Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday November 15 2006
Contrary to reports, Villa Park is not being re-named. My name however is up for changing if I'm offered enough. Tag Heuer Fear has a certain ring I think.
The Daily Mail are today reporting that Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner is looking to sell the naming rights of Villa Park.
Obviously this isn't a new story, this has broken several times and the last time Radio WM led with it the club issued an immediate and emphatic denial.
Today's report says Randy has spoken with Envision chief Jeff Knapple to look into the potential for such a deal. Envision are a media group affiliated to the Wasserman Group, who bought out European sports agency SFX on Tuesday, which represents players such as Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard. It also helped Arsenal strike its £100 million deal with Emirates.
It is of no use me having a few contacts without using them and I was told by - hey I'm going to go all pressy and say - 'a source close to Randy Lerner' that this is not an option and will not be happening.
He also questioned why, after the club statement denying such moves, that the story has come up again adding there is a president with Randy's NFL club whose stadium is named The Cleveland Browns Stadium. I believe this one of the only, if not the only, stadium not to be named after sponsors.
So basically this isn't going to happen.
It may well the case that people have been consulted at places like Envision, surely that would only be to the good of Villa? Do we not want all options explored and money generated? We all have to listen and consider new ideas in my ever so humble opinion, but not this one as it isn't happening!
I have to admit I wouldn't be that concerned myself, I would never be going to the Budweiser Bowl, I'd always be going to Villa Park no matter what it was called. This is just a non issue though. What we should surely expect though is top sponsors being attracted and our brand re-established as one of the elite in European football. Anyone going to complain at that?
Our latest poll asks your opinion on the re-naming issue.
Date:Wednesday November 15 2006
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