Numan open to Ibrox name change

Former defender Arthur Numan can see why Rangers bosses may be tempted to rename Ibrox and boost the club's coffers.

Last Updated: 14/01/13 at 18:29 Post Comment

Rangers: Reportedly close to agreeing deal with Mike Ashley

Rangers: Reportedly close to agreeing deal with Mike Ashley

Former defender Arthur Numan admits he can see why Rangers bosses may be tempted to rename Ibrox and boost the club's coffers.

Reports on Monday suggest the Light Blues are close to agreeing a £2.5million deal with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley over stadium naming rights.

Ashley is a Rangers shareholder and his Sports Direct firm is already an official retail partner of the Glasgow giants.

Boss Ally McCoist has said in the past he is open-minded on the issue, although a section of the support have been vocal in their opposition to the plans.

Numan - who played for Rangers between 1998 and 2003 - said: "If you mention Ibrox, everybody knows it's Rangers and if you mention Parkhead, everybody knows it's Celtic.

"But, nowadays, it's all down to the money.

"If a big company knocks on the door and wants to spend a couple of million to change the name, it's very tempting for the chairman.

"I can imagine they would consider actually changing the name.

"I think they will look into everything, especially finance-wise.

"We know all about the problems of the last couple of years and that's the reason why they are now in the Third Division.

"We have seen it with Arsenal with the Emirates Stadium and the reason is the money.

"It's not because they like the name - it's because they are paid millions for it."

Numan can also understand chief executive Charles Green's desire to see Rangers quit Scottish football if new league reconstruction plans are introduced.

However, the Dutchman is well aware of just how long the debate has been ongoing over the Old Firm plying their trade elsewhere, without any hint of success so far.

He said: "I heard it as well when I came to Scotland in 1998. Rangers and Celtic were already talking about moving down south.

"Maybe this is the chance for the club to go to England and start in the lower divisions and try to work their way up to the Premier League but it's been going on for years and years.

"I can understand it because they are now playing in the Third Division against all of the smaller teams.

"With respect, it's not something that you have in mind when you are the chairman of Rangers."

With a switch to England still highly unlikely, a European league may be a more realistic alternative for the Old Firm in the future.

Numan said: "It's a fair point. It's also been the talk for the last couple of years in Holland.

"Teams like PSV, Ajax, Feyenoord, Twente and some teams in Belgium, like Anderlecht and Club Brugge, could compete against each other on a higher level and make it a little more interesting.

"When I came here, the discussions were about Rangers and Celtic moving to England and, when that was not possible, all of a sudden, you had the talk about Rangers and Celtic joining PSV, Ajax, Feyenoord and Anderlecht and maybe some Scandinavian teams to have their own league.

"But the other question is - what about the fans?

"Do they travel abroad? Here, everything is in the area, you can jump in the car or the bus.

"If you have to play games in Europe once a fortnight, will the fans still travel and support the team because it will cost them a lot of money."


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