Chelsea are preparing to sell the naming rights for Stamford Bridge despite anger on Tyneside after Newcastle revealed that St James' Park will be called [email protected] James' Park until the end of the season. Chelsea's new chief executive Ron Gourlay has unveiled a similar plan, reports the Daily Mail.
Gourlay, who took the reins from Peter Kenyon this week, said: "We understand that this is a sensitive issue for our fans and that is why we would keep the name Stamford Bridge in any deal.
"What we are not prepared to happen, and I am sure our fans will appreciate this, is allow our rival clubs in England and Europe to gain a competitive advantage over us in terms of the revenue they can generate through either expanding the capacity of their existing stadia or moving to a new stadium and then invest that upside in their team or the club.
"Those possibilities are not open to Chelsea for the foreseeable future because of the restrictions in expanding our stadium and the issues around finding a new site, so that means we have to be creative and look at our sponsorship architecture and see if we can create new value and new opportunities that keeps us competitive.
"Retaining the heritage of the stadium is paramount to considering such a move but we think that is achievable and on that basis we would enter into discussions over naming rights with the right partner for Chelsea."