Date: 10th June 2008 at 8:21pm
Written by:

The announcement that Acorns Children’s Hospice are set to ‘sponsor’ Aston Villa for the 2008/09 season, should not be the end of the generosity as far as the charity is concerned.

It was quite poorly announced (articles in the wrong order) that Aston Villa F.C. would carry the Acorns name for the entirety of the 2008/009 Premier League season across their Nike shirts, in lieu of a commercial sponsor who were ignored/ not forthcoming, depending on what camp you sit your opinion within.

Regardless of just about any sceptic, from any corner, it is clear to see that the Aston Villa & Acorns deal, similar to that of the Barcelona paid sponsor of Unicef (they paid money to carry the logo) is ultimately a downright fantastic deal that the rest of the Premier League can learn from. Even the most hardy of Villa hater, in the form of any Coventry City supporter, let alone radio personality Jon Gaunt, has been complimentary of the deal done by as it appears, Villa chairman Randy Lerner.

So, what does the deal mean for ACORNS?

Well, as it appears, Aston Villa, for no fee either way, will be carrying the logo (adapted for club shirt purposes) of the Children’s Hospice for the upcoming EPL season. This will be coupled with club events, linked in with the already fantastic work done by Aston Villa, the management, chairmanship and players. The official club website has already shown images of supposedly want away captain, and replacement captain-in-waiting Gareth Barry & Martin Laursen respectively, visiting the unit and spending time with the children ultimately the main beneficiaries of the charity.

So just what do ACORNS do?

The answer, well for respite/emergency/end of life care, for the children & parents that need it, it’s a case of what don’t they do. There is no way that words from myself or any other of the Vital Villa team can possibly describe the hard work that is undertaken by a dedicate and downright superb staff. All I can say is just take in the “youtubed” video from Central News:

So, what can we do? Well, as suggested within the video, it costs £6million per year to keep Acorns running across the West Midlands. What is £6million? Well, in a football comparison, Stiliyan Petrov cost us £6.5million. For one Petrov, for one and a bit Harewood’s, for a Carson, a Wayne Routledge + £1-2million, as a club, they could have funded a children’s hospice for an entire year.

Well, in response, I would call for every Villa fan, to give up just £10 in lieu of spending that on Aston Villa, and in turn donate that money to Acorns Children’s Hospice. It doesn’t take a genius to work out, that if on opening day of the 2008/09 season, every single person through the Villa Park gates donated just £10, that would mean that ACORNS would benefit from over £400,000.

This would mean that every fan would perhaps have to give up that pre-match pint or two. Or maybe rather than buying a programme and a brew before the game, or after, you donate money to a charity. If you travel from Birmingham City Centre, why not walk and enjoy the sunshine, rather than undergo the somewhat rat-race-esque tribulation that is the Cross-City North rail services!

If every single Vital Villa member donated just £10, ACORNS would benefit from (as current member stats suggest) nearly £30,000 of tax-free income!

This is a call from myself, not just Vital Villa, for members, supporters of Aston Villa and more, to ignore the Nike shirt deal, ignore Martin O’Neill’s transfer dealings, and perhaps forgo that off-season pint or two, to donate to a charity that is clearly working hard to improve the life of many children & parents out there within the West Midlands.

As someone who experienced the hard work, determination and first class care undertaken by an adult hospice looking after a sick relative, I can only urge once again, that those of you reading this article donate money to Acorns Children’s Hospice.


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