It’s always nice to report something heart-warming on COS, away from all the usual transfer speculation and sniping between clubs, managers and players. The Times reports that Aston Villa have made a tremendous gesture by forsaking any shirt sponsorship next season and instead having ‘Acorns’ emblazoned across the claret and blue, which is the name of a local children’s hospice.
This move echoes that of Barcelona, who are currently two years into a five-year deal with Unicef, and the Midlands club will forsake around £2million in potential revenue by adorning the Acorns name. It would be great to see other clubs follow suit, especially with the game awash with millions these days.
Martin O’Neill, the manager, and Gareth Barry, the captain, have played integral roles in extending an informal relationship with Acorns into a partnership aimed at raising the profile of the Children’s Hospice Trust, which caters for 600 children suffering from serious illnesses.
“I am very proud to be associated with such an initiative,” O’Neill said. “We hopefully can provide over the next 12 months the platform that Acorns clearly deserves. Myself and the players are looking forward to working with them very closely to maximise everything Acorns can possibly get out of it.”
Brilliant stuff from Villa, who will become a lot of people’s second team as a result of this. It’s hard to imagine a club like Chelsea adopting this stance, depsite throwing millions at managers from the past, present and future.