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Aston Villa and Red Bull: Energized!

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Could Aston Villa be about to get a boost of energy from heart attack accelerator and beverage giants Red Bull?

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There have been rumblings that Red Bull GmbH, a company which has already vomited its distinctive brand all over numerous football clubs worldwide including Red Bull New York, would be interested in taking over a Premier League club. Of course this would be huge for Red Bull. They'd have their logo and name seen all over what is arguably the world's most popular domestic football league every week.

Certainly they would provide the club they took over with considerable spending money and thus the ability to field a very competitive team. It'd be in Red Bull's best interest, if they're using the club as a marketing tool, to get into the highest profile competition there is - that being the Champions League.

Enter Aston Villa. How many clubs would fit the profile of a club Red Bull would hope to takeover? As palpitating it is to think about it, Aston Villa would be one of the more ideal fits out of the clubs that fit Red Bull's desires. That's not to suggest Randy Lerner is looking to sell - but Aston Villa are a perennial top flight club who clearly would benefit from the kind of cash injection Red Bull could supply. They also have a large fan base and aren't currently owned by oil money.

Fortunately no Villa fan is foolish enough to think that Red Bull wouldn't come in and change the face of the club from top to bottom. At the very least you'd be looking at Red Bull Stadium at Villa Park. If that doesn't bother you, fine. It probably shouldn't. What about the eradication of claret and blue? What about the iconic home kit turning into this? How does Red Bull Birmingham sound to you?

Red Bull currently has their grubby, can-grabbers clenched around four football clubs worldwide and they all wear the same basic kit and have the same colors. They all have the same naming convention. The same badge. They are cookie cutter advertising vehicles for a drink best associated with late night frat parties and sleepy truck drivers.

To suggest that they wouldn't devour what you love about Aston Villa FC is naive at best. When Red Bull took over FC Salzburg. a top flight club in the Austrian Bundesliga, the supporters had begged them to keep some of the tradition including the violet and white colors they were known for. The supporters were ignored. Corporate synergy and branding come first. Naturally, the fans formed a new club with their old traditions and started at the bottom of the Austrian football system. They're still working their way back to the top flight eight years later.

I imagine some fans stuck with the newly branded Red Bull Salzburg and good for them. Should something like this occur in Birmingham you'll have to ask yourself what's more important to you: tradition or silverware? And keep in mind a Red Bull takeover guarantees absolutely nothing. Energy drink money isn't couch cushion chump change but it's also not oil money.

As far fetched as it may seem it's worth asking yourself what you would do. This isn't the same thing as a team like the Vancouver Canucks changing their jerseys and colors every five years. This would be a complete rebranding. Speaking for myself here; I prefer coffee.

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