Council condemnation for name change

St James' forever!
Newcastle City Council are the latest voice to come out and condemn the club over the decision to change the name of St James’ Park.

And rightly so in my opinion. It makes a change for a local authority to stand up for something that is held so close to the hearts of many of its residents.

It’s not just the residents that who have something to lose in this after all. For fans it’s merely an emotional attachment to the name but for the local council it is a source of income fro tourism and the name and stature of St James’ Park is something that is a key component of advertising the City of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to any number of parties ranging from investors to property developers to tourism agencies. And let’s not forget that the council, in part at least, owns the ground St James’ Park is built on!

Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for quality of life, Henri Murison, said: “The name of St James’ Park has been synonymous with Newcastle United football club and the city for more than 130 years.”

“It is recognised around the world and the decision to change it, without consultation, will upset the overwhelming majority of fans who loyally support the team week in and week out.”

“While I understand the commercial reasons for renaming sports venues when they relocate, this is not the case in this instance, and some things are beyond profit when they mean so much to people.”

“The football club is part of the beating heart of the city, and while the council values its relationship with the club, it has no plans to change any existing wayfinding signs which bear the name St James’ Park.”

“As far as the fans and Newcastle City Council are concerned, the home of Newcastle United will always be known as St James’ Park.”

As I said earlier, the Council part owns the land along with the Freemen of the City so it’s nice to hear them echo the views of many fans and insist on still calling it St James’ Park. Ultimately though they are powerless to step in and stop any changes in the name of the ground, or at least it seems that way, and lets not forget that they did give planning permission for all the signs on the exterior of the ground. Maybe in doing so they made a rod for their own back?

It will always be St James’ Park to the fans and I personally will never refer to it as it’s new official name. The unofficial one has been good enough for me, my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents and my great great grandparents for over 130 years and that is something that will never be changed.

It’s a habit, but it’s a habit I won’t be breaking any time soon!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

208 thoughts on “Council condemnation for name change

  1. Toonpipes
    but this model is just as dangerous buying lots of young players of which some will make it and some wont and the ones that make it will be sold on at a huge profit as well as our astablished older players , and we will be stuck with younger poor players .unless you think our scouts can repeat there success year in year out ?
    It only works if Ashley keeps a balance of players and some very good senior players to keep the team stable and with zero investment into the first team that is very unlikely .
    We sold carroll at 22 how is that fitting with the model ?


  2. Zoe Jabba wont let someone else advertise or buy the name because that is the main reason he bought the club, to get global advertisment for his sports wear company ( SD ).

    TP ???


  3. Well the sirt deal is in it’s last year and I think the plan is for whoever gets the shirt sponsor can get the rights to the stadium name


  4. Keith, it isnt just as dangerous cos the initial investment outlay to asset ratio is much more favourable. Means that if their is a failure by the scouts, there is cash to go out and try again.To my mind, MA knows that success on the pitch will yield more cash, so im pretty sure he will try to ensure we are successful on the pitch. Considering the carroll business, looks like the judgement is good .. that has to continue.


  5. that was part of the tribuneral he was told to watch them on utube by D Wise and said no and they were sighned anyway.
    Another masterstroke by the owner and his mates .


  6. Just like our financial remodelling – we are first to act. Renaming existing grounds will be commonplace from now on. Others HAVE to react to compete – simples.


  7. laters Batty … aye Stardust, thats it .. welcome to the future .. they will be dragged there kicking and screaming ….


  8. you have to love newcastle council,there not changing any street signs to sports direct arena,they will stay st,james park.FINAL πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  9. Dave, by aged old players, i mean players who were going to cost the maximum price they would ever cost in their career … ie, we would buy them in their prime and pay over the odds and then make no return. That has always been KK’s style. It isnt sustainable.


  10. Hitman, are you so stuck into your knitting that you have not realised the point about what MA is doing! .. we cannot compete with manutd cos we do not have the world wide income and sustained success that manutd had under one man that everyone agrees will never happen again .. so we need to find ways to bring in cash that others do not – to differentiate ourselves and give ourselves competitive advantage .. i f ucking seriously hope man utd DO NOT sell the rights because it will make them more powerful.


  11. Freddie shephard was on BBC radio tonight saying that he reckons it would only bring in Β£2m tops! if any one decided to take up the offer. i listened to one caller who was a advertising or marketing guy and he said that the process of the change has been done irresponsibly. First off, they should never have quoted a price Β£8m -Β£10m because it will put off potential sponsors. he also said that changing the name temporarily to sports direct arena had no effect on whether suitors would take up the offer/deal. what they should have done is approached companies saying, look we would like to sell the naming rights of SJP, what can you offer us? the fact that the SDA is temporary is just laughing in the face of us fans. Which company now in their right mind is going to shell out Β£8m on sponsoring the shirt and removing a historic stadium name ? who pays for all the ridiculous large signs that have gone up everywhere to be replaced yet again? its an absolute farce. can someone answer why the hell they recently put up the signs outside saying when they are clearly not using that anymore? baffling


  12. “TO MY MIND ” What has he done that makes you think he wants the team to be successfull ?
    Financially its not as much of a risk but for the team it is as much if not more of a risk because we would be taking risks on more unproven players and we are fans so the team is more important than money !
    Success on the pitch will bring him no more money unless you mean challenge for the league or champions league he he , he has a full stadium a bigger audience than ever before for his cheap pap and good players to sell and keep the money .
    And how can it be good for any club to sell local players in there twentys with lots of potential for millions of pounds when none of the money is reinvested back into the club ?


  13. Tim Crow, the chief executive at the sponsorship consultancy Synergy, believes the best way to avoid the risk of brand damage for interested sponsors would be to stay away. “I’d be very surprised if any brand came forward and if any of my clients asked me for my opinion I’d advise them in the strongest possible terms not to,” said Crow. “Or they could do the shirt sponsorship on its own, which would be entirely positive.”

    Crow has devised six “golden rules” for a successful naming-rights proposition and it is clear the latest development breaches them. His advice is never to rename an existing stadium with a strong heritage and, 119 years after the club first played football there, St James’ Park certainly qualifies as that. The exception, Crow has written, is when stadium operators rebuild or relaunch an unloved or decrepit stadium, when a sponsor’s cash provides tangible improvements to the facility. This happened at the Millennium Dome (now the O2) and Dublin’s Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium).

    But at Newcastle, a wholly owned subsidiary of the retailer Sports Direct, the extra money would go towards players; the likely net effect being only that the unloved parent company is spared the expense. “They’ve driven a cart and horses through the golden rules,” said Crow, who described the stadium’s former incarnation as James’ Park as “a horror”.


  14. TP @ 167 reet I thought the way you said it there was certain age old players that you were refering to, because I hadn’t heard of him wanting to sign them type of players


  15. Toonsy ; Bojan rumour has to be a non starter.

    Barca only recently sold him to Roma? or some club in Italy for Β£10m and a buy back clause. Think they have to pay Barca another Β£25m before they can sell him to any other team.


  16. 25 mill for bojan you never know with forward thinking genious that run our club and there lightyears ahead thinking on all things finance watch out barcelona were coming to get ya …… 😎


  17. This decision is nothing to do with income. Let’s be clear. The decision to rename St James Park as Sports Direct Arena does not bring a single penny in.

    When a company pays to put their name on, then we can start discussing a Faustian deal and wether the price is right. In the meantime, this is simply free advertising, at the expense of over a century of tradition.

    Having said that, MA can do what he likes as Newcastle United is his club. Doesn’t make it right, but it certainly makes it legal.

    So what does the fan do now. They have been bullied, but it is the only game in town. In the end I think MA will get away with it, same as always. As in the end, it is not the workers/players’ fault. Howay the lads.

    qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent


  18. Just tuned In . Haven’t read anyone’s comments.

    It’s alright for Newcastle City Council shouting their views off now but where were they when sir John hall wanted to build a super stadium on nuns moor, 500 metres up the green, which would have made the NUFC elite ?
    I’m not disagreeing with their views on the present situation but they have no right now to show their displeasure!


  19. If this is the way of the future, then the future is **** and I’m glad I won’t be around for too much of it.


  20. I would like to know if this was a new idea within the last few days. If not, why not tell those who spent their good hard earned money buying half price tickets last week this was in their plans as it may have changed their decision whether to buy or not.
    That’s what annoys me.
    Underhand tactics!


  21. I support the team not the stadium – ultimately I don’t really give a **** what the ‘stadium’ is called – get over the history ****e, we ain’t had any since 1950’s


  22. I’ve just reviewed the comments.

    Tinpoops is pooping πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    Woooooooooo hoo hoo hoo! πŸ˜›

    Poopy pooopy tin pooooops. 😳


  23. @stevep

    Let me rephrase.

    I’m not saying it’s a good or bad move by the club but by you saying you don’t give a **** what they stadium is called tells me you are young, have no idea of the history and prestige of the club and you are a spoilt little brat that needs ten bells kicking out of you!


    Does that read better ? πŸ˜›


  24. I ask again – as I did on another thread – at what point does ‘maximising profits’ become tacky commercialism?

    Would it be ok to have a big advert for a game sponsor in the centre circle, say (now that would be a lucrative deal, especially when the game is televised live to half the world). And is there any reason why shirt sponsors only have their name displayed; why not change the whole strip into an advert and do away with black and white stripes?

    History is ****e? πŸ™„


  25. I can see that within 10 yrs all clubs will be the same but what happens if our stadium is called The Dr. Whites Arena! 😯


  26. @Bris

    Dr. Whites in the UK are fanny pads.
    Vagina plugs .
    Period pads.

    Who is to say how low this regime will stoop if it’s for financial gain. 😯


  27. Reet lads (and lasses)

    Haven’t had a chance to take it all in and the comments today but without reading the hard facts and others point of view I am thinking that anyone who started kissing Ashley’s arse after a good start to the season need to take a hard look in the mirror.

    As I said to Mark, if it has been done for all the reasons stated by the board…you can see the sense in it.

    But it’s just *******. Total PR ******* from those two numpties who once again show their complete lack of understanding/ignorance about the football club and it’s people.

    We won’t see the money. If reports are to be believed then we are signing Miaga (who?) for 7.5 million and his wages will no doubt complete this complete fantasy of a figure of 10 million which seems to have been plucked out of thin air.

    I am at a loss how anyone can buy this ****e. Put the lube away and pull your pants back up.

    Our owner is a f*cking billionairre and we are selling our soul for a few quid.



  28. @183. I don’t care what they call it either. But I understand that it means more to people who grew up in and around Newcastle, so I am sorry to see it happen for that reason.


  29. MDS,

    It’s like France selling the Eiffell tower and them having Le Coq Sportiff tower in Paris.

    It’s a landmark and an institution in the heart of our city.

    I am not going to read the comments as I will no doubt see ‘good business sense’ so many times I will top myself.


  30. Well, I’m all for good business sense but I’ve given up thinking the board would invest new revenues anyway, so keep it SJP


  31. It is like selling a player worth 10 Mill a year. In 3 and a half that is an Andy Carroll sale. This is modern football Arsenal, and Man city are doing it.

    I support the move both in heart and mind. This is a means to raise the money you want the club to spend. Propose another means to raise money not just oppose what Ashley does.


  32. Ways to raise the money?

    Ok….50,000 people at 35+ quid a pop (that’s just the tickets)
    Replica shirts.
    TV rights.
    Sponsorship deals (not the grand sum of Β£0 we currently receive to be plastered by our owners company)

    Oh wait, we already do that. And we sell home grown talents for 35 million.
    We could also promote the brand in international markets. Instead of acting like a tacky Blackburn Rovers wannabe.

    Apart from that, haven’t a clue how we have even two pennies to scratch our arses with

    No one wants to sponsor us as we have a couple of couple ********s running things and who the hell would want to be in business with a set of nobs who are constantly dragging their company’s name through the dirt?


  33. ….and Michael,

    I can fathom a slight glimmer of understanding for you supporting it in mind – even though I don’t agree.

    Yet to say you support this in your heart. You should be ashamed.


  34. …and if it came down to having a 10 million rated player or keeping the historic 119 year name of our fortress in the middle of our proud city…it’d be an easy choice every single time


  35. Agree with you Moreno…

    Says it all about our muppets-the local council condemn them and say they won’t be changing anything in Newcastle-what does that signal to the world? Any potential sponsorship will be not only ignored but actively despised and avoided. Can you see anyone spending a million on such a deal? Let alone the 10 million + Lambias claims we’ll get? Fuck off will we. We get nowt, and Ashley gets to plug his ****ty company all the more.

    Bet he’s drooling for European football, got the sign up now in case we qualify and we can show the ukranians and israelis what they’re missing out on without sports, uk’s number one.


  36. Can’t say Im ****-a-hoop about the whole thing but at the same time I’m not hoying my toys out of the pram either. I don’t see what difference it will make other than it being mentioned on sly sports ect. I’ve grown to quite like the Northern Rock sponsership, partly because it is sort of a slogan as well as a company. I think Sports Direct, Greggs ect would look tacky. It would be good if it was Toyota or something. I suppose no way Ashley would let a rival on……… it won’t be any decent or quality clothing companies. πŸ™‚ Arn’t alcoholic drinks banned now as english league sponsers? Kind of hypocritical that since they allow the likes of Tombola and betting sites.


  37. When we play Man City do people really give two tosses what their stadium is called on the ticket and what is written on their shirt….I don’t, I bet there’s no-one who could name more than about half of the shirt sponsers of the league off the top of their head without having to look them up… no cheating πŸ˜‰

    AEG…. is it . 😳 Man U
    Northern Rock
    Chang beer or summit


    Standard Chartered or summit

    Honestly can’t think of any more.

    As long as it’s not embarrassing does it really matter to the beautiful game. I bet theres many fans across the country think we’re sponsered by brown ale. πŸ˜‰


  38. I’ll believe all this bull**** about a sponsorship deal and income when the name actually changes to something other the Sports Direct Arena.
    I have a feeling it’ll be the Sports Direct Arena for some time to come.
    Considering all the signage around the ground and stadium, it’ll cost a lot of money to change.
    I truely don’t believe they have any intention of changing it.


  39. toonpipes @166 .sorry but your talking tosh , shearer was a vworld record transfer at the time and was worth every penny if not more averaged 20 plus goals a season πŸ˜‰ roblee 700k 10 good years service ginola class w barton albert bezza next to nowt sole cole at a big prophit brought sir les after all his goals sold him on without losing a penny tinos hatrick was worth it alone ,watson clarkey and howey i think came through the youth ,name me 1 of those players that we didnt get our moneys worth and more out of πŸ˜• πŸ‘Ώ


  40. Dave,

    Some of them just don’t get it do they. It’s not just the name on sky sports. It’s the landmark in the middle of the city.

    The ground will always mean more to me than just a football stadium, I brag about it to any potential visitors to the town.

    Some people are quite happy I take it up the backside and then ask or more


  41. moreno@190 and onwards
    exactly i was arguing with them all last night they will not see sense and will continue to take it up the pooper .
    More bothered about money (that the team will never see !) and there pride being dented !
    Are they really toon fans ?


  42. @Moreno – 197: I am sure we agree that we all want Newcastle to move forward. Where we differ is in the ‘how we do so’. You want Newcastle to have a bright future yet you cannot get out of the past.

    Your only effort for the team is to cheer them. You sit in your armchair at home and acting like some authoritative barometer measuring and deciding what is right and what is wrong in Mike Ashley’s decisions for the club, oppose all ideas Ashley comes up with when you have proposed nothing to raise Money outside replica shirt sales, tickets and other sponsorships.

    Mike Ashley has the hard job of finding innovative ways of raising money, trying to put together a formula that allows us to compete with the big boys but at a profit not a loss, investing huge sums of his money into your club and yet you refuse to give him the liberties any owner of something should rightfully have.

    Newcastle is only your club because of your allegiance which is your choice. You could walk away any time with little loss. Rather than simply a supporter put yourself in the owners shoes. I challenge anyone of you opposing this name change to propose three innovative ideas that Newcastle can raise the said 10 Million a year. You cannot sell your best players (Carroll) because the fans oppose it, You cannot raise ticket prices because the fans oppose it, You cannot sell naming rights to the stadium.


  43. Good to see the council stand up for the fans, and then change the signs anyway, what a fuss anyway the council has city centre signs up and everyone calls it the toon, the signs say angel of the north and its called kevin, as it turns its back on newcastle, 140 million you owe agent ashley we all know,and the fair play rules means pay back agent ashley, or sell the players to balance the books,


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