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City sell naming rights, Liverpool to follow?

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City sell naming rights, Liverpool to follow?

Post  1892NUFF on Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:54 pm

Manchester City announced a hugely lucrative naming rights deal with Etihad Airways which will see their City of Manchester Stadium immediately renamed the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's principal owner John Henry has admitted their preferred option of redeveloping Anfield may not be possible as there are "so many obstacles," with naming rights again believed to be a big issue.

City's deal is worth a reported £150 million spread over the next 10 years, and will give the club a major revenue boost.

Etihad, the club's major sponsor, is the national airline of Abu Dhabi and is a major coup for the club's wealthy Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Abu Dhabi carrier already have their name emblazoned on the City shirt and it appears that link will now get even stronger.

At a news conference at the stadium, the club also unveiled their own team jet, an Airbus A-330 in the team's sky blue colours with their name and badge emblazoned on the sides.

At Liverpool the situation is less clear-cut. When Fenway Sports Group took control of the club last October they set about reassessing whether Liverpool could remain at a redeveloped Anfield - as their baseball franchise the Boston Red Sox had done at their historical home of Fenway Park.

But Henry has accepted there are a number of difficulties associated with revamping Anfield into a 60,000-plus capacity arena, and he wrote on Twitter: "Anfield would certainly be our first choice. But realities may dictate otherwise. So many obstacles..."

A report in the Daily Mirror claims that Liverpool would sell the naming rights to their new stadium to finance any deal.

However, the club have distanced themselves from reports which suggested they were already resigned to building a new ground.

"The club's position on the stadium issue remains unaltered and no decision has been made," said a spokesman.

"We are continuing to examine both the options - the refurbishment of Anfield and the new stadium in Stanley Park.

"A huge amount of work on that is ongoing and an announcement will be made in due course."

Moving to Stanley Park would overcome many of the restrictions the club currently have to work with at Anfield as a new purpose-built stadium could provide the increased seating and hospitality opportunities required to boost matchday revenue.

And, having seen Manchester City follow the likes of Arsenal in securing a multi-million pound naming rights deal for their ground, a similar route for the Reds would help offset some of the estimated £300million building costs.

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