New superstore, museum and hotel are on the agenda in Birmingham, where Aston Villa have been granted permission to demolish major current buildings behind the north stand at Villa Park.
For now it's a vast asphalt parking site with old buildings standing out. First is the one comprising ticket office and club store, the second accommodates needs of the training academy.
This might soon become history because in late September Aston Villa received planning approval for demolition of both these buildings, following a 2-month evaluation.
A briefind by the City Council explains that tickets and merchandise will be available nearby, in temporary setting: “Aston Villa Football Club is proposing to move the ticket office/merchandise store into temporary units elsewhere on site. It is intended that the footprint of this building will be used as excess capacity for car parking on match days.”
It's not yet clear when Villa would begin demolition. There are indications that it would not come before end of current Premier League season. What is clear, is that there's a true hunger for success under new ownership.
“We have 7,000 on a wait-list (for season tickets) for the first time in the club’s history. Villa Park is 42,000 capacity and if Villa get properly established in the Premier League, we will have demand to require us to add capacity.
“There are plans where we can infill. Knocking down Villa Park? No chance! Villa Park is a cathedral to football.” says Christian Purslow, chief executive at Aston Villa.