Aston Villa have announced that the club will disband in June, bringing the curtain down on 142 years of league football. Prime Minister David Cameron has described the closure as “extremely positive”.
“The nightmare is nearly over,” club owner Randy Lerner told Soccer on Sunday. “Villa is a flea-ridden old mutt, hobbling around on three legs, ribs sticking out, one ear flopped over. So we’re taking her into the woods with a shotgun to apply the Old Yeller treatment.”
“We owe it to future generations,” he added. “With luck, they’ll think Aston Villa was just a bedtime story invented to scare kids straight. ‘Brush your teeth or we’ll buy you an Aston Villa season ticket.'”
Timing of the closure appears linked to a study published last week in the Journal of Sports Science. Harvard University analysed a century of data from 96 sports, played across 122 countries.
“We can confirm that Aston Villa are the worst team in the history of sport,” Professor Stuart Fagan told Soccer on Sunday. “The 1928 Albanian women’s Curling team ran them close. Those ladies were absolute muck, but they didn’t have a Charles N’Zogbia in their ranks. That was the difference in the end.”
Fan reaction to the closure has been mixed.
“I’ve been a Villa supporter for 30 years, man and boy,” season ticket holder Barry O’Mara told Soccer on Sunday. “Obviously I’ve hated every minute of it. It’ll be nice for my 8 year-old not to see me breaking down every other day. He’s had to be strong for the both of us.”
“Still, it’ll be strange driving past the IKEA where Villa Park used to be,” he added.