Ron Gourlay’s fourth day faux pas has attracted plenty of controversy amongst fans of Chelsea, as the new Chief Executive took the seat recently vacated by Peter ‘he wasn’t that bad after all’ Kenyon, and promptly put his foot in it.
Taking a leaf out of NewcastleUnited.org or whatever Mike@Ashley has them monikered now, Gourlay proposed renaming Stamford Bridge in order to attract a bit more money as we clamber towards self-sufficiency. But many fans, fearing a loss of heritage and history, are up in arms. To them, and to most of us, it will always be Stamford Bridge, no matter what the powers that be tell us it is. We are used to fighting authority, or at least booing the Champions League anthem anyway.
But maybe a name change won’t be so bad after all, providing we get the right balance. Of course, we don’t want to completely sell out and become another email address like sportsdirectisafailingcompanyrunbyanallegedspursfan@St James’ Park, or completely let the lucky corporation who gets to earn a complete boycott on their products in and around the SW6 area take full control of the naming rights, for instance:
‘The Samsung LN46A650 46-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV Stadium.’
We could all club together, and choose something which means a lot to each and every one of us:
‘The Andriy Arena’, or ‘Shevchenko: Keep the Faith Park.’
Maybe Ron could even get involved. I’m sure he’s on a big salary, so why not part with a small chunk and pump it back into the club. He could then proudly take a seat in ‘Gourlay’s Bridge of Dreams’ every other Saturday, safe in the knowledge that he kept half of the original name, and most likely under the misguided notion that we want to see his name up in lights as much as he seems to.
But all this nonsense means that there is really only one viable option. Sure, it means ditching the words ‘Stamford’ and ‘Bridge’, and unfortunately Stamford – the mascot – will have to join Bridge – the left-back – out of the club to make way for a new, slightly less furry and a little more pastry-based friend.
You see, there is only one new name we really can adopt. It may get a few sniggers to begin with, and maybe it’s not as imposing as other grounds – you know, your Bernebéus and your Camp Nous – but it would mean a lot to us as fans, and as a bonus, it could double up as an expansion to a business run by a former player of ours.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Ron Gourlay can proudly reveal the name of Chelsea’s home, forever more:
Ken Monkou’s Pancake House.’
You know it makes sense.