The chairman of English National League side Southend United has issued an apology and admitted that he is ‘embarrassed’ after his side accidentally named their stand after a serial killer in their latest sponsorship deal.
The club agreed to a deal with property company Gilbert and Rose, which would give them naming rights to the West stand in the 12,392 capacity Roots Hall Stadium.
Unfortunately, however, eagle-eyed fans noticed that the newly named Gilbert and Rose West Stand now appeared to be a tribute to the British serial killer Rose West as opposed to any sponsorship opportunity.
Rose West played a part in the torture and murder of at least 9 young women between 1971 and 1987, alongside her husband Fred West.
Now, Chairman Ron Martin has admitted that he will be changing the name following backlash online, and spoke about how ‘disappointing’ it was that it had not been flagged before it was sent out on season tickets.
“It’s not the most advisable thing, it is unfortunate”, he told TalkSPORT.
“I suspect that the Gilbert And Rose are delighted with the press that they’re getting but it’s not good for the club.
“I suspect that the people in our commercial department were not born at the time of that tragedy and so I guess that’s why that’s happened.
“To be fair, it should have been picked up by the senior management, it wasn’t, and it came to my attention the night before last and we’re changing the name of the stand to ‘The West Stand sponsored by Gilbert And Rose’.
“I spoke to Tom Lawrence, the CEO, about it and we’re definitely going to change it.
It is unfortunate and really disappointing, but these things happen.
“My apologies go to everybody and we will get it changed.”
“I am embarrassed and I think it’s really disappointing.”