Statement: Giving back to Villa fans

As many of you will have already seen – Heart of the Holte have recently been given £1,000 to spend on supporter initiatives by our partners FansBet.

These funds have been made available to us due to those Villa fans that have got on board with this collaboration ever since we announced it over the summer months.

“The main ethos of FansBet isn’t just fans working together, it’s giving back and that’s where we truly differ as we’re the only bookmaker committed to sharing 50% of net profits directly with the fans.”

Statement from Ryan Pitcher (on behalf of Heart of the Holte)

Over the years Heart of the Holte have been approached by a number of betting companies whom had hoped to work with us in order to promote their brand and in return they offered us a bunch of personal benefits such as free bets and free play money.

This however was not something that ever appealed to us. We never wished to enter the ‘standard’ boring and obvious click-bate affiliate schemes – especially not for personal gain.

As I’ve written previously, we make no money from running the service that we provide. I pay for the website and hosting in order to allow those that wish to be involved to post their views on the Villa, whether it be in writing, podcast or video. Our tagline ‘from the 12th man, for the 12th man’ is exactly that.

Collectively we have paid for competitions out of our own back pockets, the retro shirts giveaway for example. And on occasion we’ve worked with local businesses in order to provide prizes for our followers.

Everything changed for us when FansBet came along and offered us a refreshingly unique approach that has enabled us to give back to Villa fans more than we’d ever have anticipated.

Although we are not blind to the stigma surrounding football and the betting industry, it’s something that’s there and will always be around and so why shouldn’t we take advantage of what FansBet have to offer?

Needless to say – being a punter myself – I want us all to take as much money from the bookie as possible. But my mindset is that at least if I place a losing bet via FansBet then Villa fans will benefit. And I’d like to personally thank all those that have signed up and selected Heart of the Holte as its beneficiary because as a result of that we’ve just received our first payment of £1,000 to spend on fan causes.

With this money we’ll be donating £350 to Project B6 in order to help fund more displays inside of Villa Park.

The Project B6 initiative began in March 2017 and has since raised thousands of pounds to create flags and banners in order to generate more of an atmosphere inside of the stadium on match day. We truly hope that with this donation match attendees will be able to both see and hear the difference that we have played a small part in creating.

With the remaining £650 we’re going to pay for around around a dozen underpriveledged families in the Birmingham area to attend a Villa home game.

I grew up in a single-parent family in a small Lincolnshire town that lived way below the breadline. My single passion in life ever since being a small boy was football and Aston Villa have always been my club.

My mother would skrimp and save so that she could take me to a game – a treat that happened once in a blue moon. The 200-mile round journey meant that it was a big day out for me and we’d often get to the gates early so that I could wave to the players as they came into the car park and made their way to the North Stand entrance.

The joy on my little face every time I entered The Holte in order to watch my heroes in action is something that I will be forever grateful to my mother for. And having spoken to everyone involved in Heart of the Holte it’s those memories we’re wishing to try and replicate for other hard-up families with the rest of our available funds.

I’d like to thank FansBet for facilitating this dream and all the Villa fans that have switched their betting allegiance to them since Heart of the Holte got on board. It has been a wonderful journey thus far and I really wish to take this opportunity to say that I hope others will follow suit now that they understand that it’s all about giving back to the best supporters in the land.

As well as sports betting FansBet also provide games such as Fantasy Football, both for the English Premier League and The Championship and if you’ve been on it from the get go this season you’d have already taken advantage of some of the free tickets to enter that we have advertised.

Back in October FansBet assembled a goody bag featuring £100 worth of official Aston Villa merchandise and allowed us to run a competition through our social channel in which a random follower of ours won all the prizes. Along with this they are seemingly always doing their own giveaways on their Twitter page and so they’re certainly worth a follow! (@fans_bet in case you were wondering…)

Watch me talk all about it in the video below.

I’m sure that we can all agree that the chosen causes are worthy and I, along with everyone at Heart of the Holte, cannot wait to be making memories.

FansBet work with a number of different fan partners like ourselves and have helped supporters clubs pay for away day travel, donated a large chunk of money to Shrewsbury Town to help towards to their safe standing and have given much needed sustenance to The Posh Supporters’ Trust scheme ‘Smile’ that rewards deserving people in the community match day tickets. Click here to find out more.

We’re hoping that this is the first of many ways in which our partnership can help the supporters of Aston Villa Football Club (along with all the competitions and giveaways that they currently provide for all us Villans).

If you’re wanting to join then visit FansBet.com or download the app. When signing up simply select Aston Villa as ‘Your club’ and Heart of the Holte from the secondary drop-down menu.

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