Villa ban OWN player from Carling Cup final for selling tickets on Facebook

04 February 2010 12:26
Caught out: Nathan Baker sold tickets for the Carling Cup final on Facebook

Aston Villa have banned one of their own players from the Carling Cup final after he was caught selling match tickets for the big game on Facebook.

England under-19 star Nathan Baker was selling the sought-after tickets on the social networking site for £200 each.

Baker, 18, was inundated with offers for the passes - which don't goon general sale until Monday - and stood to make £1,000 by selling hisfriends and family ticket allocation for the clash with ManchesterUnited on February 28.

Villa have been forced to discipline the young defender by removingthe tickets from him and banning him from attending the cup final clashat Wembley.

Baker, hailed as 'the new John Terry' by coaching staff at LeagueTwo Lincoln City where he is currently on loan, has had to make agrovelling apology to Villa fans.

Villa squad members are strictly forbidden from selling on tickets allocated to the first team for friends and family.

While it is thought Baker had not yet received the tickets he plannedto sell, posts on his Facebook page saw him turn down an offer of £500for all five of his tickets before securing £200 for each of them.

A spokesperson for the club said: 'The club is saddened that Nathan has been so foolish.

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'All of the players were made aware that tickets for the Carling Cup final are available for their own use only and, following this incident, the message has been repeated to them.

'It shouldn't be forgotten, however, that Nathan is just 18 years old and he has a lot to learn. His actions were naive and he is extremely embarrassed and regretful at having let down himself, the club and Aston Villa fans.'

The teenager said that he regretted selling the tickets online.

'I wish to apologise unreservedly to the fans for my actions,' he said.

'I appreciate it is a privilege to be part of Aston Villa Football Club and one day I hope to play in the first team, but I understand that my behaviour off the pitch must speak as loudly as my actions on the pitch.

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'I have been informed by the club that I will no longer be receiving any tickets for the Carling Cup final and, while I will be sorry not to be able to cheer Aston Villa on at Wembley, I understand and appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to have these tickets given my actions.'

Baker will not face any additional punishment, with a source at Villa Park saying the club has drawn a 'major distinction' between the teenager and the club's senior stars.

On the Aston Villa website Baker is described as 'an aggressive and positive central defender' who is 'highly regarded by the club's backroom staff'.

He made the bench for two early season European fixtures, and was on the club's pre-season tour of Switzerland last summer.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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