Manchester City Stadium Naming Rights to be Worth in Excess of £10 Million a Year
In a significant attempt to fall in line with the UEFA Financial Fair-Pay (FFP) rule, Manchester City are all set to strike a deal worth in excess of £10 million a year by giving the Stadium naming right to the Abu Dhabi government-owned airline Etihad Airways.
The deal will be confirmed at a news conference at Eastlands later today, with the club expected to draw well in excess of £100m for a long team agreement. Etihad, also the Club’s shirt sponsor pays £2.3m a year but whether this will be included within the naming right is yet to be known.
City were in desperate need to boost their financial structure after posting a loss of £121 million for the financial year ending in 2010. Now with the injection of funds from Etihad, the club is likely to fall in line with the FFP structure, which could see the clubs being debarred from all European competition if they post losses in excess of £40 million in three years.
This new rule will come into effect from the coming season though UEFA will begin assessing clubs account only by 2013-14 season. The £121 million loss in the year ending 2010 is further expected to aggravate when the 2010-11 financial status is publish in Ocotober 2011. However with this deal, all financial woes of City are expected to fall in line.
Way back in 2004 Arsenal had strike a similar deal with Emirates, when the later bagged the right to name the stadium for a whooping £100 million over 15 years, a figure which also included an eight-year shirt sponsorship worth about £6 million a year.
However the Premier League have grown by many folds since then and the Manchester city deal is expected to fetch more that what is being touted. Moreover the clubs recent success by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and winning the FA Cup would increase their bargaining power.
Alongside Etihad, Abu Dhabi-based companies such as Etisalat, Aaabar Investments and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority are also commercially engaged with the club.