When football fans take out adverts: QPR, Celtic, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Millwall & Bolton Wanderers
A group of Celtic supporters sparked debate this week with their full-page newspaper advert describing their Glasgow rivals Rangers as a new club. Here we take a look at five more times football fans have used local press ads to make themselves heard.
Manchester City fans and Roberto Mancini
Following his unceremonious departure as Manchester City boss, the popular Italian took out a full page ad in the Manchester Evening News thanking the fans for ‘three unforgettable years’. In reply, the City fans stumped up £7,000 for an ad in the Italian daily sport paper Gazetta Dello Sport. Aww, nice.
Aston Villa fans and Alex McLeish
After leading their fiercest rivals Birmingham City to the drop the season before, Alex McLeish was always going to have a hard time of it at Aston Villa. To make matters worse, Villa were flirting with relegation, so fans took to the back page of the Birmingham Mail to voice their discontent. The ad might have worked as the Villains stayed up on the last day of the season, but it wasn't long before McLeish was given his marching orders.
QPR fans and Mark Hughes
Sticking with discontented fans and unsuccessful managers, we head to QPR where the fans’ dissatisfaction with their old manager Mark Hughes ran so deep that even two years after his disastrous spell in charge they still had not forgotten. Upon the news that Hughes had taken up the manager’s position at Stoke they decided to take out ads at all the petrol stations around his new club's training ground thanking him ‘for nothing’.
Bolton fan and Phil Gartside
One particularly grateful Bolton Wanderers fan was so enamoured with the club's decision to remove the hugely unpopular payday lenders QuikQuid as shirt sponsor that he felt the need to take out a full page ad in the Bolton News. Whilst thanking Phil Gartside, the club’s chairman, the cheeky fan signed off with a simple request: "Ps. Please could you ask Eddie to buy us a 20 goal a season striker." Alas, they’re still waiting.
Celtic fans take out advert stating reasons why playing Rangers isn't an Old Firm game
This week, The Drum reported that Celtic fans had taken out an advert in the Sunday Herald ahead of facing Rangers in the Scottish Cup to outline the reasons why they viewed this as the first meeting of the two side since the Ibrox side was liquidated in 2012.
Millwall fans and Crystal Palace
Although not quite as famous a rivalry as Celtic and Rangers, there is certainly no love lost between London’s Millwall and Crystal Palace. Before Palace’s do-or-die Championship playoff final versus Watford at Wembley, Millwall supporters took to the local press to remind them that it wouldn't be long until they met again. That forecast was anything but prophetic with Palace remaining in the Premier League to this day and Millwall still languishing in the league below.