Dear Aston Villa fans! Barry comes clean about Manchester City move in open letter to supporters
04 June 2009 12:52
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Gareth Barry attempted a novel way to appease angry Aston Villa fans yesterday by writing an open letter to a local paper to explain his reasons for leaving the club for Manchester City.
But City's new £12million signing still found himself under attack from supporters who feel he has quit for the lure of a deal worth£130,000 a week.
Fans scrawled the image of sheik dress on to a poster of Barry at Villa Park yesterday daubing the words 'Traitor' and 'Judas' across the top.
Another picture of Barry celebrating a goal has: 'Show Me The Money' written inside a cartoon speech bubble.
One of those responsible for the posters, Ben Redding, 24, from Lichfield, said: 'It's a disgrace how he has turned his back on the football club that made him the England regular he is today. When I saw that Man City were interested I didn't think too much of it because he's always said he wanted to play in the Champions League.
'It looks like Barry was lying to us all along and that he was purely driven by the money. I think he has let down the fans.'
Aware that he would be criticised, former Villa captain Barry wrote to the Birmingham Evening Mail yesterday.
Part of his note read: 'A lot of people will question my decision to go to Manchester City. But they were the club prepared to meet the valuation which, for a 28-year-old with a year left on his contract, I think shows how much they wanted me.
'I have honestly been undecided what to do. The manager and the club have bent over backwards to persuade me to stay and made me a fantastic offer.
'But after changing my mind lots of times I came to the decision that the time was right for me and for the club to part company.
'I need a new challenge. I have a massive fear of going stale and falling into a comfort zone.
'I believe the deal is a good one for the club.
'I am sure the manager will use the money well to strengthen the team and go from strength to strength.'
'My one huge regret is that during my time at this club we have not brought the fans the success they deserve and I obviously have to take my share of responsibility that we have not been good enough to win trophies.
'I feel the club is in the best position it has been in during my time here. I think we have a group of very good young players, we have a fantastic chairman who is here for the good of the club, and one of the best managers in the game.'
'Obviously people will ask why I am leaving if I feel like that. I have honestly been very undecided what to do.
'Once I had spoke to Mark Hughes, there was nowhere else I wanted to go, I was also desperate to avoid any long drawn-out saga. I feel I am joining a club that will seriously challenge to win major honours.
'People might doubt that, but I am convinced with the plans the club has short term and long term, and the backing the manager will receive from the owners, that we will be a major force.
'Also the World Cup has always been a major part of my thinking and I feel at Man City I will get the chance to play regularly in my best position and play a big part in a successful side.
'Time will tell if I am right or not, but those are my reasons.
'I have grown bored of all the speculation surrounding me over the last 12 months and I am sure all the fans have as well. I am glad I never left last summer because I would have left under a huge cloud. This year I feel things are different.
'I haven't used an agent. I have discussed things with my best friend but ultimately made my own choices and I think the situation has been handled properly by everybody involved and once again I have to thank the manager and the club for that.
'I genuinely wish the club all the best for the future, and want to thank everyone who has helped and supported me in my time here.
For the rest of my life, Aston Villa will be the first result I look for.'