Aston Villa fans set up genius way to watch Sheffield United clash outside Villa Park

A pair of Aston Villa fans were spotted camped up outside of Villa Park to watch their side’s Premier League return against Sheffield United on Wednesday night – propping up an iPad on a drinks cooler to be able to watch the match live on Sky Sports.

The two men, both kitted in Villa shirts and armed with cans of beer and bottles of wine, set up a gazebo over a park bench in Aston Park beside the Villans’ home ground to show their support just a few hundred yards from where, in normal circumstances, they would usually be watching.

The duo even hung up a flag on the gazebo to give them extra protection from the elements.

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Fans are not allowed to enter the stadium for Premier League matches for the remainder of the current campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has prevented any English top-flight matches from being played on March 9.

Villa were in action that night, with Dean Smith’s men losing 4-0 to Leicester, and their welcoming of Sheffield United to Villa Park is their first competitive fixture since then.

And though no fans were allowed inside the ground against the Blades, making for an eerie atmosphere, the pair turned up outside to show their support – while also adhering to social-distancing guidelines.

Ahead of the match, Villa CEO Christian Purslow had urged fans not to gather in crowds outside of the ground as the United Kingdom remains in lockdown due to COVID-19.

He said: “I pledge to Aston Villa fans I will be doing the upmost in the coming weeks and months to drive the debate that brings fans back into stadiums as soon as possible.

“Obviously, though, when it’s safe to do so and consistent with governmental policy.

“I know many Villa fans, a lot of you wrote to me when rumours arose of games being played at neutral grounds.

“We were among a number of clubs who didn’t approve of that policy because although fans will not be here on Wednesday night, it’s our home.

“I know our players feel strongly about having six games at our home.

“I pledge to Aston Villa fans I will be doing the upmost in the coming weeks and months to drive the debate that brings fans back into stadiums as soon as possible.

“Obviously, though, when it’s safe to do so and consistent with governmental policy.

“I know many Villa fans, a lot of you wrote to me when rumours arose of games being played at neutral grounds.

“We were among a number of clubs who didn’t approve of that policy because although fans will not be here on Wednesday night, it’s our home.

“I know our players feel strongly about having six games at our home.”

Hosts Villa went into the clash against Sheffield United sat 19th, but knowing victory would move them out of the relegation zone.

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