Liverpool F.C. Wants £240M for Naming Rights to Stanley Park ... Or Does It?

Last Updated Sep 22, 2009 3:02 PM EDT

Even as Liverpool F.C. owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks pursue a £240 sponsorship for naming rights to the club's planned new stadium, fans urged the pair to exit the club.

Fans dislike the debt Hicks and Gillett have laden on the club. The owners went some way to proving their management chops last week when they announced a new £81 million sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered -- more than the double the club's previous deal with Carlsberg, under the old owners.

But that -- and the report in the News of the World that Hicks and Gillett want another £20 million a year over 12 years for naming rights to the new Anfield in Stanley Park -- has not mollified critics, who still want the pair out.

The proposed Stanley Park sponsor slot is somewhat murky. Reading between the lines of the NOTW story, it may not even exist. The NOTW said:

LIVERPOOL are pursuing a £240million naming rights deal to finally kickstart their troubled move to Stanley Park.
But that report is unsourced, and seems to be a mixture of a recent Canadian Press report and the NOTW's own comparison with two American teams. The CP:
Hicks says the new stadium will attract global interest in naming rights and help the Reds in their rivalry with Manchester United, which beat them to the Premier League title by four points last year to match their record haul of 18 English championships.
The New York Mets baseball team and New Jersey Nets Basketball side currently claim the most lucrative naming rights deals.
They both secured a 20-year contract with Citi Group and Barclays worth £240m respectively.
Hicks gave this breakout of Liverpool's current expected sponsor revenue:
The total sponsorship contracts should probably bring in 25, 26 million pounds (US$42 million) of incremental revenue a year. It's a huge development for the club. It's not just the 21 million pounds (US$34 million) that we will develop from the new sponsorship agreement with Standard Chartered because we will have an additional two or three million pounds for the Infinity part of the deal."
Fans won't be happy. The "Anfield" name is a legend. Liverpool's history with Stanley Park goes back to the 1870s. So the idea of seeing the Reds emerge into "the Prudential Stadium" (the Pru was a failed contender to replace Carlsberg) will feel like a betrayal of history.

Indeed, the protests have already begun. BNET's previous coverage of football advertising: