Manchester Council Agree to Naming Rights Sale of City’s Stadium

March 15, 2011

According to media reports English Premier League soccer club Manchester City has been granted permission by the City’s council, to look for a multi-million pound deal to sell the naming rights of the stadium.

The Blues required the go-ahead from the council, which owns the former Commonwealth Games stadium, to rename Eastlands.

The club can now look for a new title sponsor of the venue, which is still officially named the City of Manchester Stadium, in a deal that would boost revenues as they struggle to meet UEFA’s new financial fair play rules. 

With City posting a loss of £121m (US$193.75m) last year, the new rules in place state that clubs playing in Europe must be close to breaking even within three years.

If the naming rights can be sold for big money than the club may well come close to achieving the required feat. A recent example saw league rivals Arsenal sell the rights to its stadium to the Emirates airline for around £100m ($161m) in 2006, in a deal running until 2021. 

City signed a 250-year lease on their current stadium, after moving from it’s previous home at Maine Road to Eastlands in 2003, which sees the club pay a set rate to the council, regardless of attendances. 

According to media reports, no deal has yet been made, but shirt sponsor Etihad Airways is expected to be amongst the front runners.