Frank Lampard is yet to kick a ball in anger for New York City FC but the former Chelsea midfielder has already managed to rile the fan base of MLS' newest team.
Today it was announced that Lampard will remain with NYCFC's parent club Manchester City for the remainder of the 2014-15 season, rather than heading to the United States this January as expected when the short term deal was initially sanctioned.
With kick off for the 2015 MLS season only weeks away the development has infuriated fans of the New York side and one prominent supporters club has voiced their discontent in an official statement.
Third Rail, an independent supporters group, made their feelings on the subject clear:
"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," the statement continued.
New York City FC themselves failed to place a specific date on Lampard's eventual arrival in the Big Apple stating that an "exact starting date" would only be announced "as the EPL and MLS seasons unfold."
With Manchester City playing such a prominent role in the ownership of NYCFC (they are part owners alongside baseball giants the New York Yankees) the Frank Lampard deal certainly does little to suggest that the MLS franchise are on equal footing. A fact Third Rail hinted at in their message to those involved.
"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."
Lampard's continued good form in both the EPL and Champions League has surprised many. Scoring six goals in 17 appearances for City the former England star has developed into an integral part of Manuel Pellegrini's squad.
While City fans may be happy to hear they have managed to keep hold of the veteran for a few more months, Lampard's decision to stick around means he can expect a frosty reception when he does eventually link up with NYCFC.
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