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Tottenham join Chelsea in Stadium naming rights chase

Tottenham Hotspur and London arch-rivals Chelsea have both revealed plans to tap the sponsorship market by putting their stadium naming rights up for grabs, reports Reuters. "It's suddenly now two (Premier League) clubs in London looking for naming-rights partners and potential sponsors have got a choice. They've got two very different propositions," said Tottenham's executive director Paul Barber.

Chelsea's new chief executive Ron Gourlay said on Thursday his club were also considering selling naming rights to Stamford Bridge if the present ground name was part of the new one.

"In the UK, with the exception of (Arsenal's) Emirates and one or two smaller projects it's pretty unusual," said Barber. "Chelsea's announcement has created a lot more interest."

Tottenham's North London rivals moved from Highbury to their 60,355-seat Emirates Stadium in 2006, at a cost of £390 million pounds. Spurs hope a new stadium will at last help them compete on and off the pitch.

"Not every stadium in the UK is as famous as White Hart Lane or Stamford Bridge. But it (selling the name) will become more common and will be an increasing source of income. There are only so many ways you can drive new revenue."

"The great thing the Premier League gives you is the enormous exposure week after week-an audience across the world of billions of people which is a phenomenal platform for any brand," Barber said at the Spurs training ground.

"One of the reasons we've spent a lot of time in the Middle East and Far East is there are so many brands emerging… not as famous as perhaps their competitors in Europe and the States but looking for ways of making themselves famous very quickly.

"Premier league football-whether you are a shirt sponsor or a stadium sponsor-gives you that opportunity."

Chelsea's Gourlay was clearly thinking about competition from ambitious teams like Spurs and Arsenal.

"What we're not prepared to happen… is allow 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," he said.

"We cannot sell any more tickets to Chelsea fans as we sell out virtually every match within our limited capacity….we need to keep evolving and move the business forward to support the football side and the club generally.

"This is a potentially realistic way of doing that".

Tottenham's Barber may have welcomed Chelsea's entry into the naming-rights market but he drew a sharp distinction between what the two clubs can offer and how much it will cost.

"They've got an old, established stadium… We've got a very different, brand new state-of-the art… stadium planned which will have no history or heritage attached to it.

"Most people would probably accept that we would be looking for a premium for a brand new stadium with no name on it."

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