership of Joe Mercer, the team returned to the First Division in 1960, and in the next season won the first in the history of the Football League Cup.

After the departure of Mercer in 1964, a new period of decline began. The most titled club of England at that time again dropped out in the Second Division in 1967. The following season, when Villa took 16th place in the Second Division, head coach Tommy Cummings was dismissed under pressure from the fans, and after a few weeks the entire board of directors of the club resigned. Control over the club was given to London financier Pat Matthews, who appointed Doug Ellis chairman of the club. The change of leadership, however, did not affect the results of the team’s performances: following the results of the 1969/70 season, Aston Villa dropped out of the Third Division for the first time in history. Under the leadership of the former captain of the club Vick Crow, appointed as the head coach of Villa in 1970, the team began to regain lost ground. In the season 1971/72 “Villa” returned to the Second Division. In 1974, Ron Saunders was appointed head coach of the club. Under his leadership, the club won the Football League Cup, and also returned to the First Division

In the 1980/81 season, Aston Villa won the title for the seventh time in its history. In the middle of next season, the club unexpectedly left Ron Saunders due to disagreements with the board. By that time, Aston Villa reached the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup. His assistant, Tony Barton, who led the team to the European Cup final, in which Aston Villa beat Bavaria, replaced Saunders as head coach. The following season, the club won the UEFA Super Cup, beating Barcelona. After that, the recession began, ending with a drop out of the First Division in 1987. However, in the 1987/88 season, Aston Villa, led by Graham Taylor, was able to return to the First Division. In the 1989/90 season, “Villa” took the 2nd place in the championship, losing 9 points to the champion title “Liverpool”.

In 1992, Aston Villa became one of the founding clubs of the Premier League. In the 1992/93 season, Villa, led by Ron Atkinson, took 2nd place in the Premier League, losing 10 points to Manchester United, the champion.

After that, for the remainder of the 1990s, the club changed three coaches, and the team showed unstable results. However, Villa won two Football League Cups and regularly qualified for the UEFA Cup. In 2000, Aston Villa played in the FA Cup final, losing it to London Chelsea 1-0 at the old Wembley. In the summer of 2006, David O’Leary, who led her for three years, left the team. In the autumn of the same year, Doug Ellis resigned as the club chairman. American businessman Randy Lerner, owner of the Cleveland Browns franchise, gained control of the club. At the beginning of the 2006/07 season, a new coach, Martin O’Neal, entered the team, under whose leadership the team began to demonstrate a more confident game. In the summer of 2007, the club logo and the main sponsor of the team changed. In 2010, Villa played in the Cup Final of the Football League, but lost to Manchester United 2-1. In August 2010, the club left Martin O’Neil. In September of the same year, the team was headed by Gerard Houllier. June 1, 2011 Houllier left his post, and his place was taken by former head coach of Birmingham City Alex McLeish, despite the massive protests of fans of the club against this appointment. This was the first time in history when a trainer from Birmingham City led Aston Villa. McLeish was in office for 11 months, after which the contract with him was canceled: “Villa” finished in 16th place, and only 2 points saved her from relegation from the Premier League. On February 28, 2012, the club officially announced a financial loss of £ 53.9 million. On July 2, 2012, Paul Lambert was appointed as the new head coach of Aston Villa. On May 12, 2014, Lerner put the club up for sale, setting a price of £ 200 million. In the 2014/15 season after 25 games played in the championship, the team had only 12 goals, which was the worst result in the history of the Premier League. February 11, 2015 Lambert was dismissed from his post as head coach. After that, the head coach was appointed Tim Sherwood, who managed to keep the club in the Premier League, taking the “saving” 17th place and reach the FA Cup final (losing to Arsenal 0: 4).

October 15, 2015 after a series of 6 consecutive defeats in the championship games, Sherwood was fired. On November 2, 2015, French specialist Remy Gard was appointed head coach of Aston Villa, who signed a contract with the club for 3.5 years. March 29, 2016 the contract was terminated by mutual consent of the parties. The reason for this was the extremely low sports performance of the team (after 31 games the team had 3 wins, 7 draws and only 16 points). With the change of coaches, the situation could not be fixed. On April 16, 2016, Aston Villa took off for the Championship, losing on the road “Manchester United” 1: 0. At the end of the season, Aston Villa took the last 20th place. Aston Villa for the first time in history leaves the English Premier League Before the new season, the club changed its owner and mentor, he was the Italian Roberto di Matteo. Before him and the team was assigned the task of entering the submarine, but the results were extremely deplorable. For 11 games, the team scored only 10 points with only 1 victory, and scored 10 goals. These results indicated that Villa had begun to struggle for survival, and there could be no question of entering the submarine.

Traditional team uniforms are burgundy t-shirts with blue sleeves, white shorts and blue leggings with burgundy and white stripes. Initially, as a rule, the team performed in T-shirts in white, blue or grey with white or black shorts. Subsequently, after 1877-1879, the team played in different sets of uniforms, which consisted of completely white, black and red colours. In 1880, at the initiative of William McGregor, the team received for the first time black t-shirts with a lion embroidered on its chest. In 1886, T-shirts became chocolate and blue. Later, the chocolate colour was replaced with burgundy. No one really knows why burgundy and blue were taken as club colours.

In 2007, the new emblem “Aston Villa” was approved. A lion was depicted on a light blue background on a new emblem, and a star appeared, symbolizing victory in the 1982 European Cup. The inscription “Aston Villa” was replaced by AVFC.

The Aston Villa home stadium is Villa Park, which falls into the 4th category rated by UEFA. Previously, the team’s home arenas were Aston Park (1874–1976) and Perry Barr (1876–1897). Villa Park is the largest football stadium in the Midlands and the eighth largest in England. The stadium hosted 16 international meetings of the England team. The first international match took place in 1899, and the last in 2005. Thus, “Villa Park” became the stadium where the English team played in three centuries. The stadium is one of the largest stands in Europe behind the goal. “Villa Park” is the most used arena in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the stadium has passed 55 semi-final matches. The club is planning the reconstruction of the North Stand, which should increase the stadium’s capacity to 51,000 spectators.

The training base of the club “Bodimur Heat” was acquired in the 1970s by the former head of the club, Doug Ellis. In the 1990s, the base was outdated and a decision was made to start reconstruction. On May 6, 2007, at the solemn ceremony, the reconstructed base of the club was opened by Villa’s head coach Martin O’Neil, team captain Gareth Barry and captain of Aston Villa sample 1982, Dennis Mortimer

Aston Villa has a large number of fans in the Midlands, as well as outside. Former CEO of Villas, Richard Fitzgerald, stated that 98% of the club’s race is white. After joining the club Randy Lerner, it was announced the start of the course to increase the fans of the team among ethnic minorities. The creation of a number of fan organizations began to increase the number of Aston Villa fans. The new owners also began a series of studies aimed at obtaining the views of club fans in order to involve them in the decision-making process regarding the team. Meetings of the leadership and fans became regular. In March 2011, the club supported the initiative of adopting an official hymn that sounds at every home game of the team.

Like most fans of English football teams, Aston Villa fans have created groups of football hooligans. The most famous of them are: “Villa Youth”, “Steamers”, “Villa Hardcor” e and “C-Crew”. The latter group was very active in the 1970s and 1980s. However, in the following years, football hooligans significantly reduced their activity. In 2004, several Aston Villa football hooligan groups were involved in a fight with the Queens Park Rangers hooligans as a result of which the Villa Park steward died.

Currently, the fans of “Villa” are united in many groups, both in England and abroad. There is an official Aston Villa fan club, which also has many smaller regional and international branches. During the reign of Doug Ellis, there were several independent fan clubs, but most of them broke up after Ellis left the post of chairman of the board. In June 2011, Aston Villa fans held protests against the appointment of Alex McLeish, the head coach of the team of the former Birmingham City coach, to the appointment of the head coach of the team. Fans of the club also release their own fanzines: “Heroes and Villains” and “The Holy Trinity”.

The eternal and most principled rival of the Villa is Birmingham City, the confrontation with which was called the Birmingham Derby. The first match between the teams was played on September 1, 1894 within the framework of the English Championship, in which Aston Villa won – 2: 1. The biggest victory over the rival (6: 0) “Villa” won on November 9, 1988 in the Cup full members. From 1988 to 2002, the standoff ceased to be regular, as the clubs played in various divisions. After the return of “Birmingham” in the Premier League, “Aston Villa” won over a rival six wins in a row from 2005 to 2010. At the end of the 2010/2011 season, 120 matches took place between the clubs, of which Villa won 51 meetings, the Blue won in 38 games and 31 matches ended in a draw.

In addition to Birmingham City, Aston Villa’s principal rival is West Bromwich Albion. These two teams challenged the three finals of the FA Cup at the end of the XIX century. Regional rivalry also exists with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Coventry City. In the 2010/2011 season, Aston Villa, West Brom, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton played in the Premier League. The Big Four of the West Midlands once again played in the elite English division for the first time since the 1983/84 season. However, at the end of that season, “Birmingham City” again left the Premier League