Chiefs name change offside with many fans

BEN STRANG
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

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Some Chiefs fans, or soon to be Gallagher Chiefs fans, are less than pleased with the planned 2016 franchise name change.

In a waikatotimes.co.nz poll run yesterday, 60 per cent of voters said they were not happy with the name, while 40 per cent said they saw no problem with the change.

That was echoed on the street, where some fans were livid with the name change, while others thought it was a good business deal by the franchise.

Waikato Rugby Supporters' Club president Wayne Albiston said his club are not worried about the move, though he admitted some supporters were not happy.

"The naming rights don't really worry us," he said. "They're still the Chiefs, we'll call them the Chiefs. They're our local team."

Chiefs chief executive Andrew Flexman said there will always be some supporters unhappy with new sponsorship, much like they were when the All Blacks were first sponsored by AIG.

He said those complaints have died down, and he expects any complaints about the Gallagher sponsorship to go the same way.

"When you get an offer like this, it's hard to turn down. It keeps us in a good place financially, and Gallagher have always been a huge supporter of the region, and the Chiefs.

"It's a title only. We're still the Chiefs."

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- Waikato Times

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