St James Park - Newcastle United News

I’ve wrote this before and I’m sure I’ll write it again; Newcastle United are never more than seconds from widespread controversy and unpopular decisions.

Just as everything was going swimmingly for Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias, Alan Pardew and co. the fat one from London has decided that after slowly but surely silencing the fans that wanted his head less than 18 months ago, he would throw it all down the toilet and put himself firmly back on square one.

Of course I’m talking about the ludicrous decision to rename St James’ Park the “Sports Direct Arena”. It’s embarrassing.

We’ve gone from being one of the proudest clubs in the country to having to turn up in our thousands week in, week out, to a beautiful stadium tainted with the ugliest of branding plastered all over it.

Last year, when Ashley’s puppet Llambias announced that sponsors could get involved with the naming of the ground with something along the lines of “sportsdirect@stjamespark” the response was, to say the least, unpopular.

But this is one step further. In the new name, there is no mention of the 119-year history of St James’ Park, just a shameless plug for a cheap sports shop.

The history of the club is a proud one. Largely considered a club with one of the best sets of fans’ in the country/world, the Geordie faithful are mistreated like this all too often and now have to live with a sponsored stadium to go with their cowboy owner.

Llambias has said the naming of the stadium will bring in an extra £8-10m to fund transfers to keep up Newcastle’s excellent start to the season. With Modibo Maiga expected to cost around that to prise him away from Sochaux, which accounts for a much-needed new striker but it still doesn’t answer the whereabouts of the money still unacquainted for from Andy Carroll’s £35m departure.

After summer spending we pretty much broke even with the sales of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton. Even if Demba Ba’s infamous “agent fees” cost anything up to £5m, that still leaves £30m to be spent on new players, so why the need for an extra “£8-10m” from selling the one thing that is synonymous to Newcastle United?

We can only assume we’re never going to see that money re-invested in transfers.

Ashley’s one-man mission to turn the club into a full-time advertisement is disgraceful no doubt. But one thing I will say is that it’s not the first time a club will sell their soul for money, nor will it be the last. It’s reported that Chelsea are considering doing the same as us and selling the Stamford Bridge name to the highest bidder, a move that signifies that football is a business first a foremost…not a sport.

Ashley doesn’t care about history and passionate support, he cares about the green under his pillow.

But there has to be a line somewhere surely? With Northern Rock’s shirt sponsorship deal running out at the end of this season, could we see Newcastle running out with an ugly “sports direct” badge emblazoned on the middle of their shirts? Or could we go one step further and re-name the entire club “Sports Direct United”, play our home games in the Sports Direct Arena and have our home kit a rather fetching red and blue striped number, rather than the famous black and white? It sounds ridiculous, but I wouldn’t put it past Ashley, who will stop at nothing to make as much money out of the club as possible.

The backlash from the fans this week has been as fierce as you would expect, but hopefully the nature of the move can actually benefit us. If a new owner is found soon, we can hope that he will see the stadium revert back to its original, it’s only, name.

Hopefully the name change won’t affect the excellent form the Geordies are in on the pitch and we can carry on our early season charge towards a European place. We’ve looked impressive despite all that’s gone on over the summer and maybe this change can bring the team even closer together and even more determined to give the fans something good to talk about once again.

At the end of the day, I’m not going to call it the Sports Direct Arena and neither are you.

Long live St James’ Park.

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  1. Gary Linney

    WE have to make sure it is NEVER called anything else. At least the City Council agree…
    The media should make a stand too! Newcastle Journal/Chronicle, you should start by boycotting/banning the S***ts D****t name & logo in your publications & press releases.
    St James' Boulevard, St. James' metro station, St.James' Terrace, St.James' Park!
    ALWAYS HAS BEEN -ALWAYS WILL BE
    HTL!!!

    Reply
  2. davidri

    How can anyone in their right mind ignore a possible ten million deal for the sake of a name. Too many Newcastle fans are living in the past. While not being Ashley's greatest fan, the man has at least got a winning team living within its means.

    Reply
  3. dobbo

    wouldnt it be wonderful if a wealthy tynesider was able to cough up the money and re name the stadium…st jamess' park, one in the eye for ashley, any takers out there, maybe the fans could cough it up, 10m divided by 40,000 = £250 each per year, now theres a dream.

    Reply
    • Gary Linney

      I believe that is NUST's dream but we ALL need to buy into it, I just wish I had the money!!
      I would shove me loose change doon Cashleys throat!

      Reply
  4. roddy

    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet….." I don't like it, but it's hardly as important as most people are saying. What matters is what happens on the pitch. And if NUFC PLC gets £10m from sponsors, that's £10m nearer Ashley's departure, either because he's got his investment back or because he's found a buyer.

    Reply
  5. Blaydonson

    SDA until the Olympics when it has to revert to St James’ Park then a change to the highest bidder. No, I tell you what, let’s not play Ashley’s silly game. We know that the Carroll money was promised but he failed to deliver. We know they said the stadium name would not be changed. He now wants us to believe the renaming money will be spent on players. Oh yeah!

    No one will be interested in renaming and paying good money for it if journalists continue to refer to SJP, the road signs are to SJP, the metro is St James’ and the customers don’t want to recognise anything but SJP. Nufc.com will continue to refer to SJP. That’s what we all must do.

    Let them sell the shirt sponsorship and leave our home address alone. Surely the owners of the ground can tell their tenant that this is unacceptable.

    The value of a name change must be in its acceptability locally. Big mistake Llambias. You’d think he’d recognise errors by now.

    Reply
    • Gary Linney

      Agreed Blaydonson!
      Latest news is Northern Rock have pulled out of shirt sponsorship today too!
      So that'll mean we'll have s**t d****t.com on theLads' toon shirts til a new sponsor is found.
      God it sounds as bad as it is going to look!!

      Reply
  6. nacka

    Yet another slap in the face from the fat wanker! i want very bad things to happen to him….. sod saving up to buy the naming rights, save up and buy a hitman

    Reply
  7. ToonRoo

    Ha, ha tip of the iceberg. I wouldn't put it past Llambias to have deliberately orchestrated the sponsorship knowing it would fail. This would then let him keep the name Sports Direct Arena whilst bleating hard done by and how Ashley has saved the day. This of course will be followed by Sports Direct on the new shirts, when the existing sponsorship from Northern Rock's is terminated EARLY and you guessed it Sports Direct as the sponsor. What an amazing coincidence aye >_< Perhaps I am a cynical man, but I doubt it! Certain things have a feel about them and this feeling is BAD with a capital B!
    All for the sake of one!!!! player being brought in….Even IF that were true I have absolutely no trust is anything Llambias comes out with (and that doesn't even come close.) Is it worth changing the name of the club that is at the very heart of us Geordies. I'm not excluding or intend disrespect to our brothers and sisters who are not Geordies (in many ways your support is more being that it is not genetically infused at birth,) but I do feel it is more felt by those that are born there.
    No wonder Ashley (and Llambias) are hated in the business world. Zero class, zero honour, zero ethics. St James' Park is and always will be immortal and it will see the death of you two bastards! As a born Geordie I consider such action against hallowed ground an abomination.Long live St James's Park!! Howay The Lads!

    Reply
  8. Coatesy

    Totally agree with roddy! We’re having the best start to a season for years and something like this is what brings it crashing down. I mean, I live near to St James’ and we all know that that’s what it will always be known as, but we should let it be and worry more about supporting the lads on the pitch than insiting hatred towards Ashley. We all know to expect the unexpected from him, or what is now the expected, but being bothered about him detects your support from the lads. I’m all for the football on the pitch, and not the. Fat twat upstairs.

    Reply

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