Sunderland chairman rules out imminent sale of Stadium of Light naming rights

Stewart Donald says that Sunderland are not currently entertaining selling the naming rights to the Stadium of Light.

By Phil Smith
Monday, 29 July, 2019, 11:45
Stewart Donald says that there will be no imminent sale of the naming rights to the Stadium of Light

The Black Cats held discussions over a potential sale earlier this year, exploring the potential to bring in extra revenue.

A promotional video was produced to attract suitors, but speaking to the Wise Men Say podcast at a Q&A with supporters on Saturday, Donald said that no change was imminent.

“No,” he said. If we sell it, it needs to be at a premium rate. In honesty, at the moment, we can’t attract a premium rate. So I’m not entertaining it.”

Earlier this summer, Donald told supporters on the Roker Rapport podcast that only certain brands would be considered if the club did decide to sell. He also insisted that fans would be consulted before any final decision was made.

“We’ve been in conversations with people on that and I’m like a football fan in that, as a board we have a responsibility and if the revenue is good, then my gut instinct is that we should do it but again there are certain brands you wouldn’t want attached,” he said.

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“The other thing with it is, you want it to try and sound right. You don’t want to sell your soul for the wrong amount of money and have a name that for a football fan is embarrassing. So I think we need the right type of brands and opportunity, so that the value is right.”

*Aiden McGeady made his first appearance of pre-season during Sunderland’s behind closed doors friendly with Hartlepool United yesterday.

And it is understood the winger netted during the 5-2 triumph over the National League side, handing Jack Ross a timely fitness boost ahead of the League One season opener this weekend.

A strong Sunderland side faced Pools, with new signing Marc McNulty netting a hat-trick during the triumph – building on a positive cameo display against Heerenveen on Saturday. Chris Maguire also got on the scoresheet for the Black Cats, while Luke James and Niko Muir found the net for Hartlepool. The clash at the Academy of Light was Sunderland’s final game before they kick-off their third tier campaign against Oxford United on Saturday.