By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

9th May, 2023 | 11:10am

Sky Sports journalist shares Villa Park changes needed after latest Aston Villa news

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and The Athletic’s Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Dan Bardell believes that improving the match-day transport links around Villa Park are just important as developments to the stadium itself.

The club’s development of Villa Park is set to increase the capacity to over 50,000 and modernise the stadium to create a “world-class sporting venue”. [AVFC]

As well as improvements to the ground itself, Aston Villa announced last year they are already in talks with the local authorities to substantially improve the transport system around Aston, which in turn should help match-day fans get to and from the ground.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell admitted that Villa Park’s current transport links can occasionally result in “utter bedlam” on match days but that the club have addressed these issues in their planned development of Villa Park.

“Villa Park is a ground lots of people talk about because it’s historically a great ground and it still holds its traditional factors, certainly the Villa fans like that as well.

“It does need to expand because the demand is there from the fanbase, there are around 33,000 people on the season-ticket waiting list.

“However, to expand the numbers they need to get the infrastructure right around it because getting away from Villa Park and getting to Villa Park has been carnage in the past, utter bedlam at points, so that will be something the club are looking at.

“There’s no point having the ground hold over 50,000 people if the transport issues aren’t addressed first.

“It’s unfeasible right now, so they probably need to get this kind of problem sorted in time for the Euro 2028 bid if it is accepted.

“The club know this and they have spoken about it. It’s not because Villa Park isn’t fit for purpose, because it is, but everything around it, in terms of transport links can’t really continue.”

Aston Villa confirmed that Villa Park and the city of Birmingham have been selected as a stadium and host city for the UK and Ireland’s Euro 2028 bid.

Villa Park is the only ground selected from the midlands, with the likes of Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium picked from London and Hampden Park and Dublin Arena named as stadiums from Scotland and Ireland.

In other Aston Villa news, the Villans have been backed to complete one major deal in the summer after an update from Fabrizio Romano.