Posh v Posh: Spice Girl launches bid to claim club's nickname

Pity Peterborough United. As if being put up for sale for £1.5m and sliding into the relegation zone were not enough, the club now finds its 68-year-old nickname the subject of a takeover bid by a former Spice Girl.

Anxious to secure its finances after its owners put it on the market for £1.5m, the football club applied to the UK Patents Office to have Posh registered as a trademark.

Having used the moniker "Posh" or "the Posh" since its foundation in 1934, executives at Peterborough Utd, currently second bottom of the Second Division, could have been forgiven for expecting no objections.

But it learnt this week that its application was being opposed by Victoria Beckham, who became known as Posh Spice in 1996 ­ 62 years after the football team.

Geoff Davey, the club's chief executive, said: "I was absolutely stunned when I got the letter. The name is part of the club's history and tradition."

The team is believed to have acquired its nickname when a coach of an early Peterborough side declared he was looking for "posh players for a posh team".

The word itself is often said to be an acronym of the nautical term "port outward, starboard home", used for the rich travelling in the best cabins on British ships heading to and from the Orient.

But those speaking for Mrs Beckham insist the word belongs to the global superstar. "The name is inexorably associated with Victoria Beckham in the public's mind."

Mr Davey said: "I just hope it doesn't come down to who has got the most money." That would be no contest. Mrs Beckham's fortune would allow her to buy the club, nickname and all, 13 times over.

Geoff Davey, the club's chief executive, said: "I was absolutely stunned when I got the letter. The name is part of the club's history and tradition."

The team is believed to have acquired its nickname when a coach of an early Peterborough side declared he was looking for "posh players for a posh team".

The word itself is often said to be an acronym of the nautical term "port outward, starboard home", used for the rich travelling in the best cabins on British ships heading to and from the Orient.

But those speaking for Mrs Beckham insist the word belongs to the global superstar. "The name is inexorably associated with Victoria Beckham in the public's mind."

Mr Davey said: "I just hope it doesn't come down to who has got the most money." That would be no contest. Mrs Beckham's fortune would allow her to buy the club, nickname and all, 13 times over.

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