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Lerner Set On Destroying Villa Park's Name?

villa park Lerner Set On Destroying Villa Park's Name?The love affair with American Randy Lerner and his acquisition of Aston Villa is about to end. This morning, the BBC announced that Lerner is seeking a sponsor to have the naming rights to one of the most historic stadiums in English football: Villa Park.

However, Aston Villa strongly deny the story, but the BBC says the denial contradicts what they’ve been told.

While naming is common practice in the U.S., it’s less prevalent (until recently) in England. More importantly, no historic top flight stadium in England has a sponsors named adorned to it. Arsenal would have never dared to rename Highbury as the Emirates Stadium, so their move to Ashburton Grove made the naming rights decision much easier.

Bolton play at the Reebok Stadium, but they only moved into it in 1997 (from Burnden Park). So the Reebok is far from being a historic stadium. Villa Park, which has long been one of the finest stadiums in England, was opened in 1897.

While Doug Ellis was far from being a saint, the one thing he wouldn’t dare do is sell the naming rights to Villa Park. The decision by Lerner is a poor one, and you have to wonder whether his advisers or board members tried to debate this thorny topic. Sure, it’ll raise much needed funds for Aston Villa, but it’s the wrong decision for one of the most historic clubs in England.

Let’s see what happens and whether the story ends up being true or not.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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One Response to Lerner Set On Destroying Villa Park's Name?

  1. Villan says:

    Well, that story was a load of old crap, now wasn't it?

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