Manchester United considering the sale of Old Trafford naming rights

Manchester United have brought up the idea of selling the Old Trafford naming rights as a way to increase funds to refurbish their current stadium or potentially build a new one.

According to The Athletic, United have held talks with major financial institutions such as the Bank of America exploring possible funding options to raise the capital required to cover a potentially costly project. However, both the club and the Bank of America have not made any comment about any collaboration with no final decision made yet.

Since Sir Jim Ratcliffe took operational control after acquiring just over a quarter of Manchester United, $227.7 million (£120 million) of his $451.6 million (£238 million) cash injection into the club has been used to pay down money on United’s revolving credit facility where originally it was supposed to go towards infrastructure.

It’s already been well-documented the amount of debt Manchester United is currently in; with the club trying to quickly sort out solutions to generate more income such as increasing their season tickets for the 2024/25 season by five per cent and deliberating whether to increase their current ticket prices moving forward. But if a refurbished Old Trafford or a new stadium came to fruition, would the club or INEOS, the company owned by Ratcliffe, take on the fresh debt that comes with it?

If the stadium were to be refurbished, a potential option which could happen that would allow the club to retain the Old Trafford name is to find an associated partner. For example, England’s national team stadium is called Wembley Stadium, connected by EE, where it’s reported the network provider pays $18.9 million (£10 million) per year. A similar approach to this has seen teams retain their traditional stadium names with a sponsor attached to it such as FC Barcelona’s Spotify Camp Nou.

If a complete rebuild were to be the case, The Athletic have reported that Manchester United are open to selling the name where they would hope to obtain a large fee.

However, the club have not yet revealed how they would fund a refurbishment or a new build with the Glazer family showing no inclination to self-fund United’s ambitions while Ratcliffe and INEOS would seek a mixture of public funds and private partners or debt to carry out the work.

Old Trafford has been the name of Manchester United’s stadium for 114 years and the club has never come to the point of selling the stadium’s naming rights. But we have seen Premier League sides use major brand names as the name of their stadiums such as Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. In both of these cases, the airlines acquired the rights to not only the stadium’s names but also the front-of-shirt sponsorship.

But after a mixed season- where the club finished eighth in the league but was able to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League next season after beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final, Manchester United will hope their performances on the field improve this upcoming season to help relieve some of the financial stress they are currently holding. But if the club wants to increase funds by selling something as historic as the Old Trafford name, expect a lot of backlash from not only United fans but also football fans alike who have witnessed a rich history of a stadium that has seen so much success as the home of Manchester United.

Newcastle Jets’ new owners add key pieces for upcoming season

Newcastle Jets’ new owners, Maverick Sports Partners, have hired Ken Schembri as General Manager of Football and Ben Hawes as General Manager of Commercial, Digital and Marketing for this upcoming season.

The appointment of Schembri and Hawes reaffirms Maverick Sports Partners’ intent to invest in high-quality resources, which should excite Newcastle fans for this upcoming season.

Schembri had previously worked with the reigning champions, the Central Coast Mariners, being an essential part of establishing the Central Coast Mariners Football Academy and their Centre of Excellence when he joined in 2014.

Schembri will manage the A-League Men’s roster, oversee player performance and development, and handle recruitment for all football departments.

The Mariner’s Academy has produced many young and exciting Australian talent including Garang Kuol and Max Balard who have all gone to join clubs in Europe after their time in Gosford. Schembri has most recently played a key role in Central Coast’s recent success as Head of Football.

Maverick Sports Partners Director Maurice Bisetto commented about the new additions.

“We are excited to have both Ken and Ben join the Newcastle Jets team. They will be integral to the strategy and direction of the Club’s New Era, providing expertise and support, on and off the pitch,” said Bisetto in a club statement.

These two joined the Jets after the club were bought by the Australian company only last month.

Hawes has prior experience in Sponsorship, Marketing and Content roles at the National Rugby League, Sportsbet, BlueBet and Sydney FC.

Hawes will focus on expanding and diversifying the clubs commercial revenue streams which includes growing the sponsorship portfolio. He will also deal with commercialising the club’s digital channels as well as implementing new marketing and fan engagement strategies.

Due to these recent moves, Newcastle have the potential to produce exciting Australian talent and grow its brand across the league which will help the club continue to improve both on and off the pitch and ultimately strengthen their stability for future seasons.

Football Coaches Australia and Martyn Buckie team up for ‘Benefits of Micro Coaching Sessions’

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and Martyn Buckie will host an online session on Monday, July 29 at 7:30pm AEST.

As part of ‘Benefits of Micro Coaching Sessions’, Buckie will present insights on the benefits of micro coaching sessions for children and youth coaches.

Coaches will get a full understanding on what ‘Micro Sessions’ are and how to implement them into training sessions. He will explain the benefits they provide to both players and coaches and how to design effective ‘Micro Session’ practices.

Buckie is currently the ‘Grassroots Coach Education and Development Manager’ with the Scottish Football Association. He is a UEFA A Licence and Scotttish Advanced Children’s Licence holder. In addition, he is also the advanced Children’s Licence Tutor and Course Manager.

He has a wealth of practical coaching experience as Academy Coach at both Stenhousemuir FC and Falkirk FC.

Attendance to this event will qualify for one-hour CPD with Football Australia.

Sign up via Eventbrite:

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