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The Fruity King Arena Anyone? Gaming Giant in Bullish Mood Over Plans to Enter Football

09/01/2015 13:23 GMT | Updated 09/03/2015 09:59 GMT

British football may soon have a new brand name to add to the long list of those with strong associations to the beautiful game.

Since the concept of sponsorship entered the British game back in the early 1980s names such as Barclays, Nationwide, Coca-Cola, Sky Bet, Budweiser and even Sherpa Van have been synonymous with football south of the border.

North of Hadrian's Wall the names B&Q, Bell's Whiskey, Irn-Bru, the Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank have enjoyed a similarly high profile as main sponsors of the top league and cup competitions.

Early this week it was announced that Fruity King - an online mobile casino gaming site - is in talks with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) regarding "potential sponsorship deals".

"They quoted us a figure for the rights of all four leagues", explained the company's commercial director, a statement that confirmed the company's intention to become an integral part of the Scottish footballing landscape.

Discussions with the SPFL are said to be ongoing and are set to continue early in 2015.

But, not content with being just involved in sponsorship of football's governing bodies, the mobile gambling company are also looking, for the right price, at lending their name to stadiums and stands.

"Talks are live with a number of bodies, including the SPFL. Talks are live with big clubs, we're working tirelessly behind the scenes. It could be anything; we could even rename the Main stand at Anfield."

It appears nothing is out of bounds with the company also bullishly proclaiming; "We are interested in stadium naming rights, shirt sponsorship deals and football league rights packages. We might even buy a football club"

They claim to have been contacted by an un-named Scottish club who offered them "a complete take-over and ownership for £750,000."

As yet there is nothing to suggest the offer was taken up, but given that such conversations are taking place it appears only a matter of time before the words Fruity King will take prominence in a football stadium somewhere in the UK.

Whether the traditionalists are yet ready to see their club sell their stadium's naming rights remains to be seen, but an ever increasing number have identified the potential of an alternative income stream;

"There is a real opportunity for those clubs who have not yet made the leap of faith to re-name their stadium, there is untapped revenue."

Obvious examples such as the Emirates and the Etihad have long been known only by the name of their sponsors but others such as Newcastle's St James' Park - which briefly became the Sports Direct Arena - and Leicester City's King Power Stadium - once known as the Walkers Stadium - have suffered an identity crisis as a result of selling the naming rights.

But it doesn't, or shouldn't, matter explains the gaming giant's commercial director: "I am not concerned about the fans reaction. This is purely from a commercial aspect..." Using Rangers' Ibrox Stadium as the example he continues, "... they can still call it Ibrox if they prefer. This is nothing new in the sports franchise world. This has been going on for over a decade in the USA."

He continued, "Look at the deal between The New Orleans Pelicans and Smoothie King. It was renamed The Smoothie King Center (originally New Orleans Arena) in 2014."

The Mike Ashley's of this world clearly love it, the traditionalists will loathe it and some will be indifferent, but it seems the commercialising of our football stadia is here to stay.

But it appears the feelings of fans count for little with this latest news confirming what we already knew: that companies, already jostling for position, are prepared to do almost anything to get their noses in the trough of football's money pit.

Given the swagger and confidence of those wanting their slice this is one that is not about to go away.