Occasionally we get a moment in football that unites all the fans, and Birmingham’s decision to retire a shirt number after a player has worn it for one season is the perfect example:
Forever our #22.
Good luck at @BVB, Jude! ?
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) July 23, 2020
It’s absolutely nothing against Bellingham, he’s a phenomenal young talent who’s earned a move to a massive European club, but the decision has rightly been mocked by many on Twitter all afternoon.
It even looks like Scottish Premiership side Hibs have started to join in, although there are a couple of things that need addressing with their effort:
Hibernian FC can confirm we have now abandoned plans to retire Joe Newell’s number 11 shirt. https://t.co/lv1vrdI9mG
— Hibernian FC (@HibernianFC) July 23, 2020
Firstly there’s no real sign of any friendship or connection between Hibs and Birmingham, but their Twitter account has been getting a bit adventurous in recent days so it’s no surprise to see them leaping on this.
The biggest issue is the immediate future of Joe Newell, who replied fairly quickly to point out that this was an awful way to find out he was being released:
Lol.. bit of a strange way of telling me I’m released, gaffer was sound with me earlier aswell ?
— Joe Newell (@joe_newell93) July 23, 2020
Having some fun and interaction on Twitter is an easy way for clubs to keep the fans happy and gain some easy PR points, and this is all fine as long as Newell isn’t mysteriously released in the next few days.