30 May, 2008

Acorns on the Cob

According to rumours doing the rounds this week, Aston Villa are set to forgo the approximate windfall of £4million in shirt advertising next season, and instead use the space to promote Acorns children's charity. Just before Christmas last year, you might recall seeing several Villa players visiting the Acorns hospice in Birmingham to do some general bringing of cheer, and it seems that a strong relationship has been maintained ever since. Around £2million will be donated by the club to Acorns next year; a gesture which, in this cold and unethical world of football, is actually almost heart-warming.

The response from Villa fans has been understandably very positive and, praising the board and the management for side-stepping the usual minefield of shit travel companies and online gambling sites. This move also aligns the Midlands outfit with Catalan giants Barcelona, who themselves chose to join forces with a charitable organization this year, penning a five-year deal with child aid outfit Unicef. It’s a great precedent to set in this country, and let’s hope that certain clubs who definitely don’t need the sponsorship money (*cough* Chelsea *cough* Man United) will follow suit.

Of course there are nay-sayers though. Some fans are bemoaning the fact that, while it’s admirable to turn down sponsorship money, if it costs them players by being priced out of wage negotiations, then it’s the wrong move. STT would say in response that some things are bigger and more important than football, and in the long run, reducing sponsorship money throughout the game can only be a good thing. We do miss the old days of Holsten, JVC, Sharp and Crown Paints though.

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