Llambias: “To compete we need to go further”

Llambias waffles about the name change
Derek Llambias has been speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle this morning as he attempts to justify the reasoning behind renaming St James’ Park.

Llambias said that he is hopeful of bringing in £8-10 million a year which, in his own words, will give us another player.

The sounds coming out of the boardroom are that this is purely a commercial move although a large section of fans are obviously going to feel aggrieved by it. What I will say, and it probably won’t be the last time I say it, is that the ground will always be St James’ Park to those who it matters most to and we must never let the name die.

Moving onto Llambias, let’s have a look at what he had to say:

“I would hope to generate between £8-10m a year, that will give us another player,” he told BBC Newcastle.

“To compete we need to go further, we’ve had a fantastic start. The fans want us to buy more players, we need a new striker in January, we’ll need replacements in the summer. We need to give ourselves as much of a chance as possible.”

St James’ Park has been home to Newcastle United for 119 years and has hosted football for 131 years. There is an awful lot of history sewn into the ground and a name change isn’t going to alter that, for me at least. Llambias continued:

“The history is always going to be there, we need to become part of the history.”

“Chelsea have come out to say they’re going to rename their present stadium. They have a lot of history as well but they actually have an owner who has more money than God. We can’t compare ourselves with Abramovich, we haven’t got that sort of money. If we want to compete with the big boys we have to bring more revenue in.”

The parallel at the moment is indeed Chelsea. I know other grounds have sponsored names, but it’s important to remember that those grounds are all NEW grounds who don’t have a history to speak of.

The decision was made as the club seeks to increase its revenue and will offer a complete sponsorship package that could include shirt branding to replace Northern Rock. A replacement needs to be found quickly according to Llambias.

“I need to find a new shirt sponsor by the end of December – and that’s the latest,” he said before adding: “Puma need to put the shirt sponsor on, they’re manufacturing, and they would like it last month.”

“I’ve got a very small window to sell the shirt and naming rights and, if I have to sell them separately, then I have to sell them separately. But we must give ourselves the opportunity, this is inviting people to come in.”

I don’t think the fans have anything against increasing the revenue at the club. Instead the problem is that we rarely see any signs of increased revenue on the pitch which leads to suspicion and perpetuates fear that we’re having to go through this just to plug Sports Direct. Time will tell.

If you want to listen to what Llambias had to say you can do so by clicking here although I’ll pre-warn you that it’s from the BBC so if you’re overseas you may not get to be able to listen to it.

Interestingly another avenue that is being explored is the possibility of using the ground over the summer for different events such as concerts as another way to boost revenues for the club.

More reaction to follow no doubt…

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.

82 thoughts on “Llambias: “To compete we need to go further”

  1. “Puma need to put the shirt sponsor on, they’re manufacturing, and they would like it last month.”……does that mean they’ve extended/renewed the deal with Puma as it was only a 2 yr deal was it not?

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  2. I think the best thing to do is ignore this crap and keep calling it St James. The more it gets moaned about, the more it will stick.

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  3. For £8m-£10m are we really that small time now ??

    Good luck to anyone who actually buys the right becuase they are walking into a **** storm and i doubt anyone will take him up on his offer the fu cking ugly, odious piece of crusty ****

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  4. “To compete we need to go further, we’ve had a fantastic start. The fans want us to buy more players, we need a new striker in January, we’ll need replacements in the summer. We need to give ourselves as much of a chance as possible.”

    35 million

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  5. “Interestingly another avenue that is being explored is the possibility of using the ground over the summer for different events such as concerts as another way to boost revenues for the club.”

    Great idea that. Dunno why they haven’t thought of it before.

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  6. What would be good publicity is if a local company, like Sage for instance bought the sponsorship but settled for having their logo all over the place and on the shirts but keeping the stadium name the same……I know, just dreaming but it would be nice 🙁

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  7. £8-10 million would pay for another Cabaye or Tiote each year, including salaries, why not?? The Abramovichs and Sheiks will get bored one day and take their billions back home leaving huge debt behind. The toon will be self-sufficient!!!!! HWTL

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  8. 8-10 million ! it’s tough times for getting sponsorship and we can’t compare to a global brand like Manure, Bindippers and Arse, we also don’t have Chelseas billionaire owner bailing us out so we need to bring in as much revenue as poss – obviously we need to see this spent on players that will improve us
    Will always be St James Park to me anyway

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  9. Richie – I was thinking along the lines of a consortium of local businessman (Barry Moat anyone?) buying the rights on behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. At least a lot of good would come from it.

    Times are tight though – so can’t see it unfortunately.

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  10. TC – used to be concerts all the time at the ground.

    Folks – we are already at a disadvantage in terms of Man Cities Owners and Chelseas Owners all being far wealthier than ours.

    We need to level the playing field or we are facing even more of an unfair competition. Though I was sad when I heard it, its the right thing to do. Its the price to pay for player salaries and the PL unfortunately.

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  11. Stardust – aye but that was tiiiiiiime ago. Remember me mam and dad going to see Queen there when I was a bairn.

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  12. Just a question,do you think it would it be more beneficial for Ashley to have extra exposure with SD on the shirts but with the drop in shirt sales that would bring or another company name on the shirts but increased shirt sales?

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  13. LukeEdwardsTele Luke Edwards
    For what it’s worth Orient fans still call Brisbane Road, Brisbane Road and it was changed to the Matchroom Stadium a decade ago #lofc

    Same will happen at SJP – peeps just need to chill their boots.

    Thank **** we don’t have a home til next month.

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  14. Richie – I honestly don’t see what the big deal is with having Sports Direct on the shirt.

    It’s just a sponsor at the end of the day. People will still buy it IMO.

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  15. Toon Chicken: I won’t buy it, I despise Ashley so I will not turn myself into an advertising billboard for his products.

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  16. A rose by any other name and all that bull****! Maybe becasue Im not from the area but I dont see the big problem. If it generates another 10 mil a season I think it be a good deal. Its down to indivual people what they choose to call it.

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  17. DL “will buy another player ” its just not funny in the past iv mentioned the “lies” they spout well they just keep comeing its just not funny…

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  18. I’m sure you won’t be the only one NP – but there will thousands more who will – especially if we keep on performing well this season.

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  19. johno toon ,
    another ten million for who !
    like the 35 million that hasent been spent !
    We are football fans not shareholders the money will not benifit the team or the club only mikes personall profit and if your happy he is getting richer than cool .
    but if you support Newcastle United then not cool .

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  20. Toon chicken? You having a laugh? no way will people buy the strip with sports direct on it!

    as for the shirt sponsor, surely that will bring in money without them needing to pay extra to have their name on the stadium. So if a company comes in to replace northern rock for example one of the betting companies or insurance company eg 888bet or Churchill then they don’t have to take up the stadium name option.

    could you imagine being called The FedEx Arena or something daft. the timing of this is purely because of the international break and if we are to believe then a new deal has to be established by December. but once again they are showing utter disregard to the history and attempting to promote sports direct for that bit longer without realising the reaction fans would have to this. they aren’t football people and never will be. as sir john hall said, they are using nufc as a promoting tool for sports direct. Personally I can’t see any one wanting the naming rights after the media attention it has caused, there best bet is just to offer sponsorship for the shirt

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  21. TC…me either(again if he’s paying for it) but there will be thousands who wouldnt buy it I reckon, hence the question, which is more beneficial to him?

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  22. Funnily enough whilst browsing some of the most strident in their outrage at the sellout on websites & blogs regarding this issue of branding and advertising on football stadiums, I almost got rumbled when I forgot to turn off my speakers on the pc at work. ……………Jeez that ‘Call of Duty’ video is loud!

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  23. I don’t get it…. who walks past ‘Sports direct Arena’ and goes… catchy name that, i think i’ll by some lonsdales. ❓ 😯

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  24. Supermarv – why?

    People still bought the shirt when it had Northern Rock on it – a company that came close to pissing thousands of Geordies life savings down the drain. A company whose mistakes all of us (well, most of us) are still paying for now!

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  25. I picked up on a couple of things Llambias said:

    “We need to put players on the pitch”. I would like to have heard him say ” We need to put better players on the pitch”. That would suggest it’s because we will improve not just so we can live.

    He also said ” We have exhausted all other revenue streams”. Jeez, what about the £50m we brought in via player sales?

    In principle I really have no problem with what they are doing – but I do have a problem if this is just so we get cheap seats. I would gladly pay an extra 5-10% per year for my season ticket if it meant we got better players on the pitch.

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  26. Toonsy – don’t worry mate, that BBC link worked fine for me here in Australia, although I’m beginning to wish it hadn’t. I had never actually heard Llambias speak before and, suffice to say, I was extremely unimpressed. He sounded nervous and totally unconvincing – I’ve finally realised why the rest of you have such a low opinion of him.

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  27. nobby
    November 10, 2011 at 11:33

    I don’t get it…. who walks past ‘Sports direct Arena’ and goes… catchy name that, i think i’ll by some lonsdales.

    Nobby you’re not suggesting that advertising doesn’t work are you? 😯

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  28. He sounded nervous and totally unconvincing – I’ve finally realised why the rest of you have such a low opinion of him………………………….Absolutely! Llambias is useless, this IS Ashley’s biggest mistake! If he would sack him and get a proper media\PR savvy MD in, most of his problems with fans would disappear overnight

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  29. Have you been outside SJP lately? It plastered in sports direct logos… you’d have to be a cretin to not know what/who’s brand it’s under. How does changing the name bring in that much more revenue? ❓

    Maybe i don’t understand this as i haven’t completed a degree in marketing but I’m trying to look at it with common sense. 😐

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  30. SIR JOHN HALLS THOUGHTS ON DEATH OF ST JAMES PARK
    By Steve Wraith Thursday 10 Nov 2011 11:24:00

    I have read with great interest the statement from the club about the rebranding of the stadium from St James Park to Sports Direct Arena. Whilst it would be easy for me to condemn the change I feel one must stand back and take a balanced view of what is proposed.

    What we as fans have to realise is that Mike Ashley is the legal owner of the club and in theory can do anything he wants with that business. However, I would like to suggest that football clubs in this country are somewhat different in cultural terms to normal businesses. In my time at the club I realised that even though I was the legal owner I was merely the custodian of the club on behalf of the fans. Mike Ashley has that responsibility now. Owners come and go but the fans remain for the life of the club.

    There are valid reasons for changing the name if it will bring in large sums of money to help with the finances of the business and more so if new players are bought with that money.

    However, history and tradition play an important part in our lives and have helped develop this nation and its people and these traits are the cultural basis of most of our football clubs. It is easy to break with tradition when a club builds a new stadium on another site e.g. Arsenal. Most fans would see this as the start of a new era and would accept a name change. However that is not the case at St James’ Park with its 119 years of tradition.

    None of us can, or should we, stand in the way of change if we feel it is in the best interests of our club. In this instance however I believe you cannot airbrush away the name St James’ Park and call it Sports Direct Arena. The existing Arena in Newcastle lies on the banks of the Tyne. This name change will only last until the club finds a major sponsor and we will have another new name. This will only last the length of that sponsorship. After that there could be another sponsor and we could have another name change and so on over the years. I noticed that York City now has the honour of being called ‘The KitKat Stadium’. Can we look forward in the future to possibly being called ‘The Kitty Kat Stadium’?

    To all of us fans, especially the older ones who have supported the club for the last 30 – 50 years the ground will always be St James’ Park. Whatever new name is painted on the stadium it will never be accepted by the majority of the fans. However, we cannot stand in the way of change and I would like to suggest that a compromise is reached between the fans and the club especially when on the park the team is doing so well. The Board needs to respect the club’s history and tradition of which every fan is very proud.

    I do not think any of us are against a new sponsor but I would suggest that they need to take into account the feeling of the fans. As I have said you cannot just airbrush away 119 years of history and tradition.

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  31. I just think these guys are really funny. Nobody but nobody will use the new name. Media maybe, we’ll see. We’re already watching a team playing in Blackpool’s strip with the discredited NR logo on it. Do we care?
    It’s just funny – York fans rolling up to Kit Kat crescent or the mackems crawling to the Stadium of Light. He he!

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  32. Im actually pleasantly surprised by the balanced views of most on here (sorry – i didnt mean that to sound patronising)…my first instinct when i read about it this morning was to call him all the nasty names i could think of.
    since then – trawling about the papers and football websites – they seem to have jumped on the news as another way to poke fun and take the pee over us. Stuff them all

    i’ve calmed down and now i think i can actually see that it may be good business. lots on here seem to think the same. lets face it…it’ll always be SJP to us.

    nee doubt Sky and the bed sheet brigades will be oot though FFS

    the overriding factor is that it wont hurt us on the pitch. all the dirty Spurs/scousers/mackems/****neys can go and do one – they’re just jealous anyway 😆

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  33. Like I said late last night, how much more are people willing to take?
    Will it take him changing our stripes from black and white to blue and red before people stop making excuses for him?
    I’ve been pretty level headed about most of Ashley’s tenure, even Keegangate, but this is something else.
    It’s not just NUFC, it’s the whole city. St James Park is the heart of Newcastle. It actually means something.
    These new stadiums used the naming rights to help build them. Emirates gave arsenal a shed load of money towards the new stadium.
    I also mentioned last night that it can’t be called that during the Olympics due to advertising a company or something, so does it revert back to SJP? or will it be the Mike Ashley Superdome or the Dekka Coliseum?
    Even Shepheard didn’t sink this low.

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  34. So we need a striker and a couple of new players in the summer ??
    I know it might be a silly idea but could we not use the Judas money ??
    When asked in 2009 after the rebranding **** storm Lambsarse was asked if the name St James’ Pk would remain the name of the ground ? ‘Absolutley in our reign Absolutley’
    So was that another lie ? Absolutley

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  35. I went to see Queen at St James’ Park back in the 80’s. It was an amazing venue for a rock concert and I’m sure with the rediculous ticket prices charged these days for concerts, it would bring in a pretty penny or two for owl heed. I for one cringe at the very thought of the Sports Direct Arena… It is and always will be St James’ Park to me…

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  36. to everyone that says “it will always be saint james’ park to me”

    What about your children

    and their children

    and their…. you get the idea. ❓ ❓ ❓

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  37. Ashley never forgets to remind us we’re in his pocket does he. If we actually got substantial funds for this that would actually be used to strengthen the squad I wouldn’t be that fussed-really can’t see it happening though, just another market attempt or disaster by fatty.

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  38. Congratulation Mike Ashley another P.R diaster,no consultation with the fans yet again in a cynical move to exploit the global brand of Newcastle United to promote your tacky company. We put up with your shameless advertising around St James Park and those of you out there that see this as a positive move would point to Shepherd who used St James Park to promote his company. I don’t see to remember Freddy putting his company on the roof or either side of the Newcasltle United Lettering. Mark my words, at the end of the season when another statement is released saying how despite numerous attempts to find a Stadium sponsor we failed and we will continue to have this crappy company exploting the name of Newcaslte United.
    Before all you Ashley supporters come back and say that the owner has every right to do this and maximise the name of Newcastle United, I don’t see Kenwright re-naming Goddison Park in order to attract companies and they are in a more dire financial situation then we are. Yes, we need to compete with the likes of Man Utd and Chelsea, but this simoly is not the solution, ignoring over 100 years of history for an extra 8m a year ?. If we can not compete with the likes of Man Utd and Chelsea then it is time for you to step aside Mike and take your clown of chairman with you. Hall did the honourable thing and realised that he no longer had the funds to push Newcastle to the next step and sold to you thinking you had honourable intentions.
    Again, fans of yours will point to the amount of money you pumped into the club to keep us afloat. Again this is a notable point, but you must remember that Ashley didnt do this out of the goodness of his heart. He did this from a Business point of view, if Newcastle didnt survive then he looses the money he paid for the club.

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  39. Tattyheed, agree with you, i posted the other day that the media have had their nose put out of joint by our results and league position and were waiting patiently for a ****ty stick to beat us with, well the board have just given them a shed full.
    Once again, just as we were chugging along nicely, boom!
    But why are we surprised, Chelsea are about to do the same, other clubs have already done it, no point in complaining, its his club, he can do what he wants.
    Could be worse, Shef Weds players once had ” Pukka Pies” on their shirts.

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  40. So, it seems money can buy loyalty. Selling the soul of the club so we can get a midfielder or a striker in the January window?

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  41. What are you on about John, Ashley supporters?….I don’t think anyone is supporting Ashley, most I’ve seen are merely realists who can see that it’s not just Ashley but football that has sold out to venture capitalism. The genie is not going back into the bottle mate….once you start paying hollywood sized pay packets to ****head players there’s no going back.

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  42. And cue all the bloody Judas money talk. Sick of it. It went to pay debts and transfer fees and wages for the 5 year contracts people have just signed. When will people just wake up

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  43. That ****ing interview is priceless, we need 10mil to compete with the big teams. Its a drop in the ****ing ocean to city, chelsea, man u and even liverpool. christ

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  44. Its a name of a place with history. Much like Bombay was, or Cilon or Siam.

    Things have a habit of changing. I dont like it but can see the benefits.

    And so what if SD is emblazened everywhere. Cashley owns us. He has to put money into the club that we all want to be successful. Where does he generate his money from? Sports Direct. So him generating more business for SD increases his personal profit and wealth, which in turn gives him more money to shell into NUFC which as of this moment is Losing him money.

    Buoycoting games or SD is only going to harm NUFC in the long term, so lets just suck it up and hopefully we will generate a decent amount of revenue to allow us to compete better on the pitch.

    And the Judas money has been used within the club already on Cabaye + wages for his 5 year deal, Tiotes new 6 year deal, Collo’s hopefully new 5 year deal, Abeid + his contract, Obertoon + contract, B’a contract.

    Funny how a bit of success on the pitch and these things are forgotten about for a few weeks eh?

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  45. @ What are you on about John, Ashley supporters?….I don’t think anyone is supporting Ashley
    I think you will find that many supporter had changed their opinion of Mike Ashley since the recent good performances of the team.
    Howvere, 8m a year for the sake of rebranding and loosing a part of the clubs history, like Hall mentioed in your post what happens in 5 years time when and if a company is found they decide not to renew the contarct and we have yet another name change. Where does the re-branding stop, does it allow Ashley to re-name the team for the sake of another 10m ? What is 10m anyways, its certainly not enough to catch up witht the top 4 is it Joe, I should imagine the owners of Man City must be really worried that we now have an extra 10m to spend in the transfer market. I think Ashley also fails to neglect the price that his company is paying for the priveldge of free advertising, I should imagine nothing. So until a company is found Sports Direct is now the name of the stadium, who’s to say a new company will be found ?.
    Like Hall said the owner is merely the custodians of the club, and it should not be ruthlessly rebranded, the club will be around much longer than any of us and that should be taken into consideration.

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  46. I suppose you can’t really blame Ashley for being a trend setter. I mean, it’s only a matter of time before all the other top clubs start doing it.

    Apparently, a spokesman for Liverpool FC said earlier today “Yeah, we’re grateful to Mike Ashley for showing us the way forward. In fact we were already thinking about changing the name of our ground to ‘The Fenway Sports Group Arena’, which we thought would go down really well with most of our fans. The only problem was that we had this stupid sign at the end of the tunnel to the pitch that said ‘THIS IS ANFIELD’ which was installed by former manager Bill Shankly to instill fear into the opposition. But that didn’t really matter, and we decided instead that the best solution was to fully adopt the ‘Ashley’ approach, which involved tearing down the existing sign and erecting one that said ‘THIS IS THE FENWAY SPORTS GROUP ARENA (FORMERLY KNOWN AS ANFIELD) BUT YOU CAN CALL IT ANYTHING YOU LIKE IF YOU WANT’. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make the sign any bigger so we had to make the printing a lot smaller, which meant that players would have a lot of difficulty reading it. Luckily, most of our players are pretty thick and can’t read anyway, so, at the end of the day, it really won’t make much difference”.

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  47. Newkie, its not a drop in the ocean tho is it, its like transder fees for another: Demba Ba, Cabaye, Tiote and Obertoon .. another 4 like that and we will be sweet ..

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  48. Toonpipes-I agree it might get us a player, but listing us alongside city and chelsea in terms of creating revenue is an absolute joke. Arsenal essentially got a new stadium worth 100s of millions, city about 100mil, god knows what chelsea will get, and yet we’ll get 10 mil for a combined stadium and shirt deal? Its definitely a drop in the ocean compared to that.

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  49. the whole situation leaves me gobsmacked and sick to the stomach. i await the next news story that will hit us in a few months. eg. ‘we tried our best but couldnt get the deal for the player done’……

    – we have yet to see the full £35m invested in the squad, which they promised. then they came out and said it was to be spent on wages agents facilities etc .thats Lie One.

    – Lying about saying who was in charge of player ins and outs to Keegan. Lie Two.

    – Two years ago, stating that SJP name would never be sold under their “regime” with llambias saying on the matter “absolutely not” .Lie Three.

    People that think this is ok, need their heads checking. We are always going to be lied to from Mike Ashley and LLiarambias. They fail to understand the personal attachment fans have to the club and stadium and honestly their whole attitude and statement stinks. They have shown no regard for the history, and i bet they thought they would get away with it by lubing us up with half price season tickets! would 4000 people have bought them had this news come a month ago?? i highly doubt it

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  50. Taking it further, would people be happy with us playing in Blue and Red stripes or even sillier, Red and White, if it gave us £30m to spend on players? How about we change the name to Dekkas Newcastle Dons? and we get another £10m in the door?

    Sweet. Happy Days.

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  51. Micky toon that is the way of the world these days and it might become like the USA where franchise’s ( aka teams ) move entire citys for finicial motives. Look at wimbledon now been the MK Dons. Its not nice but that is the truth of the matter. Maybe some of our older bloggers ( Icedog……:) ) might shed light on the general feeling when shirt sponsers first appeared? Were fans unhappy that the shirt was been tarnished?

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  52. Some marketing dude on Sky reckons that £10 mill a year is a bargain and he reckons we should be looking for more 😯

    Says that we, as fans, have everything a company look for, like loyalty

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  53. Back onto football, seems as if Besty’s wife is in labour-seems to be a remarkable amount of births and children running around the squad lately and coincidentally its about a year since Pards took over. Anyone else thinking his first act of business was to have a word with the lasses, get them putting out more often/more enthusiastically and therefore getting our players in the right set of mind for this season?

    Or perhaps Pards himself has been visiting them and a happier wife leads to a happier player? Hey, could happen, this is Newcastle. 😉

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  54. was just thinking, if someone comes in to sponsor then would all the sports direct signage come down and their company name go up instead?

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  55. Surprised if any company is willing to put their name onto the stands with all the bad press. Google Stadium – the *******s that helped stuff cash into da fat man’s pockets

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  56. Have read thro all the reasoned and not discussions on this topic. i agree IF we get money into the club it may well be a good thing, but the only company making money out of all the advertising at NUFC (for now) is Sports Direct. We are not compensating MA for money he put into the club, cos he aint put any in . He loaned the club money, despite him saying ‘I will put £20 mill a year into the club a year for transfers’.
    Last year Sports Direct made over 200 mill profit on the back of free advertising at our club NUFC saw none of that. I think people who think a sponsor is coming in to put money into the club are in for a disapointment. I bet the money for all the signage etc, also comes out of the NUFC coffers.

    NOT IMPRESSED 🙁 🙁 😡

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  57. I’m another fan that wouldnt mind this if it was to benefit the club but i cant help but feel
    1. its a bit of free or dirt cheap advertising for ashley
    2. if we do get a sponsor will it actually be used to buy a player?

    i dont think it will we still havent seen the carroll money which apparently most of it got spent on our free transfers so they said just more lies.
    LLambais sounds nervous in his interview and kept changing subject to the shirt sponsor.
    also i noticed he said that we’d need replacements? so who exactly in our current small squad needs replacing? no one unless he’s looking to sell some of our top players off again and hope Carr finds some more amazing bargains.

    Im not against it but I am against ashley using the club and milking it dry to promote his company not the club. only time will tell whether this is for the club or if its yet another lie and is in the interest of ashley alone

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