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Random gripe about the random Toon.

Posted on November 4th, 2009 | 149 Comments |

Chuckles
Chuckles
In his statement when he took Newcastle United off the market, Mike Ashley said “… he is totally committed to the future success of Newcastle United and will be focussing on gaining promotion back to the Premier League.”

Fair enough, but what’s with all this nonsense about giving Hughton a million or two to buy some players as if it was some unplanned afterthought? I mean, what’s his transfer window budget for January, the summer, the January after that?

Surely if he’s ‘totally committed to the future success of Newcastle United’ he’s made financial projections for some years ahead, established his incomings and outgoings and got some sort of business plan for rebuilding the club that takes into account various scenarios (such as succeeding or failing to get promotion).

Of course, after his screw-up over Keegangate, he’s keen to make it known that he has the final say on transfers. Llambias said in his recent interview:

We work with Chris. Let’s clear up the final say – the final say is with the board, which basically is Mike. At the end of the day, Mike has to put the money into it. But Chris will recommend the players and we will go out there and get his first choices, if we can.”

I’d like to bet Hughton’s contract is watertight on the subject of the ‘final say’, although it’s quite ironic that Keegan was constructively dismissed for not wanting to spend money on a player.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Ashley must surely have a transfer/wages budget set aside for the next few windows. Why not just tell Hughton what it is and let him get on with it in the traditional way? What can Ashley or Llambias possibly know about transfer targets above and beyond what Hughton and his scouts know?

For all I know there could be reams of business plans in the SportsDirect.com@St James’ Park boardroom and numerous bespectacled accountants could have drafted spreadsheets in the minutest detail but, on the surface at least, it all appears incredibly random.

Whilst I’m having a general gripe, Llambias said the following about the new ‘SportsDirect.com@St James’ Park’ name:

We will showcase Sports Direct until the end of the season. I’m sure we’re going to get a sponsor in for next season.”

Showcase? By that do you mean slam our heritage for the sake of giving Ashley some free advertising for one of his other companies?

Sports Direct and Newcastle United are separate legal entities and I reckon Ashley has a duty to charge Sports Direct a few million for that. None of this “oh I might give Hughton a few million for players to make up for it” – let’s see it on the balance sheet as a proper transaction, the money from which can then be passed onto Hughton.

And there couldn’t possibly be a more aggravating sponsor than Sports Direct to ‘showcase’ the stadium renaming as far as fans are concerned. I sometimes wonder if Ashley’s just taking the piss and goes home at night roaring with laughter.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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149 Responses

  1. lol great minds and all that, I said that on one of your other articles, if sportsdirect want their name on the ground, pay up!!

  2. On the final say issue – It seems fair enough to me, and is probably how it works in just about every other football team.  The manager identifies who he wants and then asks the Chairman/Owner for the money to buy the player.  He then either gets the go ahead or he is told to do one.
    In my opinion it’s a totally separate issue to the one Keegan had.

  3. On the Sports Direct naming issue.  How much do you think they spend to have their banner in the ground now?  No one made an issue of that.  To me the naming issue has the sum of f-all to do with how much money is coming in and all about the name of the ground.
    Apologies for the quick double posting.

  4. Could not agree more with this article.  How much is his clothing empire paying for hanging its atrocious name at our cathedral on the hill.  I despise them.

    NEWCASTLE UNITED FC AT ST JAMES PARK.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

  5. Hugh,

    ‘Showcase? By that do you mean slam our heritage for the sake of giving Ashley some free advertising for one of his other companies?’

    Did you have the same opinion 18 months ago when the SportsDirect.com sign was erected on the Gallowgate?

    From where I’m standing nothing is really changing,  we’ve had that sign for a while now.  So what if they want to charge a company to put their logo on the four stands and in front of the stadium.

    This is one thing that we really don’t need to be moaning and complaining about.

  6. banners are a little different to a honking great sticker in front of the hallowed “st james park” though MT?
    I’m dead set against renaming it, but if he’s doing it anyway, show us the colour of your money

  7. danny-boy says:
    November 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm
    banners are a little different to a honking great sticker in front of the hallowed “st james park” though MT?
    I’m dead set against renaming it, but if he’s doing it anyway, show us the colour of your money

    Is there any chance at all of reading and listening to what they are doing?

    Their not renaming anything.  Their offering a company the chance to whack their logo on the stadium – What’s the problem?

  8. The slap-dash nature of Mike’s transfer budget policy is further proof, if any were needed, that he is NOT in this for the long haul. Expect “For Sale” signs in May 2010!

  9. what’s the problem? you really don’t see it? St james park has been st james park since 1892, and this simpleton who himself has called his tenure shambolic decides to change it to sportsdirect.com@st james park, and on top of that, he’s been pushing naming rights as a revenue generator but pays nothing, you want to talk about reading & listening stu, try thinking.

  10. To me the whole naming issue is one of heritage and class.  They’ve addressed the heritage issue to an extent by not renaming the ground the Mike Ashley Memorial Stadium and keeping St James Park.  However, the whole <insert name here> @ St James Park is horrible.  Can you see Liverpool or ManU or Chelsea doing this for Anfield, Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge?  Still having a stadium name that actually means something to the region and to football as a whole is a very nice thing to have.  Netto @ Nou Camp doesn’t really work does it?   Stadium names should envoke memories of that club and the heritage it comes with. Clubs that sell their name have no class or dignity.
    We currently have very little class or dignity left in the club, thanks to the current custodians, we now have even less.

  11. Stuart79 – be accurate, I think you will find it is on the Gallowgate and outside on the front of the building too.

    I am dead against it, and where is the proof we are even going to receive revenue from this?

  12. spot on MT
    regardless what the populace thinks, NUFC are one of the biggest proudest clubs in this land, a long illustrious heritage of support and history, torn down in less than a season by an upstart who made his money selling tracksuits cheap with no shame or even recognition of his mistakes other than lip service

  13. What a relief!!

    The FCB – who has made such fantastic decisions so far in the running of the club, and is of course an expert t-shirt salesman….will use his enormous knowledge of football (cough) to make the final decision on players.

    We can all sleep well in our beds  ;)

  14. “Did you have the same opinion 18 months ago when the SportsDirect.com sign was erected on the Gallowgate?”

    When I take photos for the blog, I purposefully try to avoid getting it in the shot. And it’s quite hard given we’re I sit!! 8O

    I hate the garish barsteward thing, I honestly do.

  15. danny-boy says:
    November 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    what’s the problem? you really don’t see it? St james park has been st james park since 1892, and this simpleton who himself has called his tenure shambolic decides to change it to sportsdirect.com@st james park, and on top of that, he’s been pushing naming rights as a revenue generator but pays nothing, you want to talk about reading & listening stu, try thinking.

    Who’s going to call it SportsDirect.com@St James’ Park?  Nobody.  All this is over a logo being on the stadium – It’s pathetic!
     
    Are we referred to as Northern Rock at Newcastle United?
    It’s just an excuse to have a go.
    Now regular bloggers will know I like to have a go at them, but only on things of relevance.
    Come on! 
    I’ve said we should see how much he wants us promoted on Febuary 1st 2010.
    Excelsior – I agree, I think the for sale signs will be up in May – If  in fact he has taken them down yet.
    I noticed Llambias as said that Ashley may look for a partner if we get promoted.  That would work for him and it would work for the fans if his partner is very wealthy.  We’d all forget he was involved if we started winning games and marched p the Premier League.
     
     

  16. Spot on Micky T….no class from top to bottom. Ashley’s used his own company to demonstrate how his, ludicrous, idea would work. Thankfully it’s so awful that it will put off potential sponsors forever! 
     
    sportsdirect.com@St James’ Park…indeed!
     
    Quite telling that Llambias’, in his newspaper interview, has earmarked that money for potential transfers, pie-in-the-sky money, fantasy money,money we are NEVER likely to see generated because, and I keep saying this, no one is going to want to be associated with this bunch of four star clowns!!

  17. hmmmm just noticed that stuart79 has exactly the same amount of letters in as stardust……
    just putting that out there lol
    ;)

  18. Another little nugget from Llambias’ interview: he says “once we are promoted then we’ll make sure we have a team that can keep us there” by which time it’ll be far too late: promoted in May, for sale signs go up, no takers for 3 months, frantic scramble in August to sign anyone….relegated the following May! Unless he goes this is what we have to look forward to!

  19. bowburnmag says:
    November 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm
    “Did you have the same opinion 18 months ago when the SportsDirect.com sign was erected on the Gallowgate?”
    When I take photos for the blog, I purposefully try to avoid getting it in the shot. And it’s quite hard given we’re I sit!!
    I hate the garish barsteward thing, I honestly do.

    Fair enough BBM, but that’s my point, we didn’t have all this arguing and demonstration planning did we?

    The most we did was avoid it in a photo.

    Cannot see the difference personally.

    I see it as a stick to beat the regime for past mis-dermeanours.

    I hate the regime, but I like to think I’m a reasonable guy.  I cannot criticise them for doing nothing wrong.

  20. danny-boy – I made that link about 12 months ago, or maybe more?

    Nah, totally different bloggers.

    I believe Stardust is actually Derek Llambias. I’m now convinced of it. I was just waiting for Dekka to mention about how the fans ‘love to hate’ in that radio interview.

    To be honest, Stu79 seems to be balancing me out since I jumped off the fence. Fair play. But he ‘ates the regime, trust me.

  21. we’re not called Northen rock @ newcastle united? what relevance that has to anything is just beyond me
    personally, I have no need for an excuse to have a go, rather than the fact that we have become the laughing stock of the football world because of the OFF field comedy circus going on in the upstairs of st james park, the selling of a large part of our already small squad and the fact that the goons running the show have been found guilty of lying to myself and several other thousand fans, guess you’d missed that bit huh?
    personally I think that if you enjoy having a go at regular bloggers you need to find a hobby, forums like this should be for discussion over opinions, mine for instance is that renaming a ground that has stood over a hundred years happily called st james’ is disgusting, if you think that’s ok – and not getting any revenue for it when that’s the only reason offered for doing it, I’d love to hear your justification…

  22. Ya right there BBM i do hate them and what they have done.

    I still think we could go through all this again next pre season when he try’s to sell.

    But when they aren’t doing anything particularly wrong I think were just making things harder for us and the players with all the demo’s planned ect…

  23. Think your wishing on a star if you really think that if we get promoted from the fizzy pop league,and in my view its a really big if with the squad we have.Lets see what happens in the January transfer window mate,hope your not hoping for any real qulity signings if any,be the usual bargain basement stuff he specialises in,like the crap he sells in his ” Shite Direct Empire” His modus operendi is to take not give back,hence he is still up in the tranfers out versus the tranfers in.All he wants is to get back in the PL to get more money to take when he has had enough of his stupid games at St James Park.
     
    I don’t believe one single word that comes out of Barrack Road these days,what we should do is  get a name that fits our situation,mmmm something like “Wally World@ St James Park,fits them quite nicely and the majority of fans who just cant be bothered to protest about being treated like idiots by these two imbeciles.he will get no more money out of me,and yeah before the inevitable question is asked,I am a season ticket holder and my seats remaining clay cold until the FCB is gone
     
    Keep the Faith

  24. fair comment BBM, i’ve done my rant now ^
    simply, I find it hard to relate to any good thing that comes from sportsdirect.com@st james park, it gains us no revenue, as stuart pointed out, we already have a giant banner so why add that? and most important of all, to add a tacky @ to something so filled with history is shameful lol

  25. Excelsior – I made the same point on the other thread.

    Stu79 – I know what you’re saying. Neither of us grumble for the sake of it, but I see these things differently. It’s all so reactionary and seeping with damage-limitation. Not much of what he said convinces me of any great future. He speaks with the same financial empty rhetoric that we all think is great and yet we don’t seem to have any great immediate plans for what’s happening on the pitch. Or at least if we do, they play second fiddle. I think that’s unforgiveable.

    I’ll admit, past misdemeanours probably make it more difficult to warm to them. But that’s only human, right?

  26. danny-boy says:
    November 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Are you on drugs Danny?

    You were probably a supporter who said that putting a sponsor on our sacrosanct shirt was like de – facing the badge.  When in fact it’s now the norm.  Don’t be suprised to see this happening all over the place.

    Now your other point.  THEY ARE NOT RENAMING THE STADIUM!  Can you digest that?

    This club has always been the laughing stock of football, ever since KK’s famous rant.  The number of managers we go through due to us being impatient, the parochialism we have, the way we hang on to our legends ect…

    That’s not a criticsm, that’s what makes us special and unique.  That’s why I love this club an this city.

    But don’t fool ya self, it wasn’t Ashley who made us a laughing stock – He just contributed.

    He has been a disaster, no doubt but don’t hammer him for something he hasn’t done.

  27. Personally I think there’s a massive difference between an advertising banner and a change of stadium name.  That’s all his current banner is, free advertising, the same as those god awful Noda Taxi’s adverts that appear on the LCD’s.  It’s is most definitely not the same as having the ground called sportsdirect.com@St James Park.  It makes even less sense in the fact that his nearest store is in Eldon Square. :-)

  28. yes I am, I’m an insulin dependant diabetic listen carefully, the sponsors on the shirt pay us money to do so, our beloved owner is putting his name on our ground at not paying for it, did you follow that nimrod? so sportsdirect.com@st james park is the same as st james park? hmmmm, think i passed english and i see 17 things that are different, which would be renaming…. as for the rest, I’m not even going to justify that with a response
    people like you are the problem now, I’m not an advocate of boycotting the games, the players want our support and they have earned it, but if you really can’t see what the problem is I don’t have any more time for you

  29. Dicky boy,

    We will agree to disagree on the naming issue.

    On Ashley not paying for the SportsDirect logo, how do you know?  He’s just put £20m into the club.  Bet Adidas won’t pay that much!

  30. name calling is a childs game
    can’t see me agreeing with someone like you ever, regardless over what
    he put £20m in to cover running costs – his duty as an owner

  31. danny-boy says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm
    name calling is a childs game
    can’t see me agreeing with someone like you ever, regardless over what
    he put £20m in to cover running costs – his duty as an owner

    I agree it is his duty.

    Look he’s obviously totally out of his depth.  He has made yet another massive blunder with this sponsorship but only because some supporters would be up in arms at the suggestion.  What he has done is a step forward in terms of revenue but a step back in terms of PR.

    Whatever he does now he cannot win, for that reason I think he should go.  But he’s tried and he’s failed.  What do you want him to do?  Just give it to someone?

  32. Are we sure stuart79 isn’t stardust?  They have the same resort to name calling when they get upset routine.

  33. hes not tried & failed, he’s tried – twice now, and both times he’s attempted to line his pockets with as much money as possible, and the final decision has been his, if ALL the reports are to be believed, Moat offered £80m which considering how much of the squad he stripped sounds like a fair price to me, particularly in the economic climate we face at the minute, I’m not asking him to give it away, just to accept a reasonable offer, not going to happen so we are here now, to bridge a gap in part, he can remove lambias for starters, my opinion is not that Ashley has crushed us this far, I firmly believe all of his hairbrained schemes are Lambias doing, none of this happened under Mort
    goingback to my earlier post, if you have a reason to support the move he made, justify it, I can – there are millions of reports circling the net about the RENAMING of st james park and that’s what it is.

  34. Micky Toon says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm
    Are we sure stuart79 isn’t stardust?  They have the same resort to name calling when they get upset routine.

    I’m frustrated because just when it looks like were in for a period of stability this happens and I feel that some supporters are just using this as an excuse to batter the regime with.

    More instability, more fighting between club and fans.

    I’m torn on who’s fault it is – Is it Ashley’s for doing it or is it our fans for over reacting?

    If a billionaire arab did it with Shearer as the manager would there be the same outrage?

  35. I think fighting between club & fans is a little dramatic, the fans are outraged and rightly so, NUFC is not a toy for Ashley/Lambias to play with, its a club with history and currently he is disregarding all the club and we the fans are

  36. danny-boy says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with regards to Llambias.  If Ashley is to regain any credibility he has to replace Llambias.
    With regards to the ‘renaming’ it’s not actually renaming is it?
    Most of the fans have got it totally wrong.  Supporters clubs, local papers and everyday supporters.  St James’ Park is staying and will always be staying.

    Coronation Street is sponsored by Harveys furniture store aren’t they?  I bet you as much money as you like your mrs doesn’t say to you “can you tape Harveys@ Coronation Street tonight please?”

    It’s all pedantic in it’s highest order.

  37. Stuart79, in my opinion it doesn’t matter who is proposing the naming rights.  It would be wrong in any circumstances.  I don’t get the Shearer reference though.

  38. I’ve said my piece and to be honest I’m a little dumbfounded at how narrow minded you seem to be stuart, but it’s your opinion & it’s as valid as any other
    I have no more to add to this now

  39. Anyone remember the furore over sponsors soiling every football shirt in the ‘world’, we got over that.
    Anyone who thought they were gonna actually change the name of the ground-ppppffft! OMG!
    Howay lads/lasses, as an anti-religious person, anything with saint in it gets my goat(if i had one) anyway. I know St. James’ Park is forever, but knackers to all saints, if you please, you get me?

  40. Stu79 – of  course not. Assuming they hadn’t fcked us around for two years beforehand and made themselved totally untrustworthy……

  41. I’d like to support Stuart on this one.
    Leave the lad be, he can be & has been very negative on stuff in the past.
    But, he’s actually showing some positive attitude & bottle on this, good on y’mate.
    Long live Stuart.
    Don’t let us down Stu. :)

  42. bowburnmag says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm
    Stu79 – of  course not. Assuming they hadn’t fcked us around for two years beforehand and made themselved totally untrustworthy……

    Agreed and that’s why he has to go.  He cannot do anything now that won’t get taken to peices and criticised. 

    BBM, Is it his fault for coming up this idea or our fault for rubbishing it just because it’s his idea?

    Were at a impasse.  I hate him with a passion but we have to draw a line in the sand.  Can we just not get this season out of the way, get promoted and see what happens?

    Maybe I’m just going soft in my old age…

  43. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm
    I’d like to support Stuart on this one.
    Leave the lad be, he can be & has been very negative on stuff in the past.
    But, he’s actually showing some positive attitude & bottle on this, good on y’mate.
    Long live Stuart.
    Don’t let us down Stu.

    At last support! lol

    At least you cannot call me for just being negative.  I think I’m quite balanced overall.

  44. Stuart79 says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    “More instability, more fighting between club and fans.

    I’m torn on who’s fault it is – Is it Ashley’s for doing it or is it our fans for over reacting?”

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be one side or the other, Stuart. It could be that BOTH are locked in a cycle of  destructive behaviour.

  45. Llambias and his statements make me go “bleeughh”

    Get someone in who knows how to run a football club.
    Then get them or a spokesperson to inspire confidence and say the right things and start making up for lost time.

    Yes it’s all very unfortunate that there is lots of hatred around and that you’re trying your best and have tried your best and failed miserably. Your best clearly isn’t good enough. If a manager was this inept, they’ve have been turfed out long ago. Why not Llambias? So is Ashley happy with the standard set so far? God help us when the luck runs out.

  46. stu you have been bangin on all season that we wont go up,now your saying we will.whats happend have you been biten by the stardust bug like batty. :lol:

  47. workyticket says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm
    Stuart79 says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm
    “More instability, more fighting between club and fans.
    I’m torn on who’s fault it is – Is it Ashley’s for doing it or is it our fans for over reacting?”
    It doesn’t necessarily have to be one side or the other Stuart. It could be that BOTH are locked in a cycle of  destructive behaviour.

    Yeah but there can be only one who stays and that’s obviously not Ashley.

    Although I do think if we get promoted and he brings in a partner to share the burden, gets a football adminstrator in to replace Llambias and the club starts splashing the cash on players all will be forgiven.

    Football fans are famously fickle, and I count myself in that too.

  48. I fully admit that I would probably be less emotional and upset if the last two years had been vastly different but to qualify –

    a) I believe I’d still be unhappy about the proposal.

    b) If things hadn’t been so amatuer beforehand, this would not even be an issue because we’d probably have better (more dignified) ways of making money.

    The fact is, they’ve lost my trust and my confidence and I can’t see that changing. I will always try to be fair because that’s the kind of guy I am. But there is also an emotional string they cannot tug too tight or it will snap. If there wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t be a supporter.

    And yes Stu – you’re going soft. You wimp :)

  49. hitman says:
    November 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm
    stu you have been bangin on all season that we wont go up,now your saying we will.whats happend have you been biten by the stardust bug like batty

    I absolutely standby my views on that front.  Unless we bring in more players I don’t think we’ll go up.  Llambias says Ashley is desprate for us to go – We’ll see. 

    It’s just this sponsorship thing that has me annoyed that our supporters are going way over the top just because it’s Ashley.  If it was Barry Moat who did this having just bought the club there would be no problem.

  50. All football clubs will be doing this in the years to come.
    It’s already happening & it absolutely will not stop-resistance is futile-you will be assimilated.

  51. Players are sponsored by boot co.s etc, musicians by instrument co.s, football clubs have shirt sponsors & ground sponsors. Soon enough they’ll find ways to advertise on the pitch.
    They do it on the big screen, if they have one, round the hoardings.
    Anywhere they can squeeze one in.
    I’m surprised it’s took this long.

  52. Some things just aren’t for sale and it’s a sad reflection on our society that some people don’t or can’t see beyond pound signs.

  53. we all no that, the truth im not arsed about it because its @ st james park..what i object to is the way we were told,and ashley using his tacky shop infront of it for free advertising.now that boils me pi$$

  54. Er, it is a name change.  Any official documentation coming out of the club will have sportsdirect.com@ST James Park.

  55. Stuart79 says:
    November 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    “It’s just this sponsorship thing that has me annoyed that our supporters are going way over the top just because it’s Ashley.”

    As I wrote, Stuart, it’s pattern of destructive behaviour. The fans will continue baiting Ashley and demand he goes, he’ll put the club on the market again, genuine buyers won’t want to buy the club because it’s such a PR disaster zone, more jokers will use it as a publicity vehicle or laughing stock and so on.

  56. Hitman – I bet they are.  They are never going to be able to fit that on the little destination sign on the front of the metro.

  57. Is that nexus 6, who make androids in ‘Bladerunner’?
    Wouldn’t piss those guys off, Rutger will sort ’em out.

  58. For what it’s worth – instill some confidence in the supporters and begin re-building trust –

    – By getting a football fella in charge or make it clear that it’s on the agenda.
    – Stop making stupid PR gaffes.
    – Leave the name change thing alone.
    – Make sure we invest in the team this season.

    Quite simple. It would be a good start.

  59. Worky, doesn’t past actions count for anything?
    Perhaps this is just the final straw that broke the camels back, in the minds of our less militant fans.
    Perhaps those who have sat back and reasoned with themselves that Ashley isn’t the devil incarnate are now actually realising that those bed sheet waving kids actually did have a point after all, it’s just that the kids didn’t realise it.
    Perhaps some people think there is more to life than money and that everything doesn’t have a price.
    The club is not a PR disaster zone, only the current custodians of the club are.  NUFC is still one of the big names in football.  Everyone wants to beat us in this division, everyone wants to come to St James Park, a lot of people want to see us back in the PL.  The club is not a disaster area and whoever buys it and invests in it will have the time of their lives.   Our fans are not some unique destructive breed, our fans are just like everyone else, we just shout that little bit louder.

  60. This is again a massive PR disaster for Ashley and Co. If he had waited for a sponsor to come in and actually pay for the naming rights then fair enough but to thrust his own Sports shop’s name on us is just taking the piss.
    All Broadcasters will be obliged to call it by its official name so it will not be just St James Park.

  61. Does anyone evr wonder what might of been if Ashley had gotten to appoint Redknapp after he sacked Fat Sam?

  62. bowburnmag says:
    November 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm
    Stu – howay, it is a change nonetheless??
    We’re double-barrelled now.

    I’ve got to disagree BBM.  I don’t see it as a name change at all.  I see it as a sponsorship.

    Coronation Street is still Coronation Street even though it’s sponsored by Harvey’s.  You wouldn’t call Emmerdale, Emmerdale Airwick just because it’s sponsored by them would you?  Or maybe you do?

    It’s just like shirt sponsorship 25 yrs ago.  Everyone up in arms “how dare they put a sponsor on our great badged shirt”.

    It’s a sign of the times.  We need to find money from somewhere.

  63. They were having a good chuckle about this on 5 live this afternoon…along the lines of which footy commentator in their right mind is going to keep saying “The Sports.direct.con@St.James‘Park Stadium” ????

    Lets face it – footy commentators can’t even get our team’s name right – referring to us as “Newcarsel” rather than Newcatle United……

    Why didn’t our wonderful owners not just go the whole hog and call us laughing.stock@St.James‘.Park??

    This barrowboy is seriously taking the pi$$

  64. I have noticed that every media outlet in the world (well it feels that way) have got headlines of St James’ Park renamed!

    I can understand them whipping up the supporters into a frenzy as they want a demonstration on Saturday so they can sell more papers, but do we really need to fall for it?

    The media will never be happy if there’s nothing going on up here.

    Lets fck em off and support the team come what may.

  65. So far……………..

    There are six shady barstewards!!!

    I’m sad to assume, one of them may be Stu? :(

  66. Becoming an emotive subject, fact is no one is in favor of re-naming St. James Park.
    And contrary to what you assume Micky Toon, everything has it`s price, you will realize that with a few more years.
    Though it appears no one is in favor of a name change, there is still argument surrounding the issue.
    It`s basicallybetween those who believe  a more pragmatic attitude is the best approach vs. those who both detest Ashley and all he stands for.
    Fact is Ashley owns the club lock stock and barrel and can do whatever he pleases.
    It has been a trend in professional sports to re- name stadiums, there are corporations who believe it to be  both a source of publicity and in many cases, a tax write off.
    It would in fact, looking from a pragmatic perspective, be foolish to turn down any annual fee of four to five million, which could go a long way in either transfer fees or wages.
    This is not a pro MA article, I believe he screwed up an original good idea, simply by hiring the wrong people, plus hidden debt and the economic climate all contributed.
    Looks like he will be here for the foreseeable future, question is could there be some sort of half assed rapprochement, because it does no one any good to have constant confrontation, not the team, fans or club in general.
    It`s going to take change from the present day by day operation, to at least, a defined business plan with a competent general manager in charge, plus the right choice of manager.
    We are all of us aware what`s needed, though we may disagree on the details and a bit of stability is desperately called for, not more confrontation.
    A more important question though less emotive is, will the team be strengthened during the Jan. window, I believe it`s essential if we have ambitions  of promotion.
     
     
     

  67. Journal columnist Paul Dixon suggested the stadium be re named Dis Graceland, cant argue with that.

  68. Chuck please don’t take me as someone who is too niave to understand how the world works.  I still stand by my statement though and if we had an owner that had an ounce of class or decorum about him then he wouldn’t be pimping our stadium out to the highest bidder.

  69. If poncey journos with no stake whatsoever in this club wanna rename the place, they have to pay.
    ;)

  70. Micky Toon – BBM
    A simple question.
    Would you be willing to forego transfers into the club for the sake of keepng the name?
    If yes – thats your prerogative and you should never complain at the lack of activity in a transfer window ever again.
    If no – what are you complaining about.
    Please do not dodge the issue and demand another man who you hate should just stump up the money blindly when he has other far more sensible options.

  71. You know – many wondered why no one bought us. Reading the threads over the last few days reaffirms all I have been saying.
     
    Anyone spare 100million for a chalice full of poison.

  72. Clintflick – Paul Dixon is a life long fan with a column in the paper, very funny man with a realistic view of the shenanigans at the club.

  73. Stu, i think he’s referring to the poll at the top of the page mate.
    &, NO, i’m not one of the ‘shady 6’, i don’t do polls, i still haven’t paid me poll tax.

  74. Mickey Toon
    If someone makes the statement,” not everything is for sale”, then it leads me to believe the author is a naif.
     

  75. The tabloids and news services are having a field day over the proposed re-naming of St. James.
    And the mob is raising to the bait, working themselves into a verbal frenzy.
    Anyone with a sense of pragmatism , risks the wrath of the mob.
    Afraid there`s not a lot of hope, what with an ownership who have been proven incompetent and the most opinionated and vociferously demanding fans (though they still show up in the thousands)  in direct conflict.
    What to do, what to do ?

  76. Chuck, fk ’em mate.
    If the Toon won everything in it’s path, the press would still find a way to slag us off.
    Just look at how they talk about us while we’re top of this league. I wouldn’t, & don’t, waste any precious time reading their smug, super-annuated, self-appointed BS mate.
    It doesn’t even make good chip wrappers these days.

  77. Total network solutions, airbus uk.
    If i remember correctly, john hall was thatcher’s best mate when he was owning the Toon & S&N were in the top 2 of tory party contributors.

  78. Doesn’t anyone think it’s ironic tht for the first time in their reign the board give a television interview to tell us about the financial difficulties we’ve faced ie relegation it’s a revenue making announcement that everyone is getting their knickers in a twist about?

    I think it’s been interesting and encouraging that they have at least done the interview to tell us where we are.

    18 months late yes – But possibly a sign of things to come.

    On the other hand it could be them just trying to dig tem selves out of a hole.

  79. stuart,lameass brought up the financals to justife the naming rights carry on.these clowns will always have an angle.

  80. I think you’re right Stu,
    but, i’m not that chowed about knowing the in’s & out’s of the far end of a fart, tbh.
    I know some care passionately about such things, & that’s their prerogative.
    I was sick to the back teeth of the crap FFS used to dole out, making us look like parochial, dumb gets.
    You don’t hear arsenal, manu, chelsea etc coming out with some of the pap we have had to listen to in the past.

  81. I have to make this quite clear in case my follow bloggers think I have lost the plot or I’m high on drugs or summat.

    I think this sponsorship o the stadium is a great idea personally. 

    I think he’s yet again made a monumental cock up by actually using  a business so synonymous with him to ‘showcase’ how it will work.

    He appears oblivious to how supporters feel.  There can be no excuse for that.

    Maybe they are trying to improve things like communication but in doing so make another mistake. 

    Do they keep their mouth shut and get criticised for a lack of communication or do they communicate, let us know what’s happening and get criticised for doing what their doing?

    My answer – Get a experienced football man in the job.  Fck all this rubbish about knowing the area, the only thing I want them to know is how to run a football club and how to cummunicate with it’s customers.

  82. ‘ Think like  a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people’.

    Something for them to think about.

  83. Stu – I was only kidding anyway mate.

    Stardust/Derek – simple question, simple answer – yes I would. There should be no need for us to have to forego something so fundamental to provide funds for players. Ask worky what he thinks? After all, he doesn’t hate Mike Ashley, you know that even if you’ve convinced yourself that I do.

  84. Aye I kna mate.

    I am suprised that you really think that were foregoing something so fundamental.

    Can you really say hand on heart that the club are actually changing the name of the ground?  Or can you at least see my point of view that it is just a sponsorship project.  Similar to shirt sponsorship 25 yrs ago?

  85. And an Honest answer to a simple question.
    The reality though is concession have to be made
    Cheers BBM – you can call me “Dez”

  86. Cant believe your posts above Stuart – objective and rational – been to A&E with a tight chest all day after reading them – keep it up youll finish me off lol

  87. Stu – yeah I guess it’s pretty weird that we disagree on this. Though I know you’ve always been keen for investment and this is potentially one source.

    A couple of things on that though –

    a) Can we be sure that this isn’t just a hornet’s nest for no reason, because no ‘big player’ is likely to throw money at a part-rebrand?

    b) The strips thing is, in part, relevant but essentially I felt in many cases they added to the design of a strip, so it’s an enhancement. I think adding something to the front of a name defiles and demeans it.

    c) It is the disregard for our point of view (those opposed) and the apparent flippancy which makes matter so much worse.

    d) I don’t want us to be associated with Sports Direct. Call me a snob…..

    e) Would any money raised be invested wisely? I know you’re trying to do the right thing in trusting them but do you think you’ll be anything other than underwhelmed in January?

    Dez – :)

    I’m just aggrieved that we’re the ones having to make concessions on something so important to us. Good craic though.

  88. I know,  it’s ridiculous.

    I’m  going soft in the heed.

    I actually like the idea of what their doing.  I think some supporters don’t like it becaue of who is doing it.

  89. Nah, if Big Al was doing it, I’d still be up in arms. There’s a deep-rooted principle there, which I guess is difficult for me to explain and you to appreciate or share.

    Reet, off to watch Spooks. Catch you up in a bit (whoever is still on)……

  90. bowburnmag says:
    November 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    a) Can we be sure that this isn’t just a hornet’s nest for no reason, because no ‘big player’ is likely to throw money at a part-rebrand?
    No but I cannot believe that Ashley or Llambias haven’t had some indication of interest before ‘putting it out to tender’ so to speak.
    b) The strips thing is, in part, relevant but essentially I felt in many cases they added to the design of a strip, so it’s an enhancement. I think adding something to the front of a name defiles and demeans it.
    I reckon plenty of people probably disagreed with you on that.  I’m not old enough to remember but I bet there were supporters disgusted in what they would have classed has de-facing the badge.  It adds to the design of the strip NOW, but is that because were use to it now?
    c) It is the disregard for our point of view (those opposed) and the apparent flippancy which makes matter so much worse.
    That’s the annoying thing, they appear to not know anything about football fans.

    d) I don’t want us to be associated with Sports Direct. Call me a snob…..
    His biggest faux pas.  Great idea, but did he really need to use that as a ‘show case’? Did he really not know the reaction from the supporters?  If not he should have done.

    e) Would any money raised be invested wisely? I know you’re trying to do the right thing in trusting them but do you think you’ll be anything other than underwhelmed in January?
    I’m sure I will be underwhelmed in January as I have been on the last four transfer windows under Ashley.  The sponsorship of the ground won’t bring any money in until next year anyway so this January probably won’t be the best time to judge the success of it or not.

    All in all I’m dissapointed that it appears he still hasn’t learnt anything about football fans. 
    I don’t mind people making mistakes, after all how else are you to learn?  But if you keep making the same mistakes you have to think you’re not very good at it, so get someone in who is.
     

     

  91. “d) I don’t want us to be associated with Sports Direct. Call me a snob…..
    His biggest faux pas.  Great idea, but did he really need to use that as a ’show case’? Did he really not know the reaction from the supporters?  If not he should have done.”


    Its actually very good business – they have got more publicity and interest in the new stadium rebranding by handling it in the way they have. More publicity = bigger price. Would be interested in Excelsiors take on it – he said the other day in a thread he is in this field.

  92. Stardust,

    Great publicity for him and his brand yes, but not for his relationship with the fans.  Which I presume he would have been looking at repairing.

  93. I would be much more amenable (although not too much more amenable) to the idea if chump@Ashley was making sure Sports Direct were paying to use the sportsdirect.com@St James’ Park moniker.

    As it is, it has all the look of the sort of corporate nepotism that allows him to get free advertising for a company he intends to keep from a company he intends to sell.

  94. I see we made the ITV national news, “The stadium will now sound more like an email address” with a smirk from the presenter.

  95. Hugh
     
    I was speaking to Troy earlier on the phone, I said I wouldnt be surprised if the 20m had came from SD as “sponsorship” this means the money didnt pass to Ashley and no tax would have been paid on it yet NUFC would benefit to the full amount.
     
    Time will tell with the release of the accounts. The trouble is IF he had done this – he would struggle to announce it as it might bring him more unwanted attention.

  96. Stardust, if chump@ashley has done that and effectively paid £20m to use the St James’ Park name then that makes it a bit more acceptable (assuming the name must be changed at all), although we have no evidence that that’s the case.

  97. Agreed Hugh- theres nothing to back that up – I was simply suggesting the most cost efficient way of doing it.

  98. Guys,
    I dont understand how this 20 million simply covers running costs…maybe im wrong but did we not
    a)get upto 30 million from transfers over the summer….plus the installments on outgoing transfers from the previous 2 windows
    b)reduce our wage bill drastically in the meantime(anyone know the current figure)
    c)we also have parachute payments etc etc(we have also been live plenty of times so a decent bit of tv money has obvously been there)
    d)our crowds are still amongst the biggest in england so a huge amount of income will have been generated from this
    e)we also have a manager who is on a pittance and possibly one of the smallest backroom teams around
    ….so i cannot understand how on earth we need 20 million to cover running costs especially as we are virtually debt free…. In my eyes this must be more lies/excercise in public relation. The man infuriates me,his unwillingness to invest in the squad and littany of mistakes has gotten us relegated in the first place and now he wont even assist us getting promoted. WHO the hell worthwile could we buy for around 1million(maybe an average championship player who we will then be stuck with in the prem). They shite on about the youth but they havent invested much into them in quite some time(they do not even currently have a proper coach) He has done nothin positive for this club for such a long time so its no wonder why people have such a deep hatred for him.
    I also expect he will be giving us the 6 million they target on raising for the name change, this year(which should be a given in my eyes as Sports Direct is a company and should not be benefiting from free sponsorship)? Well that may mean investment in our first team squad so maybe not then!
    What a bunch of tossers…

  99. im behind wor chezza on this one.
    You ve gotta fight fight fight fight fight for this club, you ve gotta fight fight fight fight fight for this club! Its not number one for nowt!

  100. Ok, I wasn’t on again yesterday, but seeing as I was asked a direct question, I only feel it’s polite to reply.

    Stardust, indeed I would still object. Although chuck seems to think that everything in life has a price, I do not. Realistically the money we would get in for such a deal in the championship would be peanuts and no one would be interested, hence why Ashley has stuck his sports direct name on it for the rest of the season.
    Taking the Arsenal deal into context as we have no numbers fron NUFC as to what they hope to generate, these are the closest I can get to guessing what such a sponsorship deal would bring in, and those figures are just not worth the sacrifice.
    Baring this in mind I will still use my right to pish and moan about the lack of transfers come January.

    I also do not hate Mike Ashley. I’ve never met the man, so I can’t hate him. I dislike what he is doing with NUFC, but I do not hate him.
    My posts have been fair and just all though MA’s tender at the club, and I’ve never agreed with an opinion just becuase it’s the flavour of the month.

  101. Stardust says:
    November 4, 2009 at 10:00 pm


    “Its actually very good business – they have got more publicity and interest in the new stadium rebranding by handling it in the way they have. More publicity = bigger price. Would be interested in Excelsiors take on it – he said the other day in a thread he is in this field.”
     
    Stardust, my take is as follows: The accepted wisdom is that “All publicity is good publicity” which is all well and good when dealing with the individual. No amount of negative publicity seems to put a crimp in the stride of Jordan, Kerry Katona etc. Only very occasionally (happened to Michael Barrymore) does bad publicity derail a career, and then it has to be murder. This is because the career path of an individual can be spun/stage-managed by expert hands (Max Clifford being the arch exponent of this) to “Ride out the rough spots” and, when all else fails, throw yourself on the mercy of the public bleating about how much you’ve changed.
     
    This approach is less successful with large companies. They are (take it from one who knows) fiercely protective of their image. The new “Halifax” ad campaign is case in point. It took me four months to complete the storyboards for those ads, simply because of the transition paranoia. They were leaving behind the “Howard Brown Karaoke” image and adopting an entirely new one. Before it even got to me (and I’m well down the totem pole) months had been spent brainstorming various approaches, researching and analysing them….absolutely nothing was left to chance.
     
    When it comes to a company attaching it’s name to something they’re just as paranoid. They research every aspect of the “product” they’re attaching themselves to: carefully weighing the pros and cons before deciding. It’s never done on a whim and even a whiff of negative backlash (which could attach itself to the sponsor) and the deal would be passed over.
     
    Now you all know how I feel about this regime so, to try and assuage the criticism (which I know is headed my way) i’ll simply say that: when a company is looking to sponsor something, anything, they’re looking for high profile, stable successful, popular things to attach to. Ask yourselves, honestly, could you see the marketing departments of Tesco, Adidas, Asda or any company, with £6m on the hip, thinking that NUFC’s current owner was ANY of those things I described? Even though the “High Profile” is undeniable, it is a uniformly negative profile attracting scorn and ridicule from all corners. So the answer to your question is….I’m with BBM, he got it spot on!
     
    I’ve been honest…I hope you will be to. 

  102. Excelsior says:
    November 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Good answer.

    So it begs the question why Sports Direct are happy to have their logo thrown all over St James’ Park?

    So if like you say nobody will come forward and pay for the privilege do you think Sports Direct could well be in his mind to sponsor the ground full time?

  103. Stu – I think we’re on the same wavelenght.

    It seems very much like Ashley has done exactly what we were warned he would do. In the event of adversity occurring, he would park his tanks on the front lawn and stubbornly see out the opposition. He has proved that within his tenure and he’s doing it again.

    Replace the tanks with signs in this instance? He’s probably thinking in for a penny, in for a pound?

  104. “So it begs the question why Sports Direct are happy to have their logo thrown all over St James’ Park?
    So if like you say nobody will come forward and pay for the privilege do you think Sports Direct could well be in his mind to sponsor the ground full time?”
     
    Sports Direct are happy have their logo on the SJP because…they’re Ashley’s company? I don’t think for one moment that Ashley is paying himself anything for the “naming rights”, so if it is to be the full time name then it will bring in zero revenue…which was the point of the exercise. 
     
    It may well be the only name that ever sees the inside of SJP and what a sad inditement that is: a cheap, cheerless repository for dodgy sporting goods!

  105. Excelsior – I understand your post in its entirety – I deal in higher end brands and understand their protection issues.
     
    But sometimes brands take chances where they arent the dominant players  in markets – these brands are more willing to take excessive risks (a bit like when we overpay for second rate players as opportunities to sign them are limted as Man U etc get first option).
     
    This also combined with the fact that it may be deemed (price dependant) as a discounted opportunity – in relation to the exposure this will generate – may well mean we will get a sponsor.
     
    For example – if they had the cash – Land Rover would be a good one – a product that keeps going in the most difficult circumstance and is supported by thousands etc etc
     
    I am not disagreeing with you – but simply suggesting that there may well be perfectly suitable brand partners.

  106. Perhaps a suitable brand would be Nike?

    ‘NIKE@St Jame’s Park’ – next to an illustration showing Ashley standing on the precipice of a black and white striped cliff.

    Caption reads – “MIKE – just do it’

    ( cue evil laugh – mwah ha ha mwah ha ha ha ha mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha)

    I’m kidding.

  107. Point taken Stardust. At last a reasonable discussion breaks out!
     
    At £6m, however, I don’t see Ashley’s offer as being discounted. He’s after only £0.6m less than Arsenal got so….I think it’s a non starter. Your Land Rover analogy is great (a career in Copywriting awaits you, should you chose to go that way), I just think that the kind of sums needed to make a difference to the club are, currently, beyond all but a few companies.
     
    Great idea for a cartoon BBM….I’ll get to work ASAP!

  108. “he’s made financial projections for some years ahead, established his incomings and outgoings and got some sort of business plan for rebuilding the club that takes into account various scenarios (such as succeeding or failing to get promotion)”.

    Spot on but doesn’t that imply good management of the business?

  109. So, Sawdust deals in “higher end brands and understand their protection issues”

    Some things never change – narcissism, delusions of grandeur……..

  110. Excelsior …. “So it begs the question why Sports Direct are happy to have their logo thrown all over St James’ Park?”

    To let potential sponsors see the potential benefits for them, that’s all!

  111. Excelsior – should have realised – I guess you work in Copyright – it’s way beyond me – I tend to say what needs to be said in three words in three hundred lol.
     
    I also agree with you – the opportunity will have to be discounted NOT 6m a year – no one in their right mind would pay 6 with the current circumstance. If we got back to the PL maybe (a big maybe) but not before.
    Morning DogLesh – nice to see you still want to be in my fan club. Happy to sign a T-shirt if you send it.
     

  112. Thanks Stardust, I’d earmarked you as a potential Copywriter (someone who writes scripts for TV ads/press ads etc) rather than anything to do with copyright, which is to do with the protection of intellectual property.

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