Manchester City Strikes £400 Million Deal for Stadium Rebranding
Manchester City of Friday signed a 10 years partnership agreement with the Etihad Airways with a deal worth £400 million which includes the naming right of the Clubs Stadium. With the deal, Manchester City confirmed the City of Manchester Stadium at Eastlands will be renamed the ‘Etihad Stadium’.
Announcing the stadium rebranding as one of the many deals, Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook said, “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Etihad Airways through this comprehensive partnership agreement”
“Most importantly, in addition to delivering significant revenue at a key stage in the club’s evolution, the agreement creates exciting opportunities for our two organizations to co-operate more deeply commercially and on media and community initiatives in the future.”
The agreement which runs till 2021 is seen as the single greatest ever deal by a football club which will see the Saudi Govt. owned airline pumping in close to £40 million a year. With this deal, Manchester City will fall in line with the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulation which could see the clubs being debarred from all European competition if they post losses in excess of £40 million in three years.
In the year 2009-10, the club suffered a staggering losses of £121 million, is expected to lose more in 2010-2011. With the new UEFA FFP regulation set to come into effect from the coming season, it was important for the club to revive their financial stature, as it could see them being debarred from European competitions if they continue to run in loses.
However UEFA will close scrutinized the naming rights deal with Etihad to ensure that City does not benefit from inflated rates as a result of owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s position in the oil rich nation.
Incorporated into the naming rights deal is an upgrade of the current shirt sponsorship agreement – worth just £3.2million a year when struck in 2009 – and a substantial investment into the area surrounding the stadium in east Manchester, which includes Sportcity, retail outlets, car parks and a proposed new academy and sports science facility.
This stadium rebranding comes after Arsenal renamed its stadium as “Emirates” following a deal with Emirates-another Middle East Airliner in 2004 when a deal worth £100 million was agreed upon.