Fans react to news Sunderland AFC could sell Stadium of Light name to sponsor

Could the Stadium of Light be set for a rebrand?
Could the Stadium of Light be set for a rebrand?

Sunderland AFC fans have been reacting to news the club could rename the Stadium of Light in a sponsorship deal.

Former chairman Sir Bob Murray, who oversaw Sunderland’s move from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light, said he had chosen a name that would be ‘instantly recognisable, distinctive and inspirational’ and which also paid tribute to the industrial heritage of supporters and the location of the stadium, on the site of the former Wearmouth Colliery.

Fans' Museum founder Michael Ganley

Fans' Museum founder Michael Ganley

Now the club has confirmed it is in talks about a possible rebrand.

Fans' Museum founder Michael Ganley welcomed the possibility of a deal.

"I don't think it is a bad idea," he said.

"It is a 21-year-old stadium now and it would be a welcome cash injection for the club.

Michael Ganley says fans should have faith in chairman Stewart Donald's judgement

Michael Ganley says fans should have faith in chairman Stewart Donald's judgement

"It could be the money that helps the club to get back into the Championship.

"I am all for it."

He had faith that the club's senior management would come up with a deal that was good for the club and the the fans.

"It is down to the owners but hopefully, they will be doing it for the right reasons. I think we have got to have 100 per cent trust in Stewart Donald.

"That man has turned the club around dramatically in such a short period of time. I am confident he is the man to make the right decision for the stadium, for the club, for the fans and for the city."

READ MORE: Sir Bob Murray reveals why he never sold Stadium of Light naming rights

A Love Supreme's Paul ‘Sobs’ Dobson was more cautious in his reaction: "It all depends on what the name is going to be changed to," he said.

"I would not want the stadium to be called after a betting company, for instance.

"It might be, of course, that it is given a new name but it does not get called that by the fans, we will not refer to it by that name."

Although he would rather not see the club change the name of the Stadium of Light, Paul could understand the commercial justification for the move: "It is a shame but if it brings money in...at the level we are, the sort of money doing something like this could bring in is probably a good amount," he said.

"It would be nice if we didn't have to have sponsored stadiums, stuff on the front of shirts and all that sort of thing. In an ideal world, you would just call it the Stadium of Light, but if someone wants to pay to call it whatever, then let's take the money that goes with it."