Villa chief warned fans protests to continue until he is removed from club
By Coral Barry
Aston Villa fans have warned owner Randy Lerner that protests will continue until he is removed from the club.
Villa supporters staged a 1000-strong walk-out in the 74th minute in the 3-1 Premier League defeat to Everton on Tuesday night.
The movement, called OUTTHEDOOR74, have been pushing against the ownership of their club that has overseen Villa decline to the bottom of the table.
The Everton defeat was Villa’s third in a row and the campaign have made their future intentions clear with a statement released on Wednesday.
“From European nights, to relegation fights, we want Randy Lerner out,” the statement said. “We must continue to stand together in this fight, we cannot afford to let this momentum slip.
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“The planned walkouts against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are now very much in focus and we will call on you all again to join us in walking out the door on 74.”
Villa’s next two home games come against Tottenham on 13 March and Chelsea on 2 April.
The 74th minute is significant for Villa fans because the club was founded in 1874.
The last time Villa were relegated from the top tier of English football was in 1987 and Villa are one of just seven clubs to have never been relegated from the Premier League since its inception in 1992.
Remi Garde was brought in to steady the ship in November after Tim Sherwood’s disastrous start to the new season yielded just one league win, but since then Garde has managed just two more victories.
Villa have just 16 points from 28 games, are nine points from safety and OUTTHEDOOR74 have urged fans to join together as one voice.
“Thank you to every single supporter of Aston Villa Football Club who stood up to be counted on.
“Not just those who joined us in #OUTTHEDOORON74 but also those who took part in the sustained vocal tirade against the destructive regime that has backed those magnificent supporters of this football club into a corner.
“We showed that we are ready to fight our way out of it again through peaceful, yet sustained action. The lion has roared once more.
“Thank you also for the respect shown by those who chose not to walk to those that did, it is clear now that we are capable of pulling in the same direction even when our chosen method may differ.”