Non League Daily

New Name For Alty's Home

Conference North club Altrincham have struck a ground-breaking, historic sponsorship deal to change the name of their famous home from Moss Lane to the J.Davidson Stadium.

In a landmark announcement, the club have released details of a three-year shirt and stadium-naming package with Altrincham scrap metal processors J.Davidson that puts them on the firmest of financial footings.

While the shirt deal is an extension of an existing agreement, the stadium initiative represents a bold step into hitherto unchartered sponsorship territory.

The new name will be prominently displayed inside the ground, in an area between the Popular Side and the away end, while, outside, a plaque saying 'Welcome to the J.Davidson Stadium' will be fitted above the main entrance.

Crucially, club bosses took the utmost care over vetting prospective partners and hope that, should there be any public misgivings, they will be allayed by one of Non-League football's most famous names being given over to a company widely acknowledged as an outstanding Altrincham success story.

"That was extremely important, and there is no doubt J.Davidson are a perfect fit for us," said Alty chairman Grahame Rowley. "They are a vibrant, expanding, progressive company, and they are local, with local people at the helm.

"We first considered stadium sponsorship as an additional revenue stream last year, but they had other things on and felt it might be one commitment too many. When we looked at it again at the end of last year, they were keen to progress it, and we have now reached the stage where everything has been agreed.

"The original shirt contract was about to enter its final 12 months, so we extended that by two years and negotiated a three-year stadium deal. It means that, for the next three seasons, we will be playing at the J.Davidson Stadium in shirts bearing their name on the front. It is a double breakthrough that I hope supporters will see as a forward-thinking, innovative development.

"It is great news for the club. It gives us continuity, and it is nice to be associated with backers who are hugely successful in their field and proud to be Altrincham-based. It is lovely that, as a club, we seem able to form a bond with our sponsors. When Carole Nash left her company, she kept her ties with the club. Her old company still sponsor the main stand and she and her husband have not only continued to help out the club but are on the community board. Companies and sponsors want to be associated with us, and it shows the kind of club we are.

"The name Moss Lane is not going to disappear completely. It is still our postal address, and I imagine people who have been coming here for years may still say they are going to Moss Lane. That's fine, but, in this increasingly competitive environment, I hope our supporters realise and accept we have to generate as much income as possible to progress as a club.

"We said from the outset we would never spend money we haven't got, and we will never go back on that. We won't risk this club's future, but, equally, we want the best for it, and that means exploring – and exploiting, if it is right – every revenue opportunity. I hope people will embrace that and see this as a significant step forward for a very progressive football club.

"We are looking to make the most of whatever openings are out there, and we will continue to use any income for advancing the club on and off the field. The plan for a new community sports hall speaks volumes for what we are doing away from the pitch, while reaching the play-offs last season and adding quality signings to the squad shows we are heading in the right direction on it."

> John Edwards /


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