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| 1 minute read

How important is a name to a football club?

The news that Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea football club up for sale has been headline news for days. The club is clearly a valuable asset. However, it is interesting to learn that there are a couple of obstacles in the way of finding new owners.

Firstly, the actual ground at Stamford Bridge is not owned by the club. Secondly, the naming rights of the Chelsea name are also not owned by the club. This means that if the owners wanted to move away from the present ground without the permission of the owners of the ground they would not be able to use the Chelsea name.

In the current climate of football as big business, the ability to develop the ground into a major revenue stream is vital, and this restriction may make investors look for a less complicated option elsewhere. Control over the name for a business is always a major issue and in all cases it would be better if the ownership of the business and of the name were in common hands.

These issues are usually flagged in due diligence before a business is put up for sale and trade mark advisors can help with putting the business in the best shape before putting on the market. However, sometimes businesses have to be sold suddenly, like with Chelsea FC, which is why it is always good to keep your trade mark house in order at all times. 

Any prospects of moving stadium or redeveloping Stamford Bridge are further complicated by the fact the ground’s freehold is owned by Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO). If a club owner attempted to move without CPO’s permission, the body can refuse to relinquish the name Chelsea Football Club.


brands & trade marks, womeninip