Arsenal chairman not too fond of stadium name

LONDON: Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has admitted he will have mixed feelings about the club's new stadium bearing the name of sponsors Emirates Airlines. 

Hill-Wood, whose family have been associated with Arsenal since 1926, agreed that many traditional fans would have been happier to see the new stadium named in honour of an Arsenal legend. 

“I would be one those supporters,” he said. “I've been here a long time, a great many years and if we named the new stadium after Herbert Chapman or even Arsene Wenger it would roll off the tongue.” 

But Hill-Wood was quick to underline that he accepted the club could not afford to turn down the £100 million Emirates are putting up over 15 years. 

“Things have changed in football and this is a wonderful offer we have received – the biggest ever in English football,” the chairman said. “We must move on.” 

The new 60,000-seat stadium at Ashburton Grove is just a short walk from the current stadium at Highbury, which is to be redeveloped as residential accommodations once the Gunners leave at the end of the 2005-06 season. – AFP 

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