Manchester City agree to stadium name change

Manchester City will play their home matches for the next 10 years at Etihad Stadium after a naming rights agreement was confirmed on Friday.Formerly known as the City of Manchester Stadium, the club’s home stadium will carry the name of the Abu Dhabi-based company, who are already the club’s shirt sponsor.

The 2011 FA Cup winners were taken over by a consortium of Abu Dhabi businessmen in 2008.

“We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Etihad Airways through this partnership agreement,” City chief executive Garry Cook said.

Despite the mega-rich club spending big in recent years, they racked up a debt of over 123 million pounds last season and the move – which has annoyed traditionalists – should help City with the financial fair play regulations set to be introduced properly in 2013.

The regulations begin this summer, with the end result said to see teams not allowed to spend more than the income they receive from the football side of their business.

City will not release the sum of money they have received for the deal, but it is believed to be a hefty fee, one which required the agreement of the Manchester City Council before it was confirmed.