POLL: We would consider renaming Portman Road after a sponsor says Simon Clegg

SIMON Clegg has risked the wrath of Ipswich Town fans by admitting he would never rule out renaming Portman Road.

The chief executive insisted he would do anything in his power to hand the Blues a financial advantage – including handing over the naming rights to Town’s famous ground to a multi-million pound sponsor.

Clegg said: “I am well aware of what has happened at Newcastle over the last 12 months or so and the impact that has happened with the fans.

“But I have a commercial responsibility to this organisation to ensure I do whatever is right and appropriate for this club to give us a competitive advantage. “And if that means bringing in additional commercial sponsors, in whatever field it might be, including, if necessary, naming rights for the ground, that is something I will explore.

“I am not committing to doing it. But it is not something I would close my mind to as a complete non-starter, ever.”

While naming grounds after a chief sponsor has now become fairly common-place in football, many Town fans are proud of the fact that the club has shied away from this.

But Clegg maintained it could make good business sense, adding: “From my point of view, particular in the context of financial fair play, I am never going to say never. I have got a business responsibility to explore every opportunity that gets presented to this football club.

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The chief executive yesterday announced a new partnership which will see the West Stand renamed after new sponsors, the East of England Co-operative Society.

The deal, which is for three years potentially rising to five, is worth a “six-figure sum” according to Clegg who added: “I can’t be specific because there are confidentiality clauses within the contract, but it will impact positively. The East of England Co-operative Society is paying more than the previous sponsor.

“Every revenue stream in this football club goes to enhancing the player budget, that is where the vast majority of our funds got to and at the end of the day, that is what is going to get us promoted or not. That is where the priority is and things like this announcement all helps.”

- What do you think? Would renaming Portman Road be a good idea, a sign of the times or something you would protest against? Let us know your views below or by emailing dave.gooderham@archant.co.uk