Sell! Sell! Salutes - Aston Villa

Not because of their footballing prowess. Not because they'll be playing in the Intertoto Cup against a team from Eastern Europe whose name has too many vowels in it. And not because they're going to sell Gareth Barry to Liverpool.

But because they've decided to forego the filthy lucre of lucrative shirt sponsorship and wear a strip emblazoned with Acorns - a network of children hospices.

This story warmed the cockles of our hearts. In the era where football seems to be more and more about the money, it's great that a club is taking a stand and doing something truly positive. It's also smashing for a low profile children's charity like Acorns as they'll get invaluable exposure and awareness that will undoubtedly contribute massively to their fundraising efforts.

Football kits were changed forever in 1977 when Hibernian became the first club to wear shirts carrying sponsorship. As our picture shows, it was for the sports brand Bukta (now fashionable 31 years later only in Shoreditch). As you can see, Hibernian picked Rab C Nesbitt's drinking buddies to show off their revolutionary shirts. Those were the days.

Since then the world and his corporate wife have jumped on the shirt sponsorship bandwagon in a desperate attempt to connect with the man on the terraces and the man in front of his telly permanently tuned in to Sky Sports. Often with mixed results. Does anyone really drink Chang Beer? Have they spent all their cash sponsoring Everton instead of actually distributing the product in bars, restaurants and supermarkets where people might actually be tempted to buy it?

It was wonderfully refreshing to see Man Utd wear unsponsored shirts to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air disaster. Now there's a shirt you could wear with pride if you were a supporter. Shame it was only a one-off.

Wouldn't it be marvellous if all the other 19 Premiership clubs followed Aston Villa's lead and had a charity on the front of their shirts? I'm sure they'd make up the shortfall in cash from sales of dodgy pies, flat overpriced beer or bungs. Can't see it happening somehow...

1 comment:

  1. What can I say, leading the high moral ground in the premier league. Randolph knows what he is doing!


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