As Aston Villa have gotten deeper in the FA Cup, while almost simultaneously falling down the table, a hypothetical has been discussed around Villa parts of the internet. Would you trade getting relegated for a FA Cup win? Well would you? I put that question to the 7500 to Holte staff and here's what we had to say.
Q: Would you trade getting relegated if it meant Aston Villa were to win the FA Cup?
I'll probably be in the minority of Villa fans, but absolutely. What's the point of football if you're not going to win things? In the grand scheme of things, Villa are probably never winning a Premier League crown. It's unfortunate but likely true. But Villa are two wins away from winning the FA Cup for the first time since 1957. That's a long time. My parents weren't alive. I laughed at Wigan for it two years ago but weirdly enough, I want it now. Give me the Cup. Even if it means we'd go down.
I'd love to win the FA Cup, but let's be honest. If the price of victory is relegation, is a much-maligned and disrespected competition worth a potential free fall? Villa are a club up for sale and if they fall in price and status all it takes is one idiot to buy the club and we could be doomed. However, as much as the trophy is disrespected, it's still a big deal and would cap off a very depressing era for Villa and truly signal a move forward for the club. Let's just hope the cost isn't our future!
No way. For me, it's an easy and firm no simply because of the looming possibility that we might find a new owner this summer who could invest and help the club grow in the long term. Looking at the big picture, staying in the Premier League is much more important for Villa because that could lead to a new owner, who could stabilize the club and spend money to bring in better players, which could help us improve in the league and make more cup runs in future years to treasure without worrying about relegation -- maybe even in Europe. Essentially, I'm putting all my eggs in the potential-of-what-Aston Villa-could-be basket rather than the basket which includes an FA Cup trophy and away games to Huddersfield, but it's only because I STILL believe in the dream of Villa competing for top four and challenging the big clubs every season. But that dream goes out the window if we go down -- at least for a very, very long time.
Absolutely not. In the short term FA Cup glory would be fantastic and we'd all love it. But you've got to look at the bigger picture. It's not just a case of playing with slightly worse players against worse teams for a season then a return to normality.
Getting relegated is a potential disaster that it could take us a long term to recover from. Financially we would be in huge trouble again, even despite the huge cuts we have made in recent seasons (the Swiss Ramble article made that pretty clear). Spend a couple of seasons down and we would lose so much ground to the clubs above us with the new TV deal. We would lose the only players that are actually fun to watch. Crowds would decline to about half capacity if not less. Hatred towards the club would rise again. Any takeover would be shelved again and we risk Lerner putting the club in further trouble by continuing to make bad decisions. For any non-local fans it would be much harder to watch Villa.
Just ask Blackburn, Leeds, Derby or Nottingham Forest how easy it is for a big club to come straight back. Wigan, who won the FA cup in 2013, are about to drop into League 1. I'll win the cup and stay up, thanks.
Could I get that with a guarantee that we'll then win the Championship next season without losing a game?
No? Alright I'd still take it. The point is to win things, not scrape along the bottom and even though I don't think we'll get relegated, the gap between us and the top half and then the gap between us and the top six or seven is so huge that I don't think we have much to look forward to next season either. I'd take the risk. Also, can you imagine Sherwood's ego afterwards?
A month ago, after the Hull match, I would have said I'll take the FA Cup. Lambert was in charge, things were terrible, and relegation looked like a foregone conclusion. If we're going down anyways, why not win something while we're at it.
But now Tim Sherwood has given us just enough life (and other clubs have done just poorly enough) that it looks more likely that we'll stay up than that we drop. With safety a very real possibility, now I want it. I get that winning trophies is why you play, but I think this team could put a cup run together next year, too. Remember, we were one dreadful two-fixture tie away from a League Cup final, so it's not as if this is unprecedented. Let's get safety now, play like the mid-table team we're capable of being next year, and win a cup then.
You will never sell me on anything over being in the Premier League. I don't trust that they'd come right back up. I don't want to see those idiotic number templates on Villa shirts. I don't want to play at Huddersfield or whatever.
Winning a trophy would be great but that TV money is too vital and growing all the time.
Once again Villa have to cling to survival above all else and try to get it right one of these seasons. While I think Sherwood was a great hire for the purpose of keeping Villa up, I think it's going to be a real tough ask for him to lead Villa to the top half and possibly top 6 of the league. I'm just not sure he's that guy. I also have no clue what his transfer acumen is. Maybe they get a director of football to help him out - but staying up this year is a massive piece of that puzzle.
I really hope they win the FA Cup and I don't think they're mutually exclusive. But if losing to Liverpool or whoever by 5 goals meant they'd be safe I'd make that trade in a heartbeat.
If it was two years ago like when Wigan won the FA Cup, I'd say it take it along with being relegated. However, the TV money is increasing so much now, and with Lerner trying to sell the club, Premier League status is far too important. If we're in the Championship, that lowers the selling price drastically. If the price is low, that means someone (relatively speaking) poor could buy us.
People say that a cup run is magical and rare. While it is special for a smaller club to go deep in the competition, how rare is it really? Look at Bradford City. They made a deep run in the FA Cup this year, just like Villa did. I'd say it is rare for a team to have as easy a run as we did this season, but the cup will be there in the future. Go down this year and miss out on a big cash injection, and the Premier League status won't be.
This may be due to the current uptick in form Villa are going through, but, yeah, I think I would take that trade. In January, I probably would have said no. But in the last couple weeks, we've seen Villa win matches and I'm not quite as worried that they would be stuck in the Championship forever. Famous last words, but I do think Villa have a squad that could go back up within in first two years after getting relegated. And yes, I realize we'd lose some big pieces if we go down, but I think the squad is fairly still fairly solid for the Championship even without Christian Benteke & Co.
Plus, I just want Villa to win something. I want to see Fabian Delph parade the FA Cup around Wembley. I want to annoy people on Twitter with a picture of Tim Sherwood holding the FA Cup and then when people point out that Villa got relegated, I could send back a gif of Tim Sherwood holding the FA Cup and then sunglasses could drop down and it would say "Deal With It". Dammit, I want that.
That's what we have to say and now we want to hear from you. Would you take relegation if it meant Aston Villa would win the FA Cup?