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London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are both redeveloping their current homes but have different plans when it comes to stadium sponsorship.
Both clubs are demolishing their famous old grounds and rebuilding in the same area, therefore technically staying put, rather than relocating.
However, once redevelopment is over, they will each have a new stadium, albeit in the same place as their old one.
According to The Times, Spurs will use this fresh start to drop the name ‘White Hart Lane’.
The Times report that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants to raise £400m by selling naming rights of the new football arena in N17.
Conversely, The Times claim that Chelsea will retain the name ‘Stamford Bridge’ in some form at least.
So, Chelsea’s new home could still be called ‘Strongbow Stamford Bridge’, for example, which the club presumably feel allows them stay loyal to their roots somehow.
But for me, considering Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane are both being knocked down to make way for new stadiums, I think their historic names should be respectfully laid to rest.
Obviously Spurs are selling their souls to an extent by awarding such a huge part of their identity to the highest bidder. But let’s not pretend these grounds are being refurbished. They are being flattened. It marks the end of an era.
The new stadiums will no doubt be great. But they won’t be the same.
When a beloved family dog dies, one shouldn’t replace it with a puppy of the same name and pretend like nothing ever changed. It’s better to mourn Toby, remembering him as he was, before embracing the future with Buster.
So, out of respect for these brilliant – admittedly outdated – grounds, neither should have to suffer the indignity of giving its great name to some flash new dome with glass tunnels and a club cheese room.
Give me ‘Dixy Chicken Park’ over ‘New White Hart Lane’ any day.