We’ll go into how supporters have been betrayed by the club and Fabian Delph’s big loyalty roadshow back in January later, but lets look at the latest shambles – the kit launch promotion.
Last night, after social media blew up with the news that Fabian Delph was off to Manchester City, Delph (and Christian Benteke) vanished from the kit promotion images the club was using on its social media headers, leaving a 19-year-old who’s made seven starts for the club to front the campaign.
The photography for the new kit was actually done over a week before the FA Cup final, so the likes of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph would have all obviously have had to participate.
In terms of Delph, if you’ve got a £8 million release clause in your contract, that would pretty much mean due to its low amount, he’d leave Villa before the 2015/16 season began. All top four teams would pay that to gain a decent squad player and all could at least double the player’s wages, so the chances of Delph putting on a Villa shirt this season were practically nil.
So to use him to front up a campaign doing the ‘big captain’ pose was just setting the club up for a fall. Delph had been presented to fans as the epitome of loyalty in an attempt to close the increasing divide between supporters and players. To do that when Delph was standing on such thin ice in terms of his actual commitment to the club is outrageous and nothing more than an insult to supporters.
While it hurt fans when Gareth Barry and James Milner previously followed the money trail up to Manchester City, they never did it after a big PR presentation of them affirming their ‘loyalty’ to the club and fans.
The club using Sherwood’s words ‘This is a Big Club’ in the kit launch promo material now presents nothing more than a hollow message. If the untried Sherwood turns out to be a good manager and has at decent success at Villa, he will soon be inching to leave a club run with such a small time charlie attitude.
In terms of the ever-increasingly priced replica kit, while we can’t tell you not to buy a new shirt, the time has certainly come for supporters to stop getting players names on the back of their shirts.
Loyalty doesn’t exist anymore (if Agbonlahor could score more goals, he’d have been off a long time ago!), the only people in football that are loyal are supporters, so put your own name on your shirt.
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