During the Fan Consultation Group Meeting, Christian Purslow mentioned a key thing that benefits both the Ladies and Youth sides at Aston Villa.
Words by Regan Foy | @FindFoy
During the Fan Consultation Group meeting, Christian Purslow was asked a wide range of questions, spanning across a number of topics including Financial Fair Play, upgrades to Villa Park, and more.
There was also talk surrounding the kit availability and sponsorship, where it was mentioned about the ‘primarily financial’ reasoning behind having W88 and BR88 as shirt sponsors.
This then moved on to a question surrounding sponsors for the Aston Villa Ladies and the Under 23 side, to which Christian Purslow responded:
“We are actively seeking sponsorship of our Ladies and children’s kit in what is a difficult market.”
The above quote seems to have been something a little overlooked since the notes were released, but provides exciting opportunities for both of the sides.
The Aston Villa Ladies played the entirety of last season without a shirt sponsor, as did the Under 23 side. For the Under 23’s, it’s not often that these side have sponsors – for example Southampton, who won the Play-Off Final in the youth division this season, also did not have a sponsor.
But for the Ladies, they were consistently facing sides last season who had sponsors adorning their shirts. For example, in the FA Cup Quarter Final against West Ham United, they were sharing the ‘Betway’ sponsor of their men’s side. This is the same for Leicester, who Villa also faced, who shared their ‘King Power’ sponsor with the men’s side – however this makes more sense due to the sponsor actually being a company that is connected to Leicester City’s owner.
There were also a number of games against Sheffield United Women, both as friendlies, in the cup and in the Women’s Championship. Sheffield United, however, have their own separate sponsor, away from their men’s side. Whilst Sheffield United are sponsored by ‘Ramsdens Currency’, Sheffield United Women are, or at least were last season, sponsored by ‘SteelPhalt’, a Rotherham based manufacturer of high-quality asphalt products.
There’s the argument that the Aston Villa Ladies could follow the direction of West Ham, and share the sponsor of the men’s side – yet it seems that Aston Villa genuinely want to keep their Ladies and Youth sides away from the tainted money of gambling.
But the real exciting prospect from Purslow’s quote, is that this offers money for both sides that could, and will hopefully be re-invested into them. Should Aston Villa Ladies manage to find a shirt sponsor for the season ahead, that’s money that can be pumped straight back into the Ladies’ side, potentially providing further professional opportunities for some of the girls, or at least providing further investment into their equipment.
The same could be done for the Under 23’s – however this doesn’t make as much of a statement seeing as the vast majority of these players are already paid for their time and often don’t have to work alongside their role as a footballer.
Hopefully Purslow can find investment for an Aston Villa Ladies shirt sponsor.