The name of St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium may stick in the throats of some fans, but from a purely financial point of view, it’s a very smart move by the club.
The owners have limited avenues to invest in the club without being penalised by Financial Fair Play rules, and a naming rights deal is one of the ways they can increase investment without provoking the ire of the authorities.
By keeping St Andrew’s at the start of stadium name, they are also trying to placate any critics of the deal. No one will be using the full name of the ground so very little will change.
In their statement this morning, the Blues emphasised that the naming rights were important in order to improve the playing squad. It’s been a pretty quiet summer in the transfer market so far. Most likely because the club are trying to balance the books by offloading some players first before making any significant moves.
With the likes of David Stockdale, Jonathan Grounds and Tomasz Kuszczak all told they can leave, combined with the loan departures of Carl Jenkinson, Sam Gallagher and Jeremie Boga at the end of the season, the wage budget is being reduced.
Hopefully, by offloading high wage earners and using the income from the stadium/training ground name change, it will offer the greater flexibility Garry Monk needs to reshape this squad.
As I said in my post yesterday, patience will be key this summer. We are not in a position to make huge investments in revamping this team without some smart dealings in our outgoings, but after last season’s relegation fight, significant changes are needed.
With all the talk of FFP, we are certainly not one of the clubs in this division that have been the heaviest hit, but we are still trying to tread carefully. Trillion Trophy Asia’s sponsorship of St Andrew’s in that context is a club playing smart, and trying to do best by the manager to get the investment he needs to get us back at the right end of the table.