Aston Villa fan William reveals relegation worries at investiture

14 January 2020, 16:34

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Investitures at Buckingham Palace. Picture: PA

Among those honoured at Buckingham Palace was former Manchester United chief executive David Gill.

The Duke of Cambridge is concerned about the end-of-season prospects of his beloved football team, according to the former vice-chairman of the FA.

William is a known follower of Aston Villa, who are 18th in the Premier League with 21 points and facing a relegation battle.

The future king made the comments as he met ex-Manchester United chief executive David Gill, who was collecting a CBE at Buckingham Palace.

Mr Gill said: “I’ve been lucky enough to meet (William) a few times and talk about football, he was more worried about Aston Villa and how they’re going to finish this season.

Aston Villa v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship Play-off – Final – Wembley Stadium
The Duke of Cambridge (left) celebrates an Aston Villa goal at Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We had a nice chat about football, he’s a keen follower of it.”

William was photographed with his family at a Villa match last year.

The duke and duchess took Prince George, six, and Princess Charlotte, four, to Carrow Road, to see the Birmingham team beat Norwich City 5-1.

Mr Gill, who collected his award for services to football on Tuesday, also addressed fans’ concerns about controversial technology VAR.

He added: “VAR is with us, we’re not going to roll back, but I think there certainly can be improvements.

“We will learn from the mistakes this year, and make sure that in five years time we’re not talking about VAR, because I think that can be the case.”

Manchester City v Manchester United – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and former chief executive David Gill (Mike Egerton/PA)

The video assistant referee has been introduced into the Premier League but Mr Gill said the system will take a while to get used to.

He said: “Let’s not rush it, it’s a major change.

“When referees get trained from the start in VAR, the fans understand it more, the players, I think we can look forward to positivity with it”.

After several seasons of dominance from his cross-town rivals, Manchester City, the United fan said he was “confident with the resources and management” of his club, and called on them to fight to get back into the top spots.

He said: “City have set the bar, and Liverpool look like they’re going to set another bar.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world, its very competitive, its up to teams like my own, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Spurs to challenge and get back up there.”

William awarded accolades to a number of high profile figures, including former England cricket captain, Sir Andrew Strauss, and rapper M.I.A real name, Mathangi Arulpragasam.

The Paper Planes singer on Monday showed her support for Julian Assange, and said following his case was “just as important” as receiving her MBE.

Speaking outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, after a hearing for Assange who faces 18 charges, including conspiring to commit computer intrusion, she said: “I am off to get a medal at Buckingham Palace tomorrow (an MBE for services to music) and I think today is just as important.

“To give somebody an hour to put their case together is not right.”

By Press Association

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