Aston Villa Football Club, simply Aston Villa, is an English Premier League football club based in the Aston district of the city of Birmingham.
It was founded in 1874 and has been playing at the current stadium, Villa Park, since 1897. It was a founding member of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. In July 2018, Egyptian Nassef Sawiris replaced Tony Xia as president, following the acquisition of a 55% controlling stake by NSWE, a jointly owned company. owned and controlled by the Sawiris NNS group and American billionaire Wes Edens. In August 2019, Tony Xia’s remaining shares were acquired by NSWE, which subsequently took full control of the club.
Aston Villa is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in England. It is also one of five English teams to win the European Cup / Champions League. They are the eighth English club for football success (after Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton), with 23 major trophies, although most of them came before the Second World War. They are the second most experienced team in the First Division / Premier League, behind Everton and ahead of Liverpool.
The team has an old rivalry with Birmingham City, another club in the city, as well as other West Midlands county teams (West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton, Coventry City and Walsall). The first Birmingham derby, played in 1879, saw Aston Villa win 1-0.
The club’s traditional colors are burgundy and light blue (claret & blue). Several coats of arms were used, all marked by the presence of a rampant lion. The historic circular symbol of the team that won the 1981-1982 European Cup was replaced a few years later by a burgundy and light blue striped shield with the lion in the center. In 2007, the coat of arms was further modified by inserting the rampant golden lion on a celestial background; at the bottom of the motto Prepared. In 2016, the motto Prepared was removed and the lion was enlarged.
Aston Villa Football Club was founded on 21 November 1874 by members of Aston Villa Wesleyan Church, a Methodist parish in Birmingham. The four twenty-year-old founders were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter H. Price and William Scattergood. The first match was played against a rugby team, Aston Brook St Mary’s Rugby: the players agreed to play the first half by the rules of rugby, while the second was played by the rules of football. The Villa quickly became one of the top teams in the West Midlands, winning its first trophy, the Birmingham Senior Cup, as early as 1880, under Captain George Ramsay.
The team won its first FA Cup in 1887: its captain, Archie Hunter, became one of the first known footballers in England at the time. The following year, in 1888, the Villa was among the twelve clubs to usher in the Football League; one of the managers of the Burgundian heavenly company, William McGregor, was the founder of the competition. Already in its early years, Aston Villa distinguished itself as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, with numerous victories in the league and cup. In 1897 he reached the Double, which is the cup and championship victory in the same season. The team moved to its current sports facility, then called Aston Lower Grounds, the same year. However, fans will always refer to it romantically as Villa Park until that becomes its official name.
Aston Villa won the sixth FA Cup in 1920; soon after, however, a slow decline began which, in 1936, despite being one of the powers of European football until a few years earlier, led the club to relegation. This result was mainly due to the team’s defensive weakness: in just one season, they had to concede 110 goals to their opponents, seven of them from Ted Drake’s Arsenal, in an embarrassing 1 on 7 home defeat. English clubs kept Aston Villa out of action for seven seasons due to the Second World War; the conflict brought many careers to an early end. For the rest of the 1940s, the team was rebuilt under the leadership of former football player Alex Massie. In 1957, thirty-seven years after the last trophy, Villa took an unexpected FA Cup victory, a final won by Matt Busby’s Busby Babes of Manchester Utd. The club was relegated again two seasons later, in 1958-1959, due to a certain complacency of the players. However, De Villa immediately won the championship in the Second Division and achieved immediate promotion. The following season he won the first League Cup, first organized in 1961.
The late 1960s was a period of turmoil among fans seeking changes in the team’s leadership. It all started with the club’s third relegation, led by manager Dick Taylor, in 1967. When Aston Villa only finished 16th in the Second Division in the ensuing championship, fans asked the management to resign. With a financial balance increasingly in the red, the club sailed at the bottom of the ranking for some time. The company therefore decided to fire Taylor’s replacement, Tommy Cummings, and shortly thereafter, due to pressure from fans, the entire management resigned. After much speculation, control was taken by London financier Pat Matthews, who chose Doug Ellis as president. Nevertheless, the new owner failed to avoid relegation to the Third Division at the end of the 1969-1970 championship. In 1971-1972 there was a return to the Second Division, awarded the record of points (70) for the tournament. In 1973 Ron Saunders was appointed as the new manager and in 1977 the club returned to the top division and European cups.
Under Saunders’ leadership, the Villa became a successful team again, winning the English Championship in the 1980-81 season. However, to general surprise, Saunders resigned midway through the following season with the club in the European Cup quarter-finals. He was replaced by his assistant Tony Barton, who led the Villans to victory in the Rotterdam final against Bayern Munich. Since that day, Aston Villa has been one of five English teams to have won the top European league, along with Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Chelsea. This is the highest point Villa reached in the 1980s, but which ended bitterly with relegation in 1987. The following season, however, the team returned to the First Division, after being promoted to second place in the league in 1988–89. .
In 1992, Aston Villa was one of the founding members of the Premier League, finishing in second place in the tournament’s inaugural season. In the remainder of the 1990s, the club made three different managerial changes, but without success: their placings in the league were unsatisfactory, despite two League Cup victories. In 2000, the team reached the FA Cup final for the first time since 1957, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the final final played at the old Wembley Stadium, which was then closed and demolished. Again different managers took turns leading the team, but the results remained mediocre until Martin O’Neill replaced David O’Leary in 2006. Meanwhile, after twenty-three years as president, Ellis decided to sell the club to Randy Lerner, former owner of the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise. The arrival of a new manager and owner has sparked a wave of optimism among fans and a series of changes, such as the crest and uniforms.
In the 2015-2016 season, Aston Villa finished last in the Premier League, with just 17 points in the standings (fourth worst ever result in the tournament’s history), permanently relegating to the Championship (English Second Division) after 28 years. ) in top flight. He finished the 2016-2017 season in an anonymous twelfth place, in 2017-2018 he took fourth place and was defeated in the play-off final against Fulham. Promotion to the Premier League comes in the 2018-2019 season: with an incredible comeback that started in March, Aston Villa win 10 games in a row and finish the regular season in fifth place. The Villans win the play-offs by knocking out West Bromwich first and then, in the Wembley final, Derby County.
In the 2019-2020 season, the first in the Premier League in three years, Aston Villa will not escape relegation until the last day. In the following season, he instead comes 11th, 7 points behind the European competitions.
Aston Villa’s current stadium is Villa Park, which has four stars according to the UEFA classification. Before its current location, the team played at Aston Park, from 1874 to 1876, and at Perry Barr, from 1876 to 1897. Currently, Villa Park is the largest stadium in the West Midlands and ranks eighth in England. It has hosted the English national team sixteen times, the first in 1899 and the most recent in 2005. It was the first English stadium to host matches in three different centuries. It is also the most used stadium in the FA Cup semi-finals, hosting a whopping fifty-five. The company plans to expand the North Stand to bring the venue’s capacity to 51,000 spectators. It is also the only stadium in the world that has hosted matches between national teams for three different centuries.
The club’s current training ground is in Bodymoor Heath in North Warwickshire and was bought by Doug Ellis from a local farmer in the early 1970s. In the early 1990s, the site started to show signs of aging, so in 2005 Ellis set aside a £13 million budget to refurbish it. However, the works were suspended due to financial difficulties and remained unfinished until Randy Lerner bought the company and made it one of his priorities to make Bodymoor Heath one of the best facilities in the world. The new training ground was officially inaugurated on 6 May 2007 by coach Martin O’Neill, captain Gareth Barry and captain of the 1981 European Cup winning team Dennis Mortimer. Aston Villa started training there from the 2007-2008 season.