Midland club's will not sell ground names for sponsorship

The famous names of Villa Park, St Andrew’s and The Hawthorns will not be changed to cash in on sponsorship deals, reports the Birmingham Mail.

Amid anger in the North-East over Newcastle United’s plan to sell off the naming rights to St James’ Park, Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion all said they would not follow suit.

However, the idea received a better reception at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A Wolves spokesman said Molineux chairman Steve Morgan was on record as being “open-minded” to the possibility of adding a sponsor’s name.

“There are different flavours and extents to naming rights,” he said.

“Naming rights don’t automatically mean the original name of the stadium is subjugated.”

League One Walsall already have a sponsorship deal for the ground, which is now known as the Banks’s Stadium. Elsewhere, a West Brom spokesman said the club’s board had “never considered” selling off naming rights. “The Hawthorns has been the name for almost 110 years and we are very proud of it,” he said.

Villa’s head of public relations, Brian Doogan, said: “I don’t think it’s something that’s been considered in the past and I don’t think it’s an issue at Aston Villa.”

A Blues spokesman said new owner Carson Yeung and his team would not have even contemplated renaming St Andrew’s at such an early stage. He added: “It’s probably not something they have yet discussed, given that they have only just taken over.

“I’m sure they have many other priorities.”

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