Aston Villa - Villa Park The Budweiser Bowl!
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Villa Park The Budweiser Bowl!

Here we go again. An old story re-surfaces because someone at Radio WM doesn't spend the time getting their facts right.

I did an article a month back about the end of the soap opera Villa, in future any 'announcements' will be made via the club, not a newspaper article or radio show. No More Soap Opera Villa

Radio WM this morning made the shock announcement that Villa Park was going to be re-named.

BBC WM's sports reporter Dan Wheeler says: 'The chances of a local company being involved look remote. Ever since Randy Lerner replaced Doug Ellis as the Villa owner, speculation on what the American billionaire has planned for the club has been rife. Sources close to Mr Lerner have said the re-naming of Villa Park is on top of their agenda. What sort of company they're looking at is unclear but whoever wins the auction will be a firm 'of substance' with the necessary spending power. Reports of a figure of 120m have been dismissed but the deal could be worth tens of millions of pounds.'

So, just the old story with a new reported price.

The club have been quick to deny the report with a statement saying:

Aston Villa wish to make it clear that rumours surrounding the renaming of Villa Park are completely untrue. Reports this morning suggested the new Board was prepared to sell the re-naming rights of the stadium to the highest bidder, but there is no foundation to any such suggestion.

Phil Mepham told the official site: 'There is no truth to the rumour whatsoever. The board clearly has plans for the future but these, at all times, will preserve the history of Aston Villa Football Club. 'There are no discussions regarding the naming rights of the stadium and
any future commercial activity will retain the brand and tradition that has been synonymous with the club throughout three centuries.'

So, that is that then. Not sure about the 3 centuries though?

These stories are just speculation and it does no one any real good. At least now Villa are quicker at communicating and have shown today they will come out and deny such press reports. I truly believe the days of the leaks from Villa Park are over. When Randy Lerner and his merry men have something to say, they'll say it effectively and truthfully, until then lets not believe the hype!

Anyway, I'm not able to get to the Budweiser Bowl this weekend. WHOOPS!

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 20 2006

Time: 3:42PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
lol Budwieser Bowl! Love it Mr F.
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 15:53:00

From the forum (taken from Guardian)
The sale of naming rights has become an increasingly popular method of raising money for clubs in recent years, with Arsenal one of the most high-profile examples after they sold the Ashburton Grove naming rights to Emirates as part of a combined shirt and stadium sponsorship deal. It has been even more common in America, although Lerner's Cleveland Browns are one of very few NFL franchises not to have sold the naming rights to their home ground. The Browns have instead adopted a novel, though ultimately less lucrative, approach, by selling the naming rights to the stadium's four entrance gates.
The Fear
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 16:01:00

lol and the Doug Ellis stand will be re named the WASSSSSSSSSSSUPPPPPPPPP!!!! STAND OR THE 3 FROGS STAND
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 16:04:00

Why dont they leave football grounds names alone.
viking phil
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 16:09:00

Slightly off subject: any news about the commemorative share certificates for shareholders who've sold to RAL ?
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 16:48:00

viking phil, the sentiment is fine but the flip side of the coin is business logic. I myself am undecided on the right course of action. If the money generated meant we were watching Ronaldinho at Nike Villa Park that is quite a strong argument. Maybe we would prefer to watch Johhny No Mark at Villa Park. In an ideal world we will attract the best players to Villa Park, but is that likely to happen without a massive change in how we generate revenue? Maybe the other way at looking at it is this .... how would you feel if you had a friend who supported the dildo sales men from small heath say to you that he was looking forward watching Raul, Ronadinho, Kaka etc at the Budweiser Birmingham Bowl tomorrow? Would you laugh at him and say your ground is not called Sty Andrews any more nah nah nah nah nah. We would probably think, why are they playing for that rabble and not us?? If it was because they took the plunge and sold the name of the ground who are we to argue. Arsenal have took the plunge. It looks like Liverpool will go down that route as well, and I would suggest that Anfield and the Kop are at least the equal of Villa Park and The Holte. Bolton and Middlesborgh have also been there. I am not saying it is right, but maybe we have to look at what we want as supporters. A great team at the Nike Villa Park or also rans at Villa Park. We are not generating the attendance money that the London clubs are. We are not delivering the fan base that clubs in the North West and North East are. Tomorrow is a great example. We are unbeaten, great manager and great chairman, Paul McGrath is coming to the game, discounted ticket prices and the club are expecting a crowd of just 33,000. Maybe those that are opposed to renaming Villa Park can suggest ideas on how we can compete financially with other clubs? It would be wrong to say if we do not sell the name of the ground the club will struggle to compete. However times are changing and only those people brave enougth to make tough decisions will succeed. Clubs attempting to stand still will invariably fall behind. Tough call.
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 17:12:00

Last time I looked Villa were still in business. That would cover this century (2000+), last century (1900+) and the previous century (from 1874 I believe). That relates to the comment "through three centuries". Come on Mr Fear, get with the programme.
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 17:24:00

Lets move with the times, will always be GODS LITTLE ACRE to me!!!
silkie villain
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 17:35:00

yeah, just sounds like we've been going three centuries, not going in three centuries, what programme, teletubbies is on in it a bit isn't it?!
Great post utv-sotc by the way.
The Fear
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 17:49:00

think you are right silkie and utv, we've got to move with the times, we will surely have to be open to new ideas from these guys if we want (and surely we do) to be once again competing in Europe. not saying they should change the name of the stand etc, but we have to at least show them the respect to listen to plans before saying no. That said, we are straying from the point because they aren't talking about doing it anyway, at the moment it is press talk only!
The Fear
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 18:27:00

Sooner or later the re-naming of Villa Park will surely have to happen. No complaints from me when it does. It just makes financial sense.
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 21:47:00

I can't see that it is a bad thing if it generates more revenue for the club, and somthing trivial like the name of a ground clearly has some potential of generating a significant income! Even if the name of the ground was changed all of the fans will still refer to it as Villa park, i can't see how such an opportunity can be wasted (as long as the sponsor isn't someone like pampers!). The Villa statement reads "throughout three centuries", which is refering to each of the centuries the club has been in existance 19th, 20th & 21st, it isn't saying that the club is 300 years old!
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 21:59:00

The club may not be 300 years old, but it used to feel like the chairman was. Lets not look backwards but be open to all new ideas, we don't have to try everything but we should at least concider all options. Perhaps those that are afraid of change would like Doug back, I'm sure he'd come if you asked him and could help him to raise the funds, but in which case, please just do a Barry Fry and sod off to Peterborough. (or somewhere equally non-descript and unimportant)
Villain Of The North
Report Abuse
20/10/2006 22:17:00

.... how would you feel if you had a friend who supported the dildo sales men from small heath say to you that he was looking forward watching Raul, Ronadinho, Kaka etc at the Budweiser Birmingham Bowl tomorrow? utv-sotc That convinced me .
chris the villan
Report Abuse
21/10/2006 00:05:00

We need to move with the times. I'll be slightly sad to see Villa Park renamed, it was the first footie stadium I went to as a teenager and it'll always be Villa Park for me and most of us. But as long as it doesn't get renamed The Long Island Iced Tea Arena or something pants like that I won't mind, provided we get the benefits (more money, higher profile). The stuck in the past, head in the sand nightmare that was DD's "reign" (golden shower more like) was what brought us almost to the brink of destruction. Have faith in the new blood, people - they can take us back to where we belong.
Report Abuse
21/10/2006 04:11:00

If theres a huge outcry from the traditionalists who insist that it remain Villa Park, lets sell the naming rights to the various stands, refreshment areas, stadium entrances, restaurants whatever.
Report Abuse
28/03/2007 18:58:00


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