The 'E' Word
By Brian Dawes
Updated Friday, 26th May 2006
Some of you may have noticed how Tom Watt, whilst acting as compare for the ‘Final Salute' following the Wigan game, almost bent over backward to avoid using the ‘E' word.
Whilst I appreciate that the Club have got a wad of money for the naming rights I think that the middle east airline have had much the better of the deal. I cannot alter the fact that our new stadium has a corporate handle but I don't have to assist in its publicity, nor do you. The airline in question will not, so far as I'm concerned, be subsidising my seat, so I will not be providing them with any free publicity, other than when I wear a new facsimile Arsenal shirt of course. There is good reason for this. In the United States where Stadiums have been sponsored for some years now the names continually change. My favoured American Football team used to play at the delightfully named Candlestick Park which was renamed '3Com' under a sponsorship deal, it has now changed in a new corporate deal to 'Monster Park' - how crap is that?
In the UK Stadia sponsorship has had a relatively shorter lifespan with the best know probably being The Reebok and the Cellnet Riverside Stadium. Except the Cellnet Stadium isn't the Cellnet stadium anymore and so far as Boro fans are concerned it is quite rightly the Riverside and always has been. ‘Emirates Stadium' could just as easily morph into the ‘Whatever load of crap you want to call it Stadium' at some point in our future if the money's right. If Tottenham want to rename the Lane as ‘The Imodium Shithole' that's fine by me, as would be the renaming of Old Trafford as ‘The Muppet Show' but Arsenal should be classier than that.The Club have failed for financial reasons so I figure it's down to us.
The Arsenal Stadium was always universally known as Highbury. The New Arsenal Stadium does not have an established name so the media at least will refer to it as ‘The Emirates' which is just what our sponsors and followers of the Club party line require. Fine, the sponsors will get more than their money's worth as a result. But our new stadium should in my opinion have a name by which it is collectively referred to by its occupants. Whether that's to be ‘New Highbury', ‘Highbury', ‘The Home of Football', ‘The New Home of Football', ‘Ashburton Grove', ‘Ashburton', 'Drayton Park' or the ‘Wengerdome' I really don't mind but please let us not assist in establishing the ‘E' word because it certainly won't always be called that.
In the meantime I shall continue to go down ‘The Arsenal' as I have for a good few decades. I shall exit The Arsenal tube station and turn right instead of left, but so far as I'm concerned I won't be sitting in a place of worship named after an airline.
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