Ray Houghton has been talking up his old club.

Aston Villa are looking for a new manager after parting company with Steve Bruce.

Villa are 15th in the Championship but only four points off the play-offs, in what looks to be a very competitive second tier this season.

The likes of Thierry Henry and John Terry are amongst the favourites to take over.

Ray Houghton claims that the carrot for anybody taking the job is that they have so much potential, especially when it comes to attracting fans.

The former Villa player saying that the club are now the ‘big hitters’ in the Championship, just like Newcastle were two years earlier.

Houghton says that ‘what is on offer’ is to grow the crowds like Newcastle United did to ‘54,000 fans coming to watch all the games…’

Villa have got a decent history, just like Newcastle United, but in terms of crowds in the modern era they aren’t anything special.

In the Premier League era they have only once managed to scrape a 40,000 average and that was 40,029 in 2007/08.

In that 2016/17 season in the Championship, Newcastle’s crowds actually went up!

Having averaged 49,754 in the 2015/16 Premier League, with Rafa sticking around, Newcastle got 51,106 on average in the second tier – Villa on 32,107.

Last season, with Newcastle not around, Villa topped the Championship crowds with an average of 32,097, just ahead of Leeds with 31,521.

Whilst this season, it is Leeds (32,942) just edging it from Villa (31,440).

So I’m not quite sure you can even claim Villa are the undisputed ‘big hitter’ in the second tier, never mind what might happen if they got back to the Premier League.

Looking back down the seasons, Aston Villa tend to average around 35,000 in the Premier League.

Ray Houghton speaking to the Daily Record:

“Taking the Aston Villa job would be a bit like managing Newcastle when they were in the second tier – they (Villa) are the big hitters in the division.

“Most people are looking at them to do well and if you do, that then look what happened at Newcastle.

“You have got 54,000 fans coming to watch all the games, so that is what is on offer.

“There is no doubt Aston Villa are a huge club.”

  • Paul Patterson

    Does he not mean the other way around, if Mike Ashley remains in charge?

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    We are talking about a club who’s attendances have been discussed for years now and the fact they kept dropping, Even when they were doing well.
    Now Houghton is talking about trying to build attendances at Villa Park despite the fact they are in the second tier.
    It doesn’t make any sense at all because they were not attracting big crowds when they were in The Premiership, So how is that going to work ?

  • BigHairyDog

    Villa like other once proud teams had become a site for chronic mismanagement, they may have found an owner who has the intention competing, even if it doesn’t work out. You could guarantee that had Ashley owned Villa, Jack Grealish would’ve been flogged to the highest bidder. The difference between the club’s ambitions is staggering, how long before we’re swapping places?

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Have they got an owner like the FCB ? Kiss of death if they have

  • mactoon

    Ironic Sunderland and Villa fall into the same category, taunting us when we were relegated and now paying the price. God forbid either of them get Ashley to own them or they would see why we are so angered

  • Squintytoonarmy

    Who cares?

  • GToon

    I think it’s more likely the other way round unless we get rid of the slob in charge of our club. He will make sure we are relegated again this year. 3 times in 11 years. No immediate return this time round I think.

  • Paul Cannell

    They’ve been to Rotherham and everywhere
    Liverpool and Rome
    Now they’re throwing cabbages.. cabbages at home… Cabbages at home

  • Mike D

    Why would anyone want to be the next Newcastle?

  • Gallowgate1982

    54000 fans …Newcastle DOn’t get that we get 52 k but Aston Villa 54k is on offer eh?????? wtf are you on kidda? 42 k maybe and that relies on them winning all their games as we know they desert the team like little rats when they lose just like the clowns down the road.

  • Jonas

    Villa have not got and never had the support to be a Newcastle
    This club got 20,000 when they were top of the league in April 1990 and around 2008 averaged over 40,000 for only the fourth or fifth time in their history – which shocked me.
    Villa are like sunderland in having ‘fans’ that turn up to see certain opposition rather than regularly because Villa did get 45000 for Man United etc. but the next week they’d get 17,000 against Norwich or someone.

  • MadMag83

    With every season in the Championship, they become less of a big deal. Leeds were a “big hitter” when they were relegated all those years ago. Eventually the parachute payments will dry up and newly relegated clubs become the big hitters​.