Football’s name-changing fetish suggests the sport’s inflamed with greed
What’s in a name? Everything, if you’re a football fan. The game has continually been driven by finance. However, the post-1992 fetish for name-changing has taken commercialization to an entirely new level. And it’s spilling into our public spaces. History, subculture, and network are all high on the listing of the motives why long-struggling supporters stay loyal to their groups. It is fashionable to caricature those who are marketing campaign against the company rebranding of their clubs as traditionalist dinosaurs. But in an era, while neighborhood neighborhoods have grown to be fractured, clinging to the original name of your team, stadium or even neighborhood railway station has ended up one of the few closing signifiers of network spirit.
Which is why even Spurs-assisting north Londoners try to face up to the call “White Hart Lane” being consigned to the dustbin of history. It has been suggested that Tottenham Hotspur’s spanking, new, ultra-modern, 62,000-seater floor, which sooner or later opens subsequent month with a domestic recreation against Crystal Palace – and will host the Lilywhites’ last five domestic suits of the season – may be renamed with rumors that it’ll be referred to as the Nike Stadium. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insists that no such deal has been agreed, but any other similarly-arguable decision made on Sunday has now appeared to carry that dreaded second tons closer. For Levy and his fellow Spurs administrators have effectively lobbied the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London, to rename White Hart Lane railway station as “Tottenham Hotspur.” Which means that north London’s traditionalist dinosaurs – or dependable fanatics as I prefer to call them – will inevitably suffer a double whammy. The call White Hart Lane can be eliminated from the area, erased from history using those Stalinist corporate entities decided to commercialize public square, a suitable operating-elegance way of life and gentrify nearby neighborhoods.
Football stadiums were firstly named after the districts they were built in. With the advent of the Premiership in 1992, however, elite golf equipment converted themselves into manufacturers, becoming coins machines for oligarchs, sheiks and finance capitalists. Tottenham’s bitter competitors did it with the Emirates – as did Brighton with the Amex and Manchester City with the Etihad – which has allowed Arsenal, as a business corporation, to dominate the whole of its catchment region. Similarities do now not cease there – Gillespie Road tube station become renamed Arsenal in 1932. Changing the name of the overground station in the club’s catchment place to Tottenham Hotspur is a massive blow to the area’s heritage. White Hart Lane is the station’s old call. As a petition using local citizens points out: “It displays the road and ward … the history of the football membership is to hold the call the identical as opposed to turning an entire location into nothing more than a fanfare for a soccer membership.” Spurs promise to put money back into the area people. But the Gunners had promised to pay £7m towards delivery improvements, which include upgrading Holloway Road and Drayton Park stations – and this has in reality now not take place. Local citizens in Finsbury Park and Highbury sense alienated. As the Green birthday party co-leader Siân Berry has cited, the renaming of the White Hart Lane station “opens up the slippery slope” closer to other well-known stations and the community being “cluttered up with company branding.” Whatever subsequent? Knightsbridge, Home of Harrods? Virgin Euston? Burberry by Bond Street? For my book Moving The Goalposts, I interviewed Hull City lovers who correctly stopped their club being rebranded as Hull Tigers.
“My dad invested a lot of time and so much cash on City,” one fan instructed me. “He went for many years. These golf equipment are the product of the metropolis, of their neighborhood areas. The proprietors should be custodians in their clubs’ history and background. Whenever I go to the football, I sense that my antique man’s with me. It’s plenty deeper than a call trade. It crystallizes what we’re about as a community.” Football tournaments penalize GCSE students. Can’t we avoid this fixture conflict? Gavin Kelly Read more Football’s fetish for name-converting is the cutting-edge illustration of how the game, inside the twenty-first century, has been infected by greed – how the stunning recreation has been transformed from a paternalistic, especially egalitarian recreation right into a worldwide amusement industry ruled through rapacious mega-manufacturers. As Simon Kuper, the co-author of Soccernomics, places it: “The true story of the Premier League is the majority approximately cash.” For the beyond 27 years, many soccer fanatics had been priced out of soccer. Since the 1990s, the cost of the average football fit ticket has risen via 600%, making daily attendance something that best certain strata of society can find the money for. This shift in the demographics of the game’s assist was anticipated by a 1991 FA report that referred to how, in a patron society, the leisure quarter moved “upmarket with a view to following the affluent middle-magnificence consumer.” But such gentrification is now being resisted both on and spoiled the pitch – each inside and outside the ground. Local north Londoners are pushing again towards corporate domination — the idea of neighborhood satisfaction – a feeling of shared values, belonging and network – lives on. If there is hope, it lies inside the traditionalist dinosaurs.