'So devastated' - City fan speaks of sadness at BK8 controversy

Sarah Greaves, from the Norwich City supporters' group Canaries Trust

Sarah Greaves, from the Norwich City supporters' group Canaries Trust - Credit: Sarah Greaves

Monday was a day where I expected to feel sad - sad that a star player was leaving us without fully hearing the crowd roar his name or the fans seeing his brilliance and thanking him for all that he’d done.

I also expected today to be the day we’d welcome another betting firm as our main shirt sponsor - we’ve all been here before and even though it’s not ideal, and it’s a shame Aviva, Lotus or other brands associated with Norwich can’t support the club to the same level, so it’s a compromise I’m willing to accept as part of our self-sufficient model.  

Behind the scenes from the BK8 main sponsorship announcement at Norwich City, Carrow Road.

The Asian betting company have replaced Dafabet as the principal sponsor at Norwich City. - Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher

It wasn’t the day I expected to be hit with images I remember being associated with women in sport from the 1980s.

It wasn’t a day I expected to feel so devastated by how our family-friendly club is being perceived by its own fans - and others.

It wasn’t the day I would decide my teenage daughter would NEVER wear a Norwich City shirt branded with a firm which seems to set back female equality by a few generations and goes against everything I stand for personally.

It wasn’t the day where I felt the Canaries Trust women in football survey would need to be looked at again, so soon after the club committed to supporting the female fans who are already concerned about sexism in the stadium.  

It wasn’t meant to be that Monday - it was ‘just’ meant to be the Monday where we felt sad about Emi Buendia.

It wasn’t meant to be the Monday where I felt sickened by images on social media associated with my beloved football club.

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I am personally devastated about the images - whether they are from a third party, fake or rogue is irrelevant in my eyes, they are still associated with MY club.

It’s a sad day for us at Norwich City - it feels like a huge lack of foresight from a club which is adored by the local community and respected around the country for its family-friendly atmosphere.  

But ultimately I trust the club, I trust the direction we’re going in and ultimately I trust they will make this right. 

Sarah Greaves is a board member of the Norwich City supporters' group The Canaries Trust