Ashley gets Moat vote?
Posted on November 15th, 2009 | 9 Comments |
Having so far failed in his efforts to raise the funds to tempt Mike Ashley into selling Newcastle United to him, Barry Moat has now gone on record to suggest that the famous St James’ Park name wouldn’t necessarily have been safe in his hands either. It appears he can see exactly what Ashley is doing and why he’s doing it, and it could have been part of his business strategy had he been in the position.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Moat said:
“I think you have to explore things like naming rights, you have to do that.
“Unfortunately we live in a world where football is big business, and the gap between the Championship and the Premier League is getting bigger all the time.
“So you have to do things to close that gap. We need to get back up to the Premier League as quickly as possible.
“I think if you have to do some of those things, by taking the commercial benefit of a sponsor, then as far as I’m concerned if that gets the right players on the pitch, gives you the right entertainment on a Saturday, then where do I sign?”
I think it’s fair to say that most of us understand the whole ‘football is big business’, and that there are clever ways to market yourself and earn a quick buck. But also that sometimes you shouldn’t want or need to sacrifice something if it means more to you than the money it will earn. The naming rights to the proud and dignified stadium we all know as St James’ Park as a good example.
The subject is clearly quite divisive, because the arguments for the renaming are all based on the same theory that Moat mentions. In other words, if it raises money to get quality on the field then it’s a no-brainer. The other side of the argument is that it’s more than just the football on the pitch. It’s a belonging and a togetherness that is steeped in history, that is also what football is about too. The two needn’t be mutually exclusive either so you can forget about it being a ‘needs must’ situation. There are other ways to raise funds and the stadium name should have been left well alone. Or maybe I’m just a sentimental fool? Either way, I don’t think I’ll ever be convinced it’s a good idea.