Negotiations are done, contract awaits signatures – major English media outlets suggest. This will be Wembley’s first naming rights deal. Previous attempts have raised serious concerns, how will it be this time?
The Football Association has reportedly been seeking a naming rights partner for their flagship stadium ever since it reopened in 2007. Speculations in the press always resulted in outrage and opposition among traditional fans of ‘Three Lions’.
Many fans don’t feel too passionate with the rebuilt venue due to its poor matchday atmosphere anyway, but still see the name as a value above commercial interest. This is one of few venues in England being treated that way, comparable with cricket and rugby national grounds (respectively, Lord’s and Twickenham).
However, this time things seem to be settled. Nearly all major English media inform that negotiations are already concluded and the FA will soon announce the deal with mobile operator EE. The fee expected from EE is unknown, but the FA are understood to expect some £8 million per year.
Future name of Wembley may be “Wembley Stadium in association with EE”, “Wembley Stadium supported by EE” or similarly. At no point was the removal of ‘Wembley’ an option for the FA.