Aston Villa fans deserted their team this season after relegation, with gates falling as low as under thirty thousand.
This despite them being easily the biggest spending team in the Championship.
Then when it comes to net spending, taking into account all transfers in and out, they are in a totally different stratosphere to every other club, including Newcastle United who actually have made a £40m profit on transfers under Rafa Benitez.
Despite the massive spending, Aston Villa fans have actually seen some pretty desperate football as well, as they have dismally failed to get anywhere near promotion at the first attempt.
However, they can now get that open top bus ordered, as Villa have been awarded the title of best quality pitch in the Championship.
I will leave the (old) jokes to you when it comes to putting it down to what is spread out on the pitch each match.
Steve McClaren wasn’t around long enough to discover Derby County had been ‘highly recommended’ for the quality of the pitch, with a big well done to the St James Park groundstaff who also picked up a highly recommended mention.
Official EFL Announcement:
The EFL has announced the winners of the Grounds Team of the Season award for 2016/17 in each of the three divisions.
The awards recognise the importance of the quality of pitches for professional football and acknowledge the clubs and their ground staff who consistently produce the best playing surfaces in the EFL.
In the Sky Bet Championship, Aston Villa win the award for producing a perfect pitch at Villa Park this season. Derby County and Newcastle United are both highly commended.
Sky Bet Championship Grounds Team of the Season
Winner: Aston Villa
Highly Commended: Derby County
Highly Commended: Newcastle United
The EFL’s Grounds Team of the Season Awards are determined initially using marks from referees and away managers for each Sky Bet EFL game and are then followed by detailed pitch inspections and a review of management operations.
These visits were carried out by Dr Stephen Baker, Head of Sports Surface Technology at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).