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Lerner arrival changed Villa approach to supporter relations

Aston Villa management admit the arrival of new chairman Randy Lerner has changed the club's approach to it's fans.

Russell Jones, Villa's head of marketing, told the Daily Mail: "The Premier League carried out a survey just before Randy arrived. Villa were bottom in terms of their supporter satisfaction.

"His arrival was seen as an opportunity to draw a line in the sand. What came through was that we needed to re-engage with our fans.

"They were proud of what the club was, but would rather whisper that they were supporters, rather than shout it out loud.

"So we decided to be as open as we can with our fans. We listen to them. That's the reason why the mosaic was commissioned. That is why the European Cup team was brought together in 2007.

"One generation of supporters did not feel they had the chance to celebrate properly. The 25th anniversary of the success in Rotterdam was the ideal opportunity.

"So the club flew them in, from all four corners of the world, ahead of a home game against Sheffield United. The players brought their wives with them and they were treated to a long weekend. Randy didn't need to do that but the supporters told us that was what they wanted.

"There is now an Aston Villa way. We will listen. We will act with integrity. We will be quietly confident of ourselves, both who we are and what we represent in terms of this club's wonderful history."

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Tribal Football Staff

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