THE concept of selling the naming rights to Thomond Park is moving along, but it is ‘still early stages’, according to Munster Rugby’s honorary treasurer, Tom Kinirons.
Kinirons admitted that the poor showing by Munster in the Guinness Pro12 and Champions Cup this season had made selling the naming rights more difficult for the province.
Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald revealed earlier this year that a consultant had been hired to help progress the idea of selling the naming rights to the stadium. The CEO accepted it that selling the naming rights remains emotive for some fans.
Industry sources have told the Limerick Leader that Munster could have made €750,000 per annum from any deal for Thomond Park at the height of the economic boom.
However, the estimated asking price was said to be closer to €350,000 per annum as a result of the downturn.
Speaking at Munster Rugby’s AGM, Munster Rugby’s Honorary Treasurer Tom Kinirons said: "The question of selling the naming rights on Thomond Park is moving, but it is still early stages. Again, like everything else, if you are performing on the pitch it makes the offering so much better in terms of someone buying into it.
"We are hopeful the change in terms of the coaching set-up and if we can get in with the support of the IRFU what we require in terms of missing player links that will assist, but so much is predicated on the pitch.
"If the pitch doesn't happen, it is still very hard to sell to someone else because you are selling an intangible. They want to be attached to something that is successful.
Munster Rugby’s Financial Controller Philip Quinn said: "We are extremely conscious of the connection people have with Thomond, so it is not a decision we would take lightly if we get to that position.
"The value we are going out at is the market value. We know what it is given where Kingspan is and the new RDS deal which is being worked on at the moment.
”We are confident that the benefit would be significant, but if we can get someone to table that is when a decision needs to be made.”