Liverpool set to sell naming rights to new stadium
Liverpool will sell off the naming rights to their new stadium at Stanley Park, the club's commercial director has revealed.
The stadium is not due to start being built until April, but Ian Ayre has admitted that he has already spoken with several companies over the possible branding of the new arena.
Liverpool are looking to raise new revenue streams and will seek a deal that tops the £100 million that Arsenal got for changing their stadium name to 'Emirates Stadium' and Ayre said: "Naming rights is now an accepted part of building any new footballing venue in the world. And as one of only a few global football brands, it would be crazy of us not to tap into that opportunity.
"It is an area that some of our competitors have dabbled - Arsenal for example - and it is an opportunity for us to step forward. But what is important again is to find the right partner, who offers the right cultural fit. Who knows who that would be for Liverpool, but we have had some interest certainly."
Having successfully agreed a deal with banking giant Standard Chartered to sponsor their shirts, Liverpool are now searching for new partners.
"Liverpool is a club which attracts partners like few others, simply because of its history, and the way it acts culturally,'' Ayre said. ''They are great things for any commercial brand to use around the world, to get their own message out there. I would say there will definitely be more partners in the future.
"In all honesty, it is easy to find a brand who will write you a big cheque in football but what is not as easy is finding somebody who genuinely fits together with you, and has similar aspirations in similar markets. We have found that [with Standard Chartered] and I am sure they will be an amazing sponsor for Liverpool Football Club - in fact, they already are."
However, the move has not gone down well with the Liverpool fans. Graham Agg, secretary of the German Reds official supporters' club, told the Daily Mail: ''The whole idea of leaving Anfield and knocking it down is the biggest act of self-destruction the club could ever consider.
''Can you imagine the Nou Camp or Bernabeu being bulldozed by Barcelona or Real Madrid, or Inter Milan leaving the San Siro? You're talking about football's cathedrals, and Anfield is one of them. There is too much heritage, history and tradition for it all to be thrown away.
''I just can't imagine going to somewhere like the Budweiser Stadium to support Liverpool, and I'm sure there are plenty who feel the same way.''