The end of an era @ St James’ Park

Before and after...

Before and after...
Interesting to see today that Mike Ashley has sent the heavies round to St James’ Park armed with crowbars to rip down any remaining signage that pointed towards well over 100 years of footballing and local history.

You really couldn’t get any more stereotypical if you tried. Perhaps they should have had capes and a swag bag, or be dressed like the Hamburgler for added effect. It fits, as they’ve effectively robbed the ground of everything it stood for.

Understandably many people are angry with this move. Seemingly not intent with “officially” changing the name, we now have signs to reflect the new name hanging on the outside of the Gallowgate and a great big empty space on the wall where St James’ Park was once emblazoned proud and true.

You have to ask why? To me it’s pretty simple. Once dubbed as a showcase to potential new sponsors I think it’s fair to say that these latest moves have gone well beyond that. There is a reason why naming rights have been toyed with for three years, and there is a reason why nobody has decided to touch them. Because it just isn’t worth the poor reception it will get!

Suffice to say I would imagine that the St James’ Park will be replaced by yet more Sports Direct signage and will probably be dressed up as some form of “showcase” in the event that interested companies can’t envisage their logo in the place of St James’ Park.

Unlike the majority, I’m not actually dead set against the renaming of St James’ Park. To me it will always be St James’ Park and I suspect that will be the case with many fans also. The occasional opposing fan may have a laugh about but so what?

I do think however it could have been done more, well, professionally. For a start there are the reasons behind it. Showcase my backside! I think it’s fairly apparent that it will stay emblazoned with the charver crest of his tat shop (which coincidentally I’ve still never set foot inside of) so why not man up and say it’s going to stay like that?

Also, and this is my main complaint, is the justification for selling naming rights was to bring in funds to the club. We don’t know if it is although I have a suspicion it isn’t. I might be wrong though. Maybe it’s some elaborate way of circumventing our debt and paying it off? Again I have a suspicion it isn’t, but it’s the not knowing that will add fuel to the fire.

So what is the answer? Roll with it? Ignore it? Get angry about it? Well Mike Ashley has shown that he won’t listen to the concerns of fans so it’s pointless protesting or doing anything like that, plus I’m not sure I’d like the team to feel any negative effect that such protests would create. They need our support, and they deserve it after this season.

That leaves rolling with it, which just won’t happen for a lot of people, or ignoring it, which just won’t happen for a lot of people.

How about a whip round instead?

191 thoughts on “The end of an era @ St James’ Park

  1. Troy i used to be good mates with a gypsy bartley gorman king of the gypsys sadley hes been gone 10 years now but you will never meet a nicer bloke .


  2. @MDS

    If Cisse can’t play the HBA supporters are going to be chomping at the bit.

    To be fair, I think he’s worth a try with Best being injured.


  3. I remember the Dragon bloke from Ed’s was his name from some online game thing or someting, sure he always spotted the up and coming young players from across europe, tho not sure if it was from football manager or not.

    Also welcome back Troy, been watching your coments on .com, I read now and again and laugh at some of the posters on there with the HBA love in and Pardew hate. Good to have you back, but hope you made fun of them a bit


  4. Pootle…I’m not sure where & at what point I’ve said certain things don’t bother me but I handle it without the need to go on & on & on & on & on about the same old shit.


  5. Yeah Troy, I remember some people wearing Pineapple Studio tracksuits earlier last year, one of the girls on Gypsy weddings goes one better and just wears a Pineapple!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    Our lass loves watch that programme, she fines it hilarious.


  6. There will be a very good reason why hba inst geting a game maybe cause he never passes the ball,and dont defend like the team needs him to. ๐Ÿ™„


  7. @sharpy

    They had the pineapple dresses on tonight. ๐Ÿ˜†

    Mind, I’m laughing but they were all using false tans and bleaching their teeth which is what I do. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


    Aye. I was just finding my feet on .com before me and Toonsy came to a compromise.


  8. No, you just go on and on and on, about how you don’t find the need to go on and on and on about things.

    I didn’t say what you felt, and I didn’t say you had said it.

    I’m ASKING if you aren’t bothered when you go in St James’ or even stand outside looking up at it, to see SportsDirect plastered everywhere.
    I’m ASKING you if knowing that the club isn’t even receiving reasonable remuneration for it, doesn’t bother you?
    I’m ASKING you if as a Geordie, something that has historical to the club and area, being changed in this fashion bothers you at all?

    Not quite sure why you were being so touchy.
    It bothers me and many other Geordies, I was just trying understand where you are coming from because your viewpoint APPEARS to be different.


  9. @Sharpy

    They were wearing the pineapple dresses tonight! Hilarious ๐Ÿ˜†
    The thing was they were using their false tan and bleaching their teeth like I do. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


  10. Batty thats because all the paddy’s are shit too.
    Honestly a guy that I use to run around with was as hard as nail, and would take on anyone, he used to cause so much bother that he was on the recieving end of some real bad para beatings where he would get beat up and down the street with baseball bats and end up with broken bones. and believe it or not this guy would never go looking for bother but because he had a name trouble would always come looking for him.


  11. Troy – tonight was a repeat mate, that’s how I knew. Was pissing myself laughing at them trying to get in the limo.

    You want to make sure you never get those treatments the wrong way round buddy ๐Ÿ˜€


  12. @Simon

    Cheers fella. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I was just finding my feet on the other site when I was contacted by T asking me if I wanted to return.

    I left the debates on the other site mid flow.


  13. joe says:
    February 16, 2012 at 22:00

    Does anyone remember a poster by the name of Dragoner? Back on Edโ€™s blog. I know he got kicked out or something but what was the whole story behind that?

    Do you mean Dragonera?
    I don’t know anything about the story behind it, but I think he had a number of different user names, including Spyro and El Toro.
    It looks like Toonsy might remember him ๐Ÿ˜‰


  14. Wolfie
    Some of the crap you spout, about, “its his club, he can do what he wants, bla bla bla”…

    If he changed the name to Sports Direct DC you would probably say its for the best.

    He is a blatant liar. He isn’t showcasing anything… he is simply using to club’s stadium as an advertising canvas for his other company.

    Yet, when he makes big profits, does he invest in Newcastle… No… He says its self sufficient.

    He benefits greatly for exposure for Sports Direct… But Newcastle United take a hit in millions if pounds in revenue that could be got from a paying sponsor.


  15. Of course Mike is plastering his Sports Direct logo’s all over the place to maximise his companies exposure. And of course it is so he can make money off his main business priority.. Sports
    But where the f*ck do you think the money for the interest free loans have come from?
    We all want the club to be finacially successful but to do so in this day and age there has to be some pain. We all want to watch great players running around on the park but they don’t come cheap. No one here has run a football club, so to comment on on how it should be done is farcical. Too many bloggers on here want to have their cake and to eat it as well. There have been untold stadium name chages across the globe, it is a viable way to make extra income for your club? It is not evil, it is not a way for Mike Ashley to piss the fans off some more. It is about dollars and cents. I bet there would not be a person on this blog that wouldn’t sell something they loved or cherished for money if they were in real finacial difficulty.
    I completely understand the history of St James Park and what it means to those who hold it close to their heart. I for one will always call it by it’s proper name but that is where my protest ends. I want to be able to sit with my grandkids in (hopefully) 20 odd years time and watch Newcastle play. If that means that the powers that be have to be a little savy when it comes to generating income then so be it ( I await the – “Yeah but what about if they changed our kit colours” – comments).


  16. We all know it was coming and hence I am kind of prepared for this. Nonetheless, it is still a very sad day for the club.

    Anyhow, I fail to understand how ppl can accept it just because “not that fat anymore controller” offered some interest free loan to the club.

    Would anyone accept to change his/her name in exchange of some loans?

    If that is okay for you, please call Sport Direct right now. I am sure they will consider to pay you some quids and change your name to Sport Direct.


  17. @Widowmaker – Unfortunately in this day and age, anything can be bought or sold for the right price. Rightly or wrongly, this is how it goes…


  18. Pootle…answers to your questions:

    Iโ€™m ASKING if you arenโ€™t bothered when you go in St Jamesโ€™ or even stand outside looking up at it, to see SportsDirect plastered everywhere.

    Witters: It bothers me

    Iโ€™m ASKING you if knowing that the club isnโ€™t even receiving reasonable remuneration for it, doesnโ€™t bother you?

    Witters: We don’t know the commercial arrangements 100% but the likelihood is no money is changing hands. It bothers me but not as much as SD all over the place.

    Iโ€™m ASKING you if as a Geordie, something that has historical to the club and area, being changed in this fashion bothers you at all?

    Witters: This bothers me the most.


  19. On this matrter I’ve got to agree with those who are anti-Ashley. When it comes to the rebranding, I find it shocking and disgraceful.

    The heritage behind our club means a great deal to me, as I’m sure it does to 99% of all other Geordies too. I agree with our transfer policy, wage cap and proposed investment in youth, a long with most other things Mike has put in place to reduce our debts. However I honestly can’t see this stunt having any financial benefit to the club whatsoever.

    As Troy has pointed out in an earlier comment, our club is intending to become ‘self sustainable’. Which suggests that any windfall Sports Direct generate through the advertising they are now getting via St James’ will not be invested into Newcastle United.

    If we were to find an investor who wanted to take on the naming rights, then I would happily say it will benefit the club. However, there is of course one BIG problem. No investor will want their brand having any association with our stadium while such anger is prominent among the people of our City. After all, why would they pay us a substantial fee to have the reputation of their business tarnished?

    The only small plus in all of this is one Wolfie pointed out earlier. Mike Ashley has shown by these actions that he does intend to stick around at least for foreseeable future, giving us some much needed stability. Though, this is only a tiny consolation when considering the history behind St James’ Park.


  20. JJ@173….see Aussie Magpie fans comments @ 178 because I think he explains it well enough.

    To put things into perspective from my part though I’ll simply say , I agree in the way Ashley is running this club because we simply are NOT struggling in any way shape or form.

    I see many fans aren’t happy about the name change and that’s fair enough…I’m not saying it’s fantastic that he has changed it but the fact is, he has and for reasons that everyone is just best guessing at.

    I get told that I’m blindly looking at things and I’m an Ashley arse licker and such and that I’m here to wind people up because of my views on him but I could equally start all that stuff off on others who hate him, citing reasons of mistakes and a few lies as their argument as to why he’s basically out to render the club mediocre when it’s clear to see it’s inching forward.

    So we have lost a sign that says St James’ park when all and sundry knew that the ground had changed name well before and are now worried because a few stainless steel letters have been crow barred off.

    Times move on with football clubs and with that comes more expense as in footballers wages going sky high, bigger running costs of things like hi tech ground equipment and such which means every avenue has to be tapped to ensure that those clubs that want to compete, do so with as little hardship as possible, which includes radical decisions made on things that will piss off a certain section of fans.

    We move with the times but some don’t like change..
    Go and ask your granny what she thought of her new Automatic washer when her twin tub was dragged away and replaced by it and she will tell you that she was mortified about being dragged into the modern era but now she wouldn’t do without it as it makes her life easier.

    Advertising is life in the business world and some fans have to be dragged screaming into accepting that, THAT, is the way sport gets run if you want to survive and the more successful you get, the easier it gets because with that success brings in more advertising revenue and sponsors but remember…NO PAIN…NO GAIN.


  21. GARY@182.
    Stability is the key, it really is.
    In the past, those who can remember the Sir John Hall and Keegan era will also remember that he plastered his companies signs around St James’ park without a whimper.
    He also wanted to move the ground to Leazes park but was refused permission.

    For the sake of it, let’s assume he got permission and low and behold we get the new stadium which is s tones throw from St James’.
    Ok so , this new stadium gets called Leazes park..

    Do you think people would be bouncing up and down shouting..”.what about our heritage?”……doubtful isn’t it and at best it would be isolated pockets of fans and mainly they would be old school fans that dined on the nostalgia that was once old St James’ Park.

    At the time Sir John Hall gave this ground a make over and added capacity I wonder how many fans would have created a massive fuss had he changed it to the Cameron Hall arena, while Keegans team were producing champions league football and exciting football.

    Is it heritage or is it just about Ashley with many fans.
    I understand some fans do hold genuine sentimental value to things like this but there are too many that just jump on the bandwagon simply because they hate Ashley …so anything he does will be met with scorn.

    Some would still gloat on about how his lies have left them so badly shaken up that they require 3 intensive therapy session a week just so they can cope with what this so called fiend has done with these damned lies.

    It’s comical with some people.
    Oh and by the way Gary that’s not a dig at you or anything..that’s just my view on some fans attitudes who will accept nothing other than hatred for Ashley.


  22. I know everyone has moved on but I have a question. How has the stadium name change destroyed the history and heritage of ST James park?
    If us fans have great memories of games played there and other special moments surely they will still live on, in those said memories. The thing that really makes the place special is the people and players within. A building doesn’t make a moment special, it is the people standing around you, sharing a passion for the same team. What ever the stadiums name, I am sure there will be many more special moments in the years to come. Not bagging anyone out for being upset over the name change but I think people are over looking the human factor involved.


  23. WOLFIE – I agree with you that many are now simply beyond the point of forgiveness with MA and so they will use any excuse possible to have a dig at him. However, I don’t think this is one.

    Sir John Hall only ever wanted to move ground because of expansion difficulties, which is totally different to simply changing the name with the club seeing no benefit whatsoever.

    AUSSIE MAGPIE FAN – The history of St James’ Park will forever live on in our hearts, but sadly there will now be no more future memories we can store a long side them.

    You see, the re-branding may not of destroyed the history, yet it has certainly stopped our ongoing heritage. For example, I’d like to be able to say, “Remember when we smashed Man United 3-0 at St James’ Park?”, but now I cannot.

    It’s just a crying shame to be honest. Most of Mike Ashley’s plans have sound financial reasoning behind them, but for me, this one hasn’t. Or at least not for another 2-3 years until the heat has died down anyway.


  24. What most people are missing is that Newcastle won’t get any extra money from the supposed ‘name change’ anyway. No company in their right minds would sponsor something as controversial as this.

    No, Llambias is doing it purely and simply to spite the fans who turned on him and his boss. The best policy is just to ignore him and continue calling it St James’ Park at every opportunity, as most people are apart from the spineless BBC.


  25. i dont give 2 knackers if we have just signed a new number9 and the fact people will tart it up as a great thing ashley has done for us, so he bloody well should buy players needed and put some of his sports direct money in if he is to make the ground look like a cheap donnay shop. in any case the lad who graffitied ST JAMES on the wall should be in the new years honours list for me well done lad! maybe we should go round all of jabbas shops and spray ST JAMES alover the entrances as he has done so with our club, fight fire with fire i say!!! and spend nowt !


  26. Thanks Witters. I wasn’t sniping I was just curious.

    I think, whilst still unpalatable, most fans would feel less angry if they knew the club was receiving a sizable sum of money every year to spend on the squad. Everyone has a price, I guess.

    I think its whoring out the club for nothing that generates the high levels of anger.


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