Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Total Naming Solutions

Critical news from the Vauxhall Masterfit Retailers Welsh Premier Division, as newly crowned champions Total Network Solutions FC hold an internet auction to find a new name for the club.

This is, to my knowledge, the first time in history a football club have put the future of their own name on eBay (temporary link). The club, who changed their name from Llansantffraid in 1997, and who have since merged with Oswestry Town, have had to change their name because Total Network Solutions (the company) has been bought by BT.

They aren't the only team in the Welsh Premier with a corporate name, though they were the first, as Airbus UK have only recently been promoted. These are indeed exciting times for Total Network Solutions, or TNS as their fans call them, as by finishing first in the VMRWPD they have earned a place in the first qualifying round for the Champions League.

Actually, I'm not sure I approve of all this. I know that teams this tiny, in leagues this small, need every shilling they can lay their hands on, but isn't having a corporate name just going too far? I went to see my own team, Chester City, last Saturday, for the first time in over a year, and I was somewhat saddened to see that the ground, which used to called the Deva Stadium, which did at least make sense even if it was a little pompous - the Romans have been gone quite a while now - can currently be found bearing the name 'Saunders Honda Stadium'. How long before the corporate trend makes its way into the English non-leagues, and then maybe even the league itself?

On Five Live, the interviewer was asking the chairman if he was worried that the winner of the eBay auction would have an 'embarrassing' name. He replied that people don't set up companies with embarrassing names. Well, no, but I still don't think Total Network Solutions is a particularly great name for a football team.

Still, one shouldn't expect much from the Welsh Premier Division, which before being sponsored by Vauxhall Masterfit Retailers was called the J T Hughes Mitsubishi Welsh Premier Division. Great stuff.

Steven Gerrard scoring against TNS during their Champions League qualifying game last year.


In other sporting news, I see Grandstand is being axed. I think I speak for almost everybody by saying I shall miss the theme tune and nothing else.

Well, to play devil's advocate here, what relationship do football teams have with where they live exactly? The players and managers and even the fans don't have to - rarely ever - come from the town in question. When I was at school only a few stalwarts followed Plymouth Argyle, pretty much all the others supported Liverpool!

Quick bit of trivia: the first company from outside the cycle industry to sponsor a cycling team from was Nivea. Apparently there was a huge fuss at the time (late 40s). Goodness knows why.
My mate Kieron supports York. Their stadium is the KitKat crescent. They still get oranges at half time though.
Mark - Fair point, but I'm not sure I entirely agree. I guess they have little or no relation at the highest level, but for lower division teams almost all the fanbase is local, and it's those teams who are surely the ones who would conceivably be affected by this.

I don't think it's going to happen any time soon, but it will eventually, and I do think it's a bit sad. I don't want to say 'I support Philip P Peters Chester BMW' if I don't like BMWs.

MattyG - I had assumed that was a joke, but it turns out it really is called the KitKat Crescent. How cringeworthy.
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