Gareth Barry, the former Aston Villa midfielder who signed for Manchester City yesterday, has wriiten an apology to fans at his former club, explaining his reasons for joining the Sky Blues, which will be published in full in the Birmingham Mail this evening.
I, however, have managed to obtain excerpts of the 700-word letter, and they are published below.
Some of the identities have been changed, and Barry's words are spoken by an actor.
"I have written this letter as an apology to Aston Villa and its fans as a great big "Sorry" for my disgraceful behaviour towards my former employer, and the legions of supporters who gave me their backing through thick-and-thin, especially last summer, when my on-off transfer to Liverpool was becoming a farce.
"I always enjoyed playing at Villa Park, and taking my £70,000-a-week salary, knowing, all the time, that I didn't want to stay there in the long-term, because I fully believe, in my deranged way, that Manchester City and clubs like them are far, far more likely to qualify for European competition, and to win trophies - and in any case, will pay me far more - than Villa would have done.
"Once I had spoken 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 and pay me more. 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 in paying me more, something that cannot be said for Villa, who could not expect to pay me as much, despite traditionally being a much bigger club.
"To reiterate, and to make things crystal clear for Villa fans, although Aston Villa are a bigger club, Manchester City have promised to pay me much more money, and being motivated by cash, I felt a move to Eastlands would bring me closer to achieving my ambition of being as rich as possible when I retired from the game, which is coming ever nearer.
Before the letter's publication, the England midfielder said he joined City because their ambition matched his own, telling the City website: "I'm delighted to be joining City. It didn't take much persuasion from Mark Hughes, they are heading in the direction I want to go, and will pay me much more.
"There is great potential here at Manchester City, and I'm absolutely sure that there will be a few more increments to my salary this summer."
© Birmingham Mail 2009
Not really, by the way.
© Monkey Woods