With the redevelopment of Liverpool’s historic Anfield home pushing ahead, their American owners may look to offset some of the cash spent on the renovations by selling naming rights.
After a lengthy process, Liverpool were finally granted permission to expand Anfield to just under 60,000 with more seats added to the Main Stand and Anfield Road stand, plus the entire 130-year-old stadium getting a major facelift. Their is still a small matter of a six-week consultation period with local residents but Liverpool City Council has fully backed the project which is due to begin in 2015 and be finished by the start of the 2016-17 season.
Liverpool are now mulling over the idea of selling the naming rights to the Main Stand, which will be the centerpiece of the new development.
Here’s what Billy Hogan of Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owners, told the Liverpool Echo.
“The new main stand is going to be a big focus for all of us. The process is still ongoing. We’re getting closer to certainty but we’re not there yet,” Hogan said. “When that certainty arrives, from a commercial standpoint we’ll be ready to get to work on that. We wouldn’t consider selling naming rights for the stadium as a whole but in terms of the name of the main stand that’s something we will look at. We’ll be looking to bring in a number of new partners. A naming partnership for the stand would make sense.”
This statement from the clubs new chief commercial officer make a whole bunch of sense for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it will help finance the $120 million expansion of the stadium. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it could help Liverpool’s plight as they are currently under investigation from UEFA under the new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. With as much revenue needed from sponsorship deals and outside sources as possible to balance the books, selling the naming rights for the Main Stand seems like the way to go.
Liverpool’s owners are extremely conscious about the history of the club and will not want to sell the naming rights to the entire stadium. This is a smart move by the Reds.