Comment: New Windmill now old hat as Leamington take the Phillips 66 route

Brakes in action at the ground formerly known as the New Windmill.
Brakes in action at the ground formerly known as the New Windmill.

Here’s a story that fell between the cracks of the paper this week.

Leamington FC have announced a long-term partnership with Phillips 66 which will see the Warwick-based energy manufacturing company become the club’s ‘Community Grass Roots and Stadium Partner’.

As part of the deal, Brakes will now be playing at The Phillips 66 Community Stadium.

We were not sure whether it was news, sport or business, likely to cause a Sports Direct Arena-style public outcry or just something that would elicit a shrug of the shoulders and the continuation of the New Windmill name. So, it fell to me to mention it here.

You can’t blame the club for wanting to boost their coffers, with chairman Jim Scott saying: “We greatly value the financial support of sponsors and partners which enables us to develop and maintain our club’s facilities for the benefit of the community and deliver all the training sessions, fixtures and events that take place here annually.”

Reading between the lines, I think he means they are going to finally fix the electronic scoreboard.

Mary Wolf, who, as deputy managing director at Phillips 66 UK & Ireland Marketing has a job title just as catchy as that of the new stadium, added: “Our company vision is to ‘provide energy and improve lives’ and our support of the Brakes is very much in line with this.”

Proof then, that they are going to get the scoreboard fixed.

On a serious note, though, it does eat into the very fabric of football with more and more iconic stadium names making way to corporate branding.

Only this week, Accrington Stanley’s ground was renamed the Wham Stadium, giving rise to a succession of Club Tropicana references (though I am struggling to remember what it was called before).

Hopefully, Leamington will get their kicks at The Phillips 66 but it will always be New Windmill to me.