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St James’ Park to be renamed “Sports Direct Arena.”

Posted on November 9th, 2011 | 82 Comments |

St James' Park Arena?
Will a name change be the next step?
Now confirmed rumours have been circulating around the rumour mill today that Newcastle United will shortly make an announcement that St James’ Park will known in future as the “Sports Direct Arena”.

Earlier today, Times journalist Tony Evans Tweeted about the name change on his Twitta site, but it was later withdrawn amidst further rumours that the news had been embargoed by the club and a request made to remove it. Meanwhile, there were also suggestions on Radio Five live today that the “Geordie Soap Opera” would be in full flow “sooner than we think” after the recent calmness on that front.

Whilst it hasn’t been officially announced yet, from previous experience, it would hardly be surprising to see Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias using the club’s current success in the Premiership as a good time to make yet another crass and awful announcement which further denigrates the club.

My grubby old bedsheet is on standby!

PS: many thanks to site user “Summer of 69” for pointing out Tony Evans’ Tweet earlier today.

PPS: This story has been since confirmed by several good sources and the Club’s embargo on it seems to have completely fallen apart since the cat got out of the bag on here. Once again, many thanks to 69 for keeping an eye on Twitta!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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82 Responses

  1. It best not be!!! why when things are going well he has to put a spanner in the works? just leave it alone man

  2. Bugger!

    If they change the name i won’t be able to find me way there.

    It will always be Saint James’ Park as far as i’m concerned, no matter what!

  3. Just when things r going well n we r starting warm to Ashley,he f**** it!! It’s like he sits on his fat arse n laughs at us everytime!!

  4. CLiNT FLiCK says:

    November 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    “worky,
    in there mate.”

    Summer of 69 saw a tweet from Tony Evans of the Times earlier Clint, then it was embargoed apparently.

  5. Andy,

    Nice!

    :)

    Maybe it’s a way to turn more cash over to the club?

    Surely there’ll be naming rights finance, hey?

  6. it’s an interesting one this. All clubs are selling the rights to their stadiums names. It’s commonplace.

    We’d all still call it St James’ Park, so what difference does it make? Really?

    I think Mike should be paying NUFC for the priveledge as the Arab lot do City. It will help us gain an advantage when the financial fair play rules come in as it’s a sly way for the owners to invest in the squad and club from their own coffers.

    If he isn’t doing that I guess I have an issue with this. but to be honest he can call the stadium st Ashley’s cockney mafia HQ if he likes so long as we keep up the good form and beat city, utd and chelsea back to back!

  7. teo says

    “but to be honest he can call the stadium st Ashley’s cockney mafia HQ if he likes so long as we keep up the good form and beat city, utd and chelsea back to back!”

    Thats what he’ll be banking on – that there are 50k just like you.

  8. Clint, as I pointed out in the piece, it’s not 100% yet, but there was alot of convincing stuff around. I decided that it was worth putting out when they dropped a very heavy hint on Radio Five Live after they had Teacher’s Pet Taylor on Radio Five Live.

    I was foamin’ at Mick Lowes’ bollocks about how we fans should all make a collective apology to Mike Ashley too.

  9. Hmm interesting one this. The previous notions of ‘insert sponsor’@ st James park did not go down too well with fans and now if rumours are to be believed they are going the whole hog and turning the park into an arena. As someone mentioned before it will always be st James park to me but sooner or later, the new name will start to creep in, especially with younger fans and you won’t know your doing it, big like Owen coyle who can not say ‘premier league’ without first saying barclays. If fat mild stumps up 10m per year which can directly be used for transfers them at least we can stand still off it

  10. Mikesbestmate says:

    “If fat mild stumps up 10m per year which can directly be used for transfers them at least we can stand still off it”

    Etihad went for £10m a season but then again they had to cook the books (UEFA fair play) and we are talking Ashley here not some rich Arab. I’d be interested to the next set of financials to see what income the club are currently getting for all the crap on display.

  11. I’m certain there are well in excess of 500k people who love the toon and would pay to sit in a stadium of any name to see their team play scintilating football with an unparalleled work ethic.

    In say 5 years, when all clubs have realised this is a means to gain competitive advantage by pumping naming rights money in to boost turnover/profit which allows them to spend more on the playing staff there will be nowhere left. I think Ashley’s no fool and is getting in early.

  12. Its actually like MA gets bored and wants drama…he did it last season when everyone was happy and content then he sacks Hughton.

    This season its a bigger finger up.

  13. teo says:

    “when all clubs have realised this is a means to gain competitive advantage by pumping naming rights money in to boost turnover/profit which allows them to spend more on the playing staff there will be nowhere left”

    Oh I see like the Carroll money which was also reinvested in the playing staff ?

  14. the real pity is this will detract from the footy and there will be those interviews on sky where they grab the biggest toothless moron they can find outside the stadium on the day and get him to shout about how the cockneys were always planning this and if shearer was manager…. lalala.

  15. Andy Mac says:
    November 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    “Its currently “trending” on Twitter and Bird has broken it as well”

    Aye Andy. I’ve been monitoring stuff as well, and I’ve decided to remove the question mark from the title now.

    BOYCOUTT!

  16. Carrol was replaced, just not for the same amount of money. Is Demba Ba an improvement? Yes.

    I don’t know how anyone could be negged out at the moment, the stadiums name doesn’t matter. That pitch is the hallowed turf of St James’ Park.

    Advertising is all over football, if you want to kick off about it you’re rather late. Sorry.

    If we’re a shit business we’ll be a shit football team, so let the businessmen get on with that side and you support THE side.

  17. teo says:

    “Carrol was replaced, just not for the same amount of money. Is Demba Ba an improvement? Yes”

    Your opinion but not mine. AC is still in his early twenties and has the potential to be around for a decade or more in the top flight. Ba has a degenerative problem with his knee so who knows how long he’s got ?

    “I don’t know how anyone could be negged out at the moment, the stadiums name doesn’t matter. That pitch is the hallowed turf of St James’ Park.”

    The Stadium Name might not matter to you m8 but it does to me and a lot of others.

  18. I used to live in Co Durham – some prat decided it would become Tyne & Wear ! Where do these idiots come from?

    Mind you, to me they are the Lads & NUFC and always will be – never the Toon – so if you divint want to change, then divint !

  19. Andy Mac – before he left it was clear that AC had “a degenerative problem” with his brain ! He was one step from jail – I havn’t heard how he’s behaving now but a change of scene was probably a good idea for him.

  20. frankly, I feel physically sick.
    yeah, the name don’t matter…. still the same beloved club….blah blah but for f##ks sake, we’re talking 120 years of history raped for what? another generic, benign building that just happens to host games of football?? no thank you. it always was and always will be ST JAMES PARK.
    good god, i can just hear it now… ‘Welcome to sky sports from the sportsdirect arena where newcastle united take on…..’
    i despair, i really do.
    what next? lonsdale no fear athletic?
    never mind though, could be worse. could be called stadium of light.

  21. who gives a shit. this is temporary, St James is for life. dont get your knickers in a twist, he won’t own us for ever..

  22. Your opinion but not mine. AC is still in his early twenties and has the potential to be around for a decade or more in the top flight. Ba has a degenerative problem with his knee so who knows how long he’s got ?

    who’s to say Carroll won’t suffer a serious injury?

  23. It makes no difference and I don’t care. He bought the place so he can stick his adverts on it if he likes. Right now the team he has bought is doing well. The manager he hired is doing well. The gate is doing well. But if anyone asks what the ground is called, it’s St James Park, & not Socks Direct Arena or Germoloids Direct Arena or anything else. And as posted above, the ground, the team & the fans will outlive him and likely his jogger-bottom market stall business, so why worry about it?

  24. Right I know I’ll get questioned about this tomorrow do I want to clear this up, I think Ashley is just being a f***ing idiot by doing this but if it really is to get us more money to get better squad and better position is it worth it. Obviously ATM I’m wondering how much of black and white tradition you can give up for a little more succes because let’s face it as well as we’re doing we are going to drop down the table

  25. lookin at the bigger picture though, as much as we would love to make a stand (again), the team are on the crest of a wave and the last thing they need is vitriolic atmos at the forthcoming games. history has proven that whatever we (the fans) say or do, falls on deaf ears and only causes negativity when things are so positive.
    in may, when we qualify for the champs league, win the fa cup and the adoration of the media, and mike ashley is beaming from ear to ear, smugly, with an air of ‘you should have trusted me from the start’ about him, comfortable in his new found sense of security, then we will simply sneak up behind him and promptly garotte his fat neck when he least expects it. any volunteers?

  26. Also found this quote from 2009:

    “Asked if the name “St James’ Park” would always remain amid an angry response from fans, Llambias said: “Absolutely. In our reign, absolutely.””

  27. Nufcphilly says:

    November 10, 2011 at 12:24 am

    “but if it really is to get us more money to get better squad and better position is it worth it.”

    Nufcphilly, It will be interesting to see how much Sports Direct are paying the club (if anything) for the publicity.

    Manchester City received £400 million pounds from Etihad for their sponsorship deal and Arsenal also received a fairly tidy sum from their stadium sponsorship too.

  28. i mentioned last month that mike ashley would only move the club forward when sports direct was ready to benefit.

    DID I NOT!!!!!

    i said two months ago that newcastle united would not go anywhere if sports direct could not benefit from the free publicity that plastering sports direct logos all over st. James park would bring.

    DID I NOT.

    i even said i did not think Newcastle would not contend for Europe if sports direct would not benefit from the graffiti.

    i even said that Pardew made weaker substitutions early in the 3-3 west brom game to decrease our league finish to make results looked better on paper for investors. (i also said about aliens in Sunderland but that is beyond the point)

    Now look.

    any one wishing to parade their business on the side of St. James Park from next season will see on paper an improvement in end of season standings. no blips, no questions just good investments for your advertising space.

    and now

    we have cheap seats giving a false reading for a full stadium.

    people in the middle east will not know what hit them if they chose to invest, buy, own, rent, burn our club because on paper it all looks good.

    ahsley isn’t stupid we know that, and another thing we know……

    HE DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT HOW HE MAKES MONEY AS LONG AS IT IS AS EASY A POSSIBLE.

    now he has us right where he wants us. this time he will reap the rewards of protests because his sports direct logos will be in view of every camera known to man.

    so what i suggest is a silent protest. a boycott will never happen. we all know that.

    but we can refrain from chanting, clapping, cheering, celebrating until we are out of view of the Sports Direct Arena.

    i think when we play Chelsea at home we should have a 90 minutes silence for the death of our ground.

    its the only way we can all agree on one thing. boycotting the ground i don’t think could gather enough momentum but silence could.

  29. Idiocy.
    Doesn’t even make sense commercially. It’ll piss people off, even neutrals. The whole thing stinks of megalomania. Either that. or Mike A has reverted to plan B, as opposed to C.

  30. maze202 says:

    November 10, 2011 at 12:47 am

    “Asked if the name “St James’ Park” would always remain amid an angry response from fans, Llambias said: “Absolutely. In our reign, absolutely.”

    Funnily enough maze, I was just hunting down that quote just as you were typing it!

  31. Funnily enough, my work buddies were just saying the other day how suprised they were that Newcatle were doing so well. I said “I’m suprised too, but it’s too quiet. That fat bas**rd is up to something. I can feel it!” Low and behold…

    Everything was going so swimmingly. Everything was seemingly slotting into place. Heck, even the Ashley haters were beginning to channel their energy in an altogether more positive direction by supporting a winning team. Does the fat lad actually WANT to be hated? Does he not want a succesful club? Alan Pardew must be pulling his hair out!

    The latest stage of Ashleys “club cardiectomy” is atrociously timed though not unexpected. With all of “his” signs hanging around the place ST. JAMES’ PARK was beginning to look like Steptoe’s yard and a tacky name to match the tacky image was always going to arrive sooner rather than later.

  32. “i think when we play Chelsea at home we should have a 90 minutes silence for the death of our ground.”

    This won’t help the teams performance one bit. And what kind of impression would it give to our new signings and potential new singings in january. There’s not alot that can be done about this, a matter of sucking up your pride. We’re not the only ones at least. Etihad, emirates, reebok, DW stadium etc.

  33. So they say the money will be “reinvested in the squad.” Just curious, does anyone else see an Andy Carroll money parallel?

  34. HISTORY RAPED – REVENUE GAINED….AND WE JUST HAVE TO ACCEPT IT COS HE AINT GONNA STOP, AND MOST CLUBS WILL LIKELY FOLLOW SUIT IN THE COMING YEARS.

    MY QUESTION, Who’s the most likely sponsor we’d get? And who would we most want (NOT sp*rts d*rect)…..??

  35. Milner says:

    November 10, 2011 at 1:30 am

    “MY QUESTION, Who’s the most likely sponsor we’d get?”

    Milner, that’s just a canard, a trick. Ashley’s whole intention is to use the club as a vehicle to publicise Sports Direct worldwide through the Premiership, especially in the emerging countries of the Far East. There will almost certainly be no sponsorship funds like there have been for naming rights at other stadiums. That’s what was behind the whole story that they’re just keeping it warm until a real spomsor comes in with some real funds. That sponsor will never arrive.

  36. to be honest the whole thing reeks first Steven Taylor comes out in support of lambias saying the success is down to him and the way he has gathered the team together and been part of the crowd.

    then pardew does BBC radio Newcastle and gains much needed supports.

    now the club announce this?

    to me players, managers and tea ladies are all in it together.

    there is no way they could have kept this secret from pardew and the players.

    this has been planned in advance.

    PR isn’t thrown together over night it is planned way in advance, months sometimes even years.

    so all the publicity over the last few months has been building up to this.

    staff, players tea ladies, chefs would have all known.

    i used to work in the hotel industry and more often than enough chefs would be the first to know a lot, we were often the main port of call. after all management often wanted fed more than the run of the mill staff, and wanted better food.

    the chefs who run the fine dine side of things who are around when the likes of beardsly, beresford they would have to have known something. it impossible for a ship like St. James Park not to have a leak somewhere or a ounce of gossip. someone other than Mike and Lamearse would have known something. its impossible for Public Relations offices to function otherwise. not only will they have the Publicity on the renaming rights but they will also have the spin to bring good news as well and keep things festering in their favour.

    PR is something that is worked to the millimeter and planned way in advance. any PR company worth anything will tell you this.

    so for this to be thought up of over night is bullshit.

    The sports direct @ st. James Park was a PLAN B. FFS it even reaches parliament. did anyone notice how quick Ashley and lamearse retracted the renaming comments after it reached Parliament and he was laughed at by the highest in the country?

    the renaming rights IMO has always been an agenda but when was completely up to timing.
    and what better way than now?

    England argument with fifa over the poppy.
    International break.
    No home games for three weeks.
    and Remembrance Sunday in between for good measure.

    not only will this overshadow everything the next three weeks bring to the UK but bring publicity to Sports Direct in one of the most unappropriat times to scrounge free publicity.

    choosing this time of year to start war with fans and create media hype and probably reach parliament again is nothing short of sickening and cheap.

  37. Stephen C says:

    November 10, 2011 at 1:48 am

    “PR isn’t thrown together over night it is planned way in advance, months sometimes even years.”

    Of course it is Stephen. some “black hat” PR companies are even using interns to post “positive” messages in forums and blogs such as this one to shape opinions. They use many different identities with the help of “persona management” software originally developed for the US security services.

  38. Worky mate i dont know if you know but this has now been made official.

    http://www.nufc.co.uk/articles/20111110/club-announce-stadium-name-plans_2281670_2511479

    the club official website says as much.

    notice the last paragraph of the statement

    “Our shirt sponsorship deal with Northern Rock will also expire at the end of this season, which presents would-be sponsors with the opportunity to acquire both the naming rights and shirt sponsorship deals.”

    which means only one thing.

    SPORTS DIRECT ON THE FRONT OF OURS STRIPS NEXT SEASON ALSO.

  39. Stephen C says:

    November 10, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Worky mate i dont know if you know but this has now been made official.

    Yes I have Stephen, just as I read Llambias saying rwo years ago:

    “I’m sure we’re going to get a sponsor in for next season.”

    and:

    “Asked if the name “St James’ Park” would always remain amid an angry response from fans, Llambias said: “Absolutely. In our reign, absolutely.”

    He and Ashley actually seem to enjoy lying. Sometimes they do it even when it isn’t necessary, just for the hell of it.

  40. Don’t see a problem… It will still be St James’s Park whatever name those in charge try to give it.

    The only difference is that there will be some big advertisement for the new sponsor but it is still St James’s Park as long as the fans refer to it as such.

    Just accept it because it’s going to happen. No point getting worked up about it and bringing negativity to the team which could affect the great start that’s been made.

    We aren’t the 1st and we wont be the last that this happens to.

  41. Paulos says:

    November 10, 2011 at 2:38 am

    “The only difference is that there will be some big advertisement for the new sponsor”

    Paulos, the club was supposed to be getting a sponsor two years ago. In the meantime there has been two years of free publicity for Sports Direct, a shareholder owned Public Limited Company which is totally distict from Newcastle United. The whole “this is a showcase until a real paying sponsor comes along” thing has been a canard which will almost certainly carry on.

  42. worky i hear you mate but im done with this its s##t but it makes business sense and thats all he cares about!

    its going to happen to every club at some point look at barca with sponsers on there shirts?

    i will be more upset if the fat b######ed sells tiote in jan!

    the world keeps turning and i will forever refer to and call the ground st james’s park!

  43. I can’t believe this rubbish been thrown around.

    Who cares what it’s called – you’ll still call it St James, I’ll still call it St James, anyone who matters will call it St James! The only people who will call it something else, is the wassac on Sky Sports, and th emug who’s shelled out $20m for the privilage of being a mug!

    St James is it’s name, not some plastic writing on a roof – get over ye sells!

    Will anyone who matters call it anything else? NO!

    good money in the bank – the issue should be, who pockets it – The Club, or Ashley!

  44. Seggy NZ says:

    November 10, 2011 at 4:12 am

    “good money in the bank – the issue should be, who pockets it – The Club, or Ashley!”

    Seggy, there hasn’t been any money from Sports Direct International PLC in two years of stadium sponsorship so far, and Sports Direct is a shareholder owned company which is completely distinct from Newcastle United. I doubt that this will change in the light of this new development either. This seemingly never ending “showcase for potential sponsors” thing is highly dubious to say the least.

  45. its space to be sold and in naming it now he gets the publicity good or bad for that chatty sports direct but it also shows that for the right price it can be your name there on the ground on the roof and on the name!

    hes a business man and in his world this makes sense!

    its even good timing as the clamour for his head will die down by the time we play chelsea

    it stinks but its a harsh reality of modern day football and Ashely as the owner has the right to whack the horrible name everywhere he sees fit as its his train set and its 2 fingers to us!

  46. could always see it happening couldn’t you think ashley wants to be hated by newcastle fans then actually liking him like a personal vendetta or something

  47. be also interesting seeing if he puts the sports direct logo on the shirt next season drops of sales a plenty!

  48. all i can say about next season strip.

    Lonsdale, and sports direct as sponsor.

    he will want to “showcase” what sponsor ship brings.

    knowing fine well the whole world wont want to buy into it.

    Adidas couldn’t wait to get rid so i doubt anyone else other than Ashley would want to tread the ocean with Newcastle united.

    but i personally think i have officially thrown in the towel.

    its like your trying to reason with a spoilt child. a sly spoilt child.
    the type that runs to his mammy when you catch him doing something wrong and then tells lies about you in case he gets into trouble.

    to be honest i know this will end up in parliament again and he knows it.

    he ended up looking like a Muppet the last time so i don’t think things will be any different this time around.

    people will see through this and probably not give him the light of day.

    Newcastle backed us the last time and the signs will all stay the same.
    the Metro will always say St. James.
    the road signs will stay the same and the deeds the council own will all say “building on Stadium on St. James Park.

    you cant re-write history and if i remember rightly St. James Park used to be the name of the cricket ground that used to exist on the same spot a football club called Newcastle Rangers used to play on. a few years later Newcastle west/East era took over and the rest is history.

    so the stadium name he can change but the land and the history it is built on can NEVER BE DEFEATED.

    its almost funny in a way. i mean the more we argue and chant the more publicity he gains.

    i say silent protest. let us not do anything. just let him look like a Muppet on his own.

    its like when you are a kid and you go to the dentist, the dentist give you a sticker and you wear it for the day. but it doesn’t last long and it doesn’t mean your teeth are Ok it just means someone thought it was appropriate to stick stickers on everything that enters the door. a day later the sticker is old and doesn’t stick and in a week people will forget we had been there, except the the kid who went to the dentist. and in a month even the kid would have forgot.

    so at the end of the day let him wear his sticker, when the dust settles it will only be one muppet from Sky Sports news who will give a fudge.

    its always going to be St. James Park doesn’t matter what the fat controller and his steam engines say.

  49. nufc337 @64 he has already made it clear what will be on the front of the shirts next season

    “Our shirt sponsorship deal with Northern Rock will also expire at the end of this season, which presents would-be sponsors with the opportunity to acquire both the naming rights and shirt sponsorship deals.”

  50. Against Chelsea i shall go to SJP and take my seat in the Leazes, 59 years at the match and they can call it what they like.
    Local Cricket Stadium is now grandly known as Emerites I C G Durham, everyone still calls it the Riverside.
    Laugh, move on!

  51. just further proof of how disconnected the board are with anything to do with the clubs history, eveything is just another sponsorship/sales op

    what next – Demba “Littlewoods” Ba? The Sports Direct Strawberry?

    bollocks, plain and simple. it has always been and WILL always be St. James’ Park

  52. One question for all of you, Do ya call it the leazes end or sir john hall stand???

    It doesnt matter what name is plastered on the side of a wall it is and always will be st james park If it helps the club to be financially independant then lets get each and every brick renamed.

  53. the irony of it is this is a display of how “commercially attractive” the idea would be in a bid to attract other companies to buy-in

    surely all it will show is how opposed the fans are, thus being very commercially un-attractive!

  54. Those saying its temporary and a new sponsor will come along yeah but what if its say the pukka pie stadium or something god awful like that :(

  55. this is outrageous!! 120 years of history down the swanny! how can the representatives of the board allow this to happen. I don’t care what other clubs do and i don’t care about the revenue blah blah blah. the stadium name is the soul of the club the fortress which is st James is no more and all the history within has been diluted by this fat prick and his croneys. I wonder how this will affect the dressing room??

  56. WT says:

    “This seemingly never ending “showcase for potential sponsors” thing is highly dubious to say the least”

    Its not dubious WT its plain outright naked opportunism from a wide boy who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    How much more blood can he possibly squeeze out of this stone before he fecks off?

  57. Ashley, why dont you f### ##f and shit on somebody elses doorstep you parasite. At this rate we’ll have nowt left shortly HWTL.

  58. I sympathise with you mags, this is not right, but that seems to be the way football’s going anything to raise more cash

  59. It’s a daft idea. No company in theior right mind will stump up 10 million, especially when the fans hate the idea of renaming the stadium. Ashley has done well lately, but this desision is just wrong. Why upset the good start we’ve made.

  60. Ashley could do with employing an intelligent Toon fan to run these ideas by. Then he might not constantly make daft mistakes like this. I understand Ashley’s overall idea and like the fact we are now better off financially but he’s just up-done all the good he’s done this season.

  61. Nico says:

    November 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    “Ashley could do with employing an intelligent Toon fan to run these ideas by. Then he might not constantly make daft mistakes like this.”

    It isn’t a “mistake” for Ashley though Nico, as promoting his tat worldwide at minimal cost is far more important to him than being loved by the fans. He always knew that there would be opposition, but doing it whilst we’re third in the League is the best possible time, and will keep it to a minimum.

  62. Apparently Newcastle City council are refusing to change any way-finding signs which bear the name St James’ Park. Good.

  63. What a bunch of moaners who cares what ground is called is it ganna make us play better no, is it ganna put more money into the club yes, so whats every1 moaning about.EVen chealsea with there billion air owner are doing it so why not follow suit

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