Chris Heck vows to ‘protect’ loyalty amid £400m Aston Villa plan

Chris Heck vows to ‘protect’ loyalty amid £400m Aston Villa plan

Aston Villa’s chairman of commercial operations Chris Heck has vowed not to exploit the club’s most loyal fans as he tries to grow the club’s revenue to £400m by 2027.

It is crucial that Villa’s business department capitalises on the progress made on the pitch under Unai Emery, who led the club to the Champions League with a top-four finish last season. Under Heck, Villa have announced a new long-term partnership that will see Betano become the club’s new director and front-of-shirt partner in a deal worth £40m, while they have also struck a deal with Adidas with the sportswear giant becoming the club’s official kit partner.

Villa’s season ticket prices for next season were increased by just five per cent, but match-by-match tickets were increased by up to 15 per cent, with Category A games set to cost £78 in price zone one seats. The club’s justification for the match-by-match ticket increase was due to the limited price increase in season tickets.

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Villa are also not offering any new season tickets as they focus on expanding Villa Park to also accommodate more premium seating. In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Heck said Villa are about to announce the biggest hospitality push in European football, which includes 18 new premium offerings, including private club space and further suites in the Doug Ellis, North and Trinity Road stands.

Villa’s new general admission plus season ticket experience inside Villa Park’s original prison cells, called “The Cells”, sold out in a week last month. It will be one of a newly themed offering, spanning 5,000 hospitality tickets at different price points.

“Premium meant (at Villa Park) you got a suite, 12 tickets and a rectangular table to sit at like a family meal,” Heck told the Telegraph. “It’s wonderful and everyone has a good time, but that was the only option. My thinking is ‘let’s give people more choice and I bet they’ll be interested’. There’s not just one type of English football fan.”

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