Man City renames its ground the Etihad Stadium

Manchester City has renamed its City of Manchester Stadium the

Etihad Stadium in a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Abu

Dhabi-based airline.

City announced the deal Friday without saying how much it was

worth but British media widely reported that the Premier League

club would earn more than 100 million pounds ($159 million).

The agreement could help City meet UEFA’s financial fair-play

regulations, which demand that clubs do not spend beyond their

means. City announced a 121 million pound ($193 million) loss in

its most recent annual report following lavish spending on player

transfer fees and salaries.

Failure to comply with the rules could lead to a ban from UEFA’s

European competitions such as the Champions League, in which City

is scheduled to play next season after finishing third in the

Premier League.

”In addition to delivering significant revenue at a key stage

in the club’s evolution, the agreement creates exciting

opportunities,” City chief executive Garry Cook said.

City’s will become the sixth branded stadium in the English

Premier League, with the area around the ground called the Etihad

Campus.

Arsenal’s 15-year agreement with Emirates was valued at about

100 million pounds ($159 million) in 2004, and included an

eight-year shirt sponsorship. Etihad already has its name on City’s

shirts.

Arsenal, Bolton, Stoke, Wigan and Premier League newcomer

Swansea are the other topflight English clubs to have sold naming

rights to their grounds, although Tottenham and Liverpool are among

those considering the maneuver as they contemplate building new

stadiums.