Why football stadium names should NOT be sold lest we end up playing in the Dirk Diggler Dome!

So the second wave of stadium naming rights is beginning and the shame of what we have signed up for is starting to become apparent.

I could live with the Walkers Stadium, even if it was named after a bag of crisps.

It was the name of Leicester City's new arena and had been since they moved there from Filbert Street in 2002.

But the club announced yesterday that from now on the ground will be known as King Power Stadium, after the Thai duty free company that owns it.

The King Power Stadium.

Savour that name.

It sounds vaguely like a tribute to a male porn star.

Next up, the Dirk Diggler Dome? Or Brian Pumper Plaza?

Don't rule it out.

It's a small step from here to Dick's Sporting Goods Park - often referred to locally as The Dick - the home of the Colorado Rapids.

Because nothing's sacred any more. Not when it comes to sport selling its soul and everyone looking the other way.

Sure, everyone can justify it with two words. The Money.

Everything has a price.

They just forget the cost.

Leicester justified it in the usual manner yesterday.

"The announcement of King Power's further support to Leicester City is tremendous news and once again underlines the commitment the owners have made to the club," Leicester's chief executive Susan Whelan said.

Yeah, right.

The desecration of the club's history is tremendous news. The loss of the club's dignity is tremendous news.

That's what we're talking about.

We're talking about everything being for sale. We are talking about commercialism out of control.

For many of us, a huge part of being a fan of a club involves the association with the stadium.

I know a lot of West Ham fans, for instance, who are dreading the move from Upton Park in 2013.

The whole experience of supporting a team is inextricably bound up with the stadium that team plays in.

For older fans in particular, it's about where you sit, the architecture, the character of the place. It's part of how you identify with a team.

So if you defile the stadium by prostituting its name, you destroy part of the experience. You loosen even further the bond between team and supporter.

We can just about justify the Emirates as the name for Arsenal's ground now because it has been that way since they moved from Highbury.

But what about when it becomes Pizza Hut Park in a few years' time? Or Primark Park? Or something even more gaudy?

Just suck it up, I suppose, and count the cash.

There are plenty who mock traditionalists like me and insist that, as long as the club gets money for it, the end justifies the means.

That's the stance most Chesterfield fans take over the fact that when they moved from Saltergate at the start of last season, they moved into a new home called the b2net Stadium.

'Who cares about the name?' they said. The money they got from the stadium naming rights secured the club's future and helped them gain promotion from League Two.

Which is fine. But it misses the point. What happens when they have a bad year and find themselves back in League Two?

They're still going to be stuck with the b2net Stadium. They're still going to be stuck with a name that makes it sound like they're playing inside a giant computer.

Some things should not be for sale in football and the stadium name is one of them.

Put advertising on the shirts, put it on perimeter fences, paint it on the roof, use it on the hoardings, flash it up on the scoreboard. Isn't that enough?

Football managed without defiling the names of its stadia for more than a century but now, apparently, it can manage no more.

If companies like King Power and B2net are so committed to clubs, why the need to visit these indignities on them?

Why the need to humiliate them with this commercial tyranny? Is it impossible to respect a club's heritage or its location?

In January, I mentioned that even the Philadelphia subway stop serving the city's sports stadia has been changed from Pattison Avenue to AT&T .

For $5million from the telephone company, the city sold out.

So good luck to the Leicester owners and the club's board.

Congratulations. You made a few quid.

And in the process, you lost something you can never get back.

Oliver Holt column: Why Everton really do operate on a wing and a prayer...  

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