RESIDENTS living by a Premier League ground said the club wants to spend £100million on a new stadium – but can’t be bothered cleaning up their streets.
Roland LeonAston Villa have played at Villa Park since 1897[/caption]
Fred Rainey has lived next to the ground for 40 yearsRoland Leon
Roland LeonResidents said fans leave litter everywhere[/caption]
Many locals are proud Villa fans – but said that parking problems, litter and road closures all cause havoc on match days.
The club plans to splash out over £100million on the “first phase of improvements” to the ground, transforming the area.
People in the neighbourhood said the money would be better spent cleaning it up.
Aysha Kamal, 18, said: “Every game brings with it a lot of broken glass and food packaging and it’s just left.
“We have a little park next to our house but it’s always full of cans and bottles and the bins are overflowing days after the game.
She added: “We can’t enjoy the space. Rats enjoy the space but that’s all.
“I don’t get how they can spend millions on players and wages but not sort out the rubbish.
“Fans fill up our bins as they pass by and they don’t really consider that this is a residential area.
“They are too busy shouting and screaming.
“For us it means making sure we know when a game is on so if we have to do any shopping, we do it early.”
Neighbour Fred Rainey, 70, said: “I’ve been here for 40 years and the litter is terrible.
“All the cones and signs are just left around for the next game and the bins in the park are normally overflowing.
“Nobody thinks about us residents. They put Motocross on in the stadium during the summer and they had to put down sand and grit down to make it happen.
“All our windows were covered in dust and about a week later we got a letter from the Council warning us that there might be some dust around.
“I’m used to it now but it’s not great. Nowadays they close the road from the night before the game so you can’t get a taxi or go out for a pint.”
Perry Henry, 62, said: “Personally, I love it. They shut the road so there’s no traffic and all you see is fans going up and down. It’s great to be part of it.
“The bigger disruption we have is from concerts where they don’t close the road and people park wherever they like.
“They don’t care if they’re blocking people in, they ignore double-yellow lines and leave empty cans on our wall. It’s down to law enforcement.
“There is no respect today from little kids to grown ups and you’re frightened to say anything.
“I have heard that Villa want to improve the area, bring in fun areas for kids and clean up the parks.
“I hope it happens and that the Council’s problems don’t hold it up.”
MET THEIR MATCH
Sarah Bibi, 28, said: “We just get a lot of rubbish, noise and traffic. As soon as Villa are playing we are stuck in the house, sometimes literally because people have just parked across our drive.
“Some people make a sideline out of it. People hang around wearing bibs so they look like stewards and then offer “protection” for peoples’ cars.
“We are all massive football fans in our house but it is shocking how dirty the area looks – and you would think the club could do something about it.”
Denise Farrell, 63, said: “You literally cannot move round here for cars on match days.
“I feel sorry for people in wheelchairs because they park up on the curbs and there is no way they can get around.
“Why can’t Aston Villa do something about it? They’ve got enough money and it’s getting worse.
“People take no notice of signs, no notice of lines and there’s no need for them to be driving.
“There are two stations nearby and the number 11 bus which goes all around Birmingham.”
Aston Villa FC has been contacted for comment.
On its website, the club said: “The area’s regeneration will begin with a £100m+ investment in the first phase of improvements to Villa Park.
“It will contribute an estimated £119.9m to the West Midlands economy each year, creating hundreds of jobs during and post-construction – and attracting 1.65m visitors to the local area annually.”
Denise Farrell said parking is a nightmare around the groundRoland Leon
Roland LeonThe club wants more fans to use public transport[/caption]
Perry Henry “loves” living next to Villa ParkRoland Leon