Aston Villa are thought to be considering taking drastic action in a measure to counter any future similiar knock-on effects of selling striker Ally Samatta to Fenerbahce.
The two clubs reportedly agreed a fee of £5.5m for Samatta’s substantive transfer after an initial season-long loan deal, which could rise to a maximum of £6.2m with add-ons, during the four-year deal Fenerbahce have announced.
While the Tanzanian didn’t quite fulfil the striker breach caused by Wesley’s long-term injury, Samatta was the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League and score in it, and indeed also score in a Wembley cup final.
However, despite how the deal to Fenerbahce may have played out behind the scenes, Samatta perhaps deserved more of a send off publicly than the 16-word afterthought he received on the club’s website…
It seems the initial off-hand farewell has caused something of a backlash from the player’s hoards of Tanzanian fans, that had followed Villa on social media.
Villa had in the region of 916k Instagram followers before they sold Samatta, but since the news officially broke today of him leaving for Fenerbahce, the club have already lost fast approaching 30,000 Instagram followers, with their follower total now dropping to circa 888k at the time of writing.
It was this column three years ago that originally opened up the question of the practice of primarily signing players for their social media followers, when Ahmed Elmohamady brought in over a million Twitter followers, for the club to potentially harvest (not counting his other social media platforms).
Later, in came Mahmoud Trezeguet, who was on another level to Elmohamady in terms of his social media numbers. Trezeguet currently has over four times the amount of followers as the club on Instagram, with 4.6m followers (to add to his 1.9m Twitter followers).
The Egyptian is Villa’s social media king (Grealish has just 903k Instagram followers in comparison) and was a big signing in this respect for the club.
However, Samatta’s transfer out of the club has seen the alleged ‘transfer policy’ backfire badly. What if Villa’s Egyptian followers turn their backs on the club, if their favourite sons leave?
The Locust Effect
Such a mass exodus of social media followers, could see Villa’s social accounts stripped bare, as if attacked by a swarm of locusts – which ironically was one of the 10 deadly plagues of ancient Egypt, 320O B.C. in the biblical book of Exodus.
As a result, Villa, who became frighten of the ‘Samatta Effect’ happening on a larger scale, have apparently been in talks with both Elmohamady and Trezeguet’s agents to thrash out terms for renewed long-term contracts.
The same Twitter-based ITK source that first started the ‘Milot Rashica to Villa’ rumours and more recently, the ‘James Milner to Villa’ links, has claimed, Villa are supposedly very keen to meet the terms, to ensure the players stay at the club and keep Villa’s social media followings intact.
The ITK source also stated that unprecedented 10-year contracts are being discussed, with their pay mooted to double Grealish and Mings’ recent new contracts.
Villa CEO Christian Purslow was unable for comment, when A Venglos View contacted his office to confirm how these outlandish demands factor into Villa’s FFP position and current wage structure.
A Venglos View is a satirical (and sometimes surreal) look at the Villaverse…