Beginnings of Aston Villa
The Aston Villa club was founded in 1874 and became founding members of the Football League in 1888 and the world-renowned Premier League in 1992. It is regarded as among the senior and successful football clubs in England. This famous club bagged the First Division Championships seven times and Football Association Challenge Cup (FA) another seven times. It also emerged as champion in the 1981 European Cup and is only one of the five clubs in England to win the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League. The club garnered the fourth highest number of major awards won by a football team from the UK. An intense rivalry has existed between Aston Villa and Birmingham for more than two centuries.
This football club was established by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth. Its initial match was against the local Aston Brook St Mary’s Rugby team. As a condition of the game, the Villa side consented to play the first half under rugby rules and second half under football rules. Villa became one of the best teams in the Midlands and won its first championship, the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1880. Aston Villa earned its very first FA in 1887. It got its last FA Cup trophy in the 1956-1957 season. The team returned to the second division as champions in the 1971-72 seasons.
Aston Villa was one of the founding members of the prestigious Premier League in 1992 and finished second to Manchester United during the opening season. It was managed by different groups throughout the nineties and the team became inconsistent. Nonetheless, it prevailed in two league cups and was always eligible for the UEFA Cup. It entered the final round of the finals in 2000 but was defeated by Chelsea with a score of 1 – 0 in the final game at the Wembley Stadium. Again, Aston Villa lost 2 – 1 in the 2010 finals. It gained another shot that season in Wembley but lost to Chelsea 3 – 0 during the semi-finals match. Aston Villa club declared a financial loss of £53.9 million in February 28, 2012.
The present venue of the Aston Villa Club is Villa Park. It is a stadium with five-star rating from the UEFA. The club used to play at Aston Park (1874–1876) and Perry Barr (1876–1897). Villa Park is considered the biggest football stadium in the English Midlands and the eighth largest in the entire country. It has hosted 16 England international tournaments at senior level from 1899 until 2005. The park was the first English ground to stage international football during three different centuries. Villa Park is the most widely-used stadium in the semi-final history of the FA Cup with a total of 55 semi-final matches. Aston Villa has a big network of fans and gets support from the Midlands as well as other parts of the country and all over the globe.