Footballers' open letters: where have they all come from? Hatem ben Arfa is just the latest to pay his gratitude to Newcastle fans, even though he has only left on loan.
"To the Toon Army, I want to pass on my thanks to all the fans that supported me during my time at the club and living in a city that will be forever in my heart," the new Hull City man's ghostwriter wrote.
"Thank you also to everyone at NUFC and to Hull for making this loan happen. I wish Newcastle the best of luck. I hope they have a good season.
"Howay the lads."
— Hull City Official (@HullCity) September 1, 2014
Ben Arfa joined Newcastle in 2010 and has played 86 games for the Magpies, scoring 14 goals. Ángel di María spent the same amount of time in Madrid and was compelled to express his thanks, too. Pepe Reina penned two to Liverpool's followers. Lewis Holtby recorded a video message to Spurs fans when he was loaned to Fulham. It's just getting out of hand.
It also sullies the importance of an open letter. Martin Luther King's from a Birmingham jail in 1963 made for essential reading during the civil rights movement in the United States, but what is significant about a footballer bidding farewell?
Deadline day was so hectic for departing players that, fortunately, hardly any of them bothered to pen an open letter. Everyone apart from Álvaro Negredo, who spent just one year in Manchester. "The Beast" enjoyed enviable support from City fans despite not scoring in the final four months of the season, however.
What started the trend? Maybe when Manchester City supporters took out a full page advert in an Italian newspaper to thank Roberto Mancini for bringing trophies to a club starved of success for 35 years last year. They might have regretted it had Manchester United offered him the manager's role after his phone call to Ed Woodward in April.
Supporters, writers and bloggers have inked open letters to players, managers, chief executives and the like, too. Just stop it, all of you.Suggest a correction