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Opinion

Aston Villa fans react to Newcastle postponement – Fury, sympathy and conspiracy theories

5 months ago
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Aston Villa fans should have been sitting down in front of their TVs on Friday at 8pm to watch the match.

The game at Villa Park against Newcastle United behind closed doors, as like Newcastle Upon Tyne, the Birmingham area finds itself in tier three and not even able to allow 2,000 fans into their stadium.

As it happens, there will now be nobody at all inside Villa Park on Friday night, players included.

As Tuesday afternoon brought news that the Premier League had agreed to Newcastle United’s request to postpone the match, due to a growing number of positive virus cases and the club not allowed to resume training until Friday at the earliest.

This announcement was quickly followed by the swift release of this Official Aston Villa statement:

‘Aston Villa can confirm that the Club fully supports the Premier League’s decision to postpone our fixture with Newcastle United on Friday following a significant COVID outbreak at the Tyneside club and the shutdown of their training ground by Public Health England.

We would like to thank both the Premier League Board and Newcastle United for their comprehensive and transparent communication during the process which resulted in this decision being reached.

Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those at Newcastle United affected by the virus.’

So their club taking the situation in their stride seemingly and saying all the right things, however, what about the Aston Villa fans?

How have they taken the news?

Well, fair to say that the comments below from Aston Villa fans show a very varied range of views.

Some mirroring their club and saying they perfectly understand that the game had to be called off until a later date, right through to the other end of the spectrum where others see absolutely zero need to call off the match and if indeed it was to be, then Newcastle United should forfeit the three points to Aston Villa.

Interestingly / bizarrely, there are also a number of conspiracy theories put forward, with perhaps the best (maddest) one being, a claim that a behind closed doors deal has been done, whereby the Premier League agreed to let this game be postponed, in return for Mike Ashley dropping the legal action regarding arbitration to do with the Premier League’s conduct in handling the attempted Newcastle United takeover.

Hmmm, Mike Ashley is furious because the Premier League prevented him banking around £350m or so from the Saudis, way more than the true actual value of the club, he is now trying legal action to in some way allow that to still happen. Compared to that, does any sane person really think that the NUFC owner is remotely bothered as to whether Newcastle United would have got three, one, or no points from this Villa match???

Aston Villa fans commenting via their Villa Talk message board:

‘It is what it is. I mean i dont like Newcastle but if that was us we would be shouting for a postponement.

They do need to tell us though how many are infected.’

‘Right, we need to know how many of their players have had positive tests.

I thought they were expecting test results tomorrow (Wednesday) as well, if so why the rush to make a decision tonight (Tuesday)?

Newcastle have got exactly what they wanted, without it seems, making the grounds for their request for a postponement public. What has actually changed in their situation from last weekend, when they did turn up to play and is that really enough to call this game off?’

‘Someone really likes Jawdees.’

‘I don’t really have a problem with them, it is more the way the PL have acted on this, I do think the club need to be more open about the extent of their situation. It seems to me the PL were too ready to go along with this request and that we are the fall guys.’

‘Tinfoil hat time: The PL agreed to postpone the game in return for Newcastle dropping their legal proceedings over their failed takeover. This will be announced in a few weeks.’

Brucey said last week that St James Park could safely allow 20000 into the games.’

‘Of course he did. Because he’s an idiot.’

‘Some evil plan by Cabbage to infect everyone at Newcastle so he can begin his evil plans to take over the world.’

‘Oh well, that saves my Friday night being ruined.’

‘I think it’s the right decision and I’m glad the club aren’t being a.ses about it.’

‘It’s pretty BS given the lax protocols Newcastle seem to have. We’ve seen clubs across Europe punished still.’

‘It’s annoying but the right call.’

‘Ridiculous, should have been a forfeit if they can’t field enough players.

Watch this be the only game that’s postponed and any more will be forfeits.’

‘I think Bruce must’ve run out of right backs to field so game called off!’

‘Can’t help but think that if they have that many cases they have had a breach at the club, which means that the club hasn’t followed the rules.’

‘Winter hasn’t even begun. Expect more postponed games, more chaos. They should’ve scrapped every other competition outside domestic leagues. I’m glad Villa aren’t in Europe and I won’t mind losing to Liverpool in the FA Cup. Fewer games equals less travel and less risk. Its going to be a long winter.’

‘They are blaming the international break, expert virologist Steve Bruce said that.’

‘As in during the international break their non international players all went each others houses?’

‘I don’t know how many Newcastle players are having to self isolate but surely health must come first.’

‘This is an issue of fairness for me. Are they really going to let Newcastle postpone another game after this one? Very unlikely. Instead Newcastle will likely play West Brom with half their squad missing and 2 days of training under their belt and most likely get rolled over.

Meanwhile we will play our postponed game against their full strength squad in a mid-week slot wedged somewhere in an already packed schedule. Completely unfair. They should have put out a team or forfeited 3-0.’

‘Now we have a significant disadvantage having 2 games in hand, all because Newcastle players/staff couldn’t isolate properly. Complete joke.’

‘If the rules were supposedly saying that games would still go ahead with a minimum playing squad of 14.

Then how many of their players have actually tested positive? Some, a few?

What’s to stop another team deciding to request postponement if they have a couple of key players out?

The problem is with the way it’s been handled, much like the governments handling of the pandemic, it’s a sack of sh.t.’

‘Playing on Fridays has the potential to ruin the entire weekend.

I’m not too sad about this.’

‘Think them having to close training ground has pretty much forced this as Public Health England became involved. Surprised they didn’t wait until testing tomorrow before deciding.

On balance I support it as say we play and one of ours picks it up we could have situation in two weeks where we’re going to play West Brom with half a team out.

Frustrating though as we’re on a run of defeats and Wolves could easily be another loss. Having spare games isn’t great either in this type of season where the schedule as packed as it is.

This game probably won’t get re-arranged until February now.’

‘If the tables was turned and we had 5 first teamers out i would want it postponed too.

This is the correct decision.’

‘Nothing to do with them having Dubravka, Fraser, Lascelles, Saint Max out injured is it…

Wonder how many confirmed cases they have.’

‘Why should we take on the burden of a busier schedule because of them? It’s not like it was completely random. PL clubs aren’t strict about their COVID restrictions. How would an outbreak even happen, I thought the players are tested before they even come into the building? This whole season has been a farce.’

‘If it’s really about safety they’d forfeit the match no? Pretty sure Leyton Orient did the same for their League Cup tie vs Spurs. You can’t fulfill the fixture, that’s your problem. We don’t have the luxury of rescheduling games willy nilly this season of all seasons.’

‘Absolute joke, if there has been a covid “outbreak” they are doing something wrong and should forfeit the 3 points.

Jokeshow.’

‘I guess an upside would be one less game without Barkley.’

‘We don’t need Barkley to beat Newcastle.’

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