Manchester City showed their disdain for Major League Soccer and New York soccer fans with the announcement that Frank Lampard will stay with the Premier League side until the end of the English season.
The 36-year-old Lampard, signed for New York after being released by Chelsea last June but then joined the Premier League champions reportedly on a short-term deal.
His stay has now been extended to the summer, meaning Lampard will miss at least the first three months of the MLS season. Who knows what condition that Lampard will be in when he finally arrives in New York after a full season of Premier League action.
The announcement has not gone over well in New York with NYC FC fans group the Third Rail “publicly denouncing” the decision saying:
“Many fans, including our members, decided to support the team, committed to season tickets, and bought merchandise under the impression that Frank Lampard would be playing for New York City Football Club, not Manchester City.
“Many of those fans are rightly outraged by this decision, and we support any course of action they take to voice their discontent over this decision.”
“We reject out of hand any suggestion that NYCFC is in any way secondary to Manchester City FC, regardless of the source, and are disappointed that City Football Group would give such an appearance.”
Rafael Noboa y Rivera in a blog post on Hudson on the River went even further writing:
By extending Lampard’s loan, City Football Group are sacrificing New York City’s inaugural season — along with the goodwill of their fans — on an altar of uncertain short-term gain.
With this move, Lampard now becomes a pantomime villain for New York City fans; the Alex Rodriguez to David Villa’s Derek Jeter (an apt comparison in more ways than one, since the Yankees are part owners of NYC). If you thought the barracking David Beckham received for extending his Milan loan into late summer was intense, wait till you see the reception Lampard receives when he finally — if ever — shows up at Yankee Stadium. New York sports fans aren’t known for their cool detachment, with good reason.