The O2 Arena?

Mobile phone network O2 are believed to be interested in securing the naming rights at St James’ Park, according to the Telegraph.

At a time when transfer speculation is just about to crank up again we now face an extra dimension of rumour-mongering as the press aim to fill column inches with yet more gossip. Whether it be truth or not is irrelevant.

Anyway, the latest speculation claims that O2 are interested in securing the naming rights on the grounds that there are plans for St James’ Park to be used as a multi-purpose venue for concerts and exhibitions and so on. Similar to the O2 in London, which was formerly the Millenium Dome, it would give the Spanish owned telecoms giant a venue away from the Capital to host events in.

I guess the most notable affiliation between a football club and O2 has to be between them and Arsenal who carried the phone network on their shirts for a number of years. They also sponsored the England Rugby team and hold other current interest in sports across Europe.

They also have a penchant for acquiring naming rights. Obviously the former Millenium Dome is now called the O2 Arena and all of the little Carling Academies that popped up all over the UK at one point are now called O2 Acacdemies. They also acquired the naming rights to the Sazka Arena in the Czech Republic, which now has the official name of the O2 Arena.

Having waffled on for a bit about O2 you could come to the conclusion that I’d be happy to have our historic ground emblazoned with O2 logos everywhere. I would, but only because it would get rid of the Sports Direct name and signage that we are “temporarily” carrying. In reality it’s like choosing which testicle to cut off as I’d quite like to keep both, with both being the name St James’ Park.

However there is a sense of apathy amongst fans. I’m just as annoyed as the next person but in reality there is very little that can be done. Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have never listened to the fans before so why would they start now? The naming issue is just another episode of that particular ignorance.

They say this is being done for commercial purposes which I don’t think is the major issue here. Instead the suspicion is that we’ll never see a company like O2 sponsor and will be left with Sports Direct emblazoned all over the place. That doesn’t bother me either, but what does is knowing that it’s likely to be of no benefit to the club if stays that way.

The only way they (Ashley and Llambias) will ever get fans to at least tolerate a name change is if it’s clear that it is benefiting the club. We’d more than likely not see any of the cash as history suggests that it gets spent somewhere without us, as fans, noticing it. But it would soften the blow knowing that it’s being paid for and knowing that it’s being put to good use.

Besides, whatever the signs say, it’s still St James’ Park, and always will be!

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.

79 thoughts on “The O2 Arena?

  1. So my question is, if Ashley said that he would reduce the monies owed to him by Β£10m a season in exchange for the naming rights to stay as it is now, ie Sports Direct Arena, would fans be happy at that, knowing that that in 11 years time, we would be debt free from Ashley or would they prefer to have SJP back & still owe Ashley Β£111m+ πŸ˜• πŸ˜•

    Cause from what I’ve been reading, some fan aren’t happy because this renaming stunt is just giving Ashley free advertising & not making any monies from it.. but if he was paying, would that make it any better πŸ˜•

      (Quote)

  2. It will always be St James’ Park to me no matter what the “official” name is. Don’t we still call the 2 ends the Leazes and the Gallowgate although thats not been the official name for years.
    Unfortunately these days football is a business and we have to accept that times have changed.
    I’m not apathetic over this but seriously don’t think it warrants all the angst and chest beating.
    It’s better than doing a Leeds or Portsmouth and I for one continue to have faith in what Ashley is trying to do with the club

      (Quote)

  3. “Cause from what I’ve been reading, some fan aren’t happy because this renaming stunt is just giving Ashley free advertising & not making any monies from it.. but if he was paying, would that make it any better :???:”

    Exactly, and its not just the fact that he is getting free advertising, cheapening the ground, making it look tacky and cheap. But he is costing us income through other potential sponsors that could be there (and have been in the past).

      (Quote)

  4. O2 will be Fatboys preferred option as it’ll cost less to replace the lettering and he can recycle the O’s πŸ˜‰

    Toon…I’d never be happy at any name change but it’ll happen every where sooner or later and obviously it would make it slightly better if he was paying for it or reducing his debt, but moot point really as he’s getting it all for free…….as far as we are aware.

      (Quote)

  5. As you say Richie, as far as we’re aware he’s getting it for free but that is to be expected considering he owns the club, after all, no businessman would pay to advertise his own company on his on company would he, as that would be taking money off himself in the end…

    I did also read that this could be a way around the new FFP rules & allow him to interject more funds into the club like Manc Citey have with Etihad Airways, who’re also owned by Shrek Mansour or whatever his name is… but somehow I doubt Ashley is the type of guy who wants to interject extra money of his own into the club πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  6. “They say this is being done for commercial purposes which I don’t think is the major issue here. Instead the suspicion is that we’ll never see a company like O2 sponsor and will be left with Sports Direct emblazoned all over the place. That doesn’t bother me either, but what does is knowing that it’s likely to be of no benefit to the club if stays that way.”

    Perfectly put – its the crux of the matter. I would argue than anyone who has given 150mn interest free deserves a little payback. Though without this revenue stream if it is taken annually free gratis – with in effect – season ticket prices falling over the medium term (10 year fixed price deal) we have to generate extra cash somewhere – which means more player sales.

    We can only see how it pans out an accept it. Hissyfitting in bedrooms won’t achieve anything.

      (Quote)

  7. smoke-screens… Nobody will advertise apart from Sports Direct – world domination.

    Higher up the league we are the more we’re shown worldwide. Ashleys plan, obviously. Hope I’m wrong.

    I wonder if Ashley is paying 8-10mill back into the club for advrtising.

    So we can get a new striker for 10mil? I thought the Maiga deal fell thru coz the Frech club didnt want to sell him without replacing first. now we havent got the cash? strange

      (Quote)

  8. Rather have Sports Direct as the sponsor, at least they are connected with the club.

    Where are these so called North East business consortiums that had the club at their heart. Why dont they sponsor the Stadium?

    Cant believe John Hall has been spouting off, after all this is the bloke who sold his majority share to Mike Ashley as his partner (Shepherd) lay in intensive care!!!

      (Quote)

  9. Billythefish

    Do you really think Ashley is trying to sell advertising space, when he has Sports Direct pasted on every square inch of the stadium.

      (Quote)

  10. I bet this is more bull**** spin feed by the club to try to pacify the natives.
    Stardy as I said lastnight Re Β£150mill loan if he hadn’t ****ed things up ie no DD when he bought it, then he ****ed up with KK ,then got us relegated, then I don’t think we would have needed to be in debt.
    But you think he should be rewarded for that ?.
    But then I don’t think it would matter what he does you will always back him up, he must be a good customer of yours.

      (Quote)

  11. Mark…..but we had the cash to make crazy overpriced bids in the last hour of the last 2 transfer windows πŸ˜‰

    Billy….I touched on that yesterday that it would be great publicity for a local company like Sage for example to sponsor it and just be happy with having the signage all over it but keep the name the same….dreaming I know but hey πŸ˜€

      (Quote)

  12. Toon…disagree though, the whole point of advertising is to increase the money that you make from the company being advertised,so he’ll be making a load on the back of NUFC but giving none of it back to the club, whether he owns both companies or not he should either be reducing his debt or paying for the advertising. He is benefitting SD at the cost of NUFC as someone else could be buying that space, apart from the fact that he is just the majority shareholder in SD so the ****ers that own the other 30%(or whatever it is) benefit despite having nowt to do with NUFC. As you say he’s the owner and can do what he wants, but imo it’s morally wrong but then we already know he has no morals πŸ˜• …..just my opinion of course πŸ˜‰

      (Quote)

  13. Lets not forget that MA has put 280million of his own money into saving the club. I hate to see the name change but if its for business and may benefit us in the long run like a lot of decisions so far then so be it. We need to stop looking for ways to bash MA. Something else this may have been forced on him as we have not been filling SJP for a long time now so the extra revenue from sponsorship is needed to fill the empty 5000 seats.

    We are not the first of the last to have to move with the times, and if we are to at least keep up with the other clubs we need to create money. If other sugar daddies come in and buy up other clubs we could find ourselves trailing in financial muscle. I would rather we had a name change and compete than be St James and finish near the bottom every season. There is no soul or room for tradition in football any more. Just survival of the fittest.

      (Quote)

  14. Ashley can ‘t help himself but the value in it’s renaming is in how much it is used. Don’t use it – and that means fans, the Chronicle etc. What else? The Strawberry at St James’ Park?
    The name should not be sold to the highest bidder. Deal with shirt sponsorship and forget this nonsense.

      (Quote)

  15. Jeez, I agree with stardust. The previous owners ripped fotunes out of the club and we are arguing over a few signs. Wait til owners start changing the names of the teams and we end up as “welcome to the sports direct arena where today sports direct in their red & blue hoops are playing Abramovic in their Black & Gold”.

    Actually the idea of the O2 area of the north with all the entertainment and income that comes with that should be welcomed with open arms. As it is the guy who was stupid enough to give us keegan & shearer is vilified. Now he’s doing it his way and it’s working. Go read the article about olimpic lyonaisse on leazes terrace.

      (Quote)

  16. The 10 mil could well differentiate whether we are in the Europe the next season or not. Imagine we can afford a 10 mil striker, with additional 10 mil we could have 2 strikers or a better 20 mil striker. Of course this is assuming that money will go direct to our transfer fee.

      (Quote)

  17. “The Gallowgate end was renowned for its unruly and invariably intoxicated football fans, with supporters of visiting teams undergoing all manner of humiliation and derision at the hands of the locals” πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  18. Jez Lads how does anyone believe that Jabba is going to let our club be a massive advertisment for another company, when its on record that the main reason he bought the club, was the global advertisement for his sports retail company. πŸ˜•
    Why do people still fall for the spin that Jabba and Owlheed put out. And they keep doing it because they know they get away with it.

      (Quote)

  19. Dave

    “Stardy as I said lastnight Re Β£150mill loan if he hadn’t ****ed things up ie no DD when he bought it, then he ****ed up with KK ,then got us relegated, then I don’t think we would have needed to be in debt”

    We were financially crippled before relegation. Also a man who has not made errors of judgement is either a coward who hasn’t made any decisions or a liar πŸ˜‰

    Not sure after all he has achieved why you still hang onto the negative past. Ditch it fella – it’ll liberate you. πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  20. Personally – I think Bellys suggestion “O2 Park” is cool enough – reminisces on the past and looks to the future.

      (Quote)

  21. I’m not fussed, O2 Arena does sound ok, my problem is will it ever happen. Does he want anything but his own name out there?

    If it does hopefully it will be a long tem deal, say 4-5 yrs. Wouldnt want the name to change every 2 yrs.

    Its a wonder Sage arent interested. Hopefully Ashleys terms doesnt put off too many interested parties.

      (Quote)

  22. No way will Ashley allow any other sponsor of the ground, he will never get the same exposure anywhere else and its free.
    Doesnt matter how much they fiddle the figures its in one pocket and out of the other, Sports Direct is such a closed book that no other brand will get a sniff or wish to be involved with them, its a profitable brand but also toxic.
    And although i applaud Llambias for coming out and explaining the decision, why did he have to say that the sponsorship money would come in handy in January when we are buying a striker as justification, thought that cash was already put aside? or not?
    And for all Barton is making a tool of himself on Twitter, his barb that the board know the cost of everything and the value of nothing was spot on.
    The name change was coming, no problem with that, but they should have left it till the end of the season.

      (Quote)

  23. I’m with u BigDave.

    Hopefully in time we’ll see what his real plans are.

    Sports Direct Arena is just cheap, Id rather have Poundland Park. πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  24. 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 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 oh that was of the last thread

      (Quote)

  25. OOHNAHKAH @ 22 Please remember there is still Β£35m in the bank for purchasing players from the Andy Carroll deal.
    I will never trust Ashley because of his lies in the past. People keep on saying we owe him so much money because he ‘saved the club’ and that once we pay him back Β£110m he will be happy, This is the figure that has been banded round for years and after all the profits we have made in every transfer dealing it is still around that figure, he is stealing off us pure and simple. I don’t admit to knowing anything financial about the club, nor do I want to, my job is to support the club at 3 on a Saturday, and that is what I intend to carry on doing despite Ashley’s best attempt to take MY club away from me.

      (Quote)

  26. Stardy funny you should mention a Liar as we know he is a grade A Liar and the owlheed too,
    Just 2yrs ago after the rebranding **** storm he was asked if St James’ pk would remain as the name.
    DL replied ‘ Absolutley under our reign Absolutley ‘
    Complete lying bastads.
    As for rewards do you think if someone had a mortgage on their house and fell behind in there payments through their own fault and then manage to catch up they should be rewarded ?
    As for being crippled before Jabba bought the club wee had Β£120 – Β£130 mill and most of that was for the stadium. But now thanks to Jabba and the **** he has caused we are in Β£150+ mill in debt and have been through a relegation and all the ither ****storms.
    And you think he deserves to be rewarded for that ? As the late great Bobby would have said get yer heed out of the sand and smell the coffee.

      (Quote)

  27. stardy i hope you know that troy is gonna give you a kicking if he hears you call it any thing else apart from st james park πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  28. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Great for the club if we get a fantastic sponsorship deal. What has Troy been saying?

    Incidentally, does the County Council not have a say?

      (Quote)

  29. Play the ball people. No money. No new sponsor. Just a name change from St James Park to Sports Direct Arena. The rest is pure speculation.

      (Quote)

  30. Morning all, love reading the blog nd everyone’s views nd this is the first time I’ve posted on here, just wanted to say that the name change is a joke however sports direct is a PLC nd not owened by MA he is just majorty share holder so surely they must be paying something to the club? I no there’s a few people out there that like to scower through accounts so can anyone check sports directs latest accounts released ? Keep up the good work

      (Quote)

  31. Oh my god… completely forgot πŸ’‘ πŸ’‘ πŸ’‘ πŸ’‘

    SJP is being used in the olympics next year… suddenly this all makes sense for the whos, whats and whys πŸ’‘

    C0ckmuncher. πŸ‘Ώ

      (Quote)

  32. Look lads, the fact is the club needs money and our club being one of the few to almost run it’s self is finding way’s to be more efficient. We all know what the real name of the club is ‘St Jame’s Park’ and that’s what it always will be. If we can get good money for a bit of signage then, I say get it Fecking done asap. This isn’t pro Ashley before yee’s all get the boot in, this is Pro NUFC. Stop trying too second guess the Fat Controller, all I see is things are going right for a change and if this means Parden Hew can get the players he wants in Jan/summer then GREAT. HWTL

      (Quote)

  33. Oops. Just had time to dip in quickly and didn’t spot Toonsy’s article on the County Council. My question is still, however, valid, as it is not clear whether the County Council could prevent it.

      (Quote)

  34. I looked at the fair play rules ages ago and i thonk it reads along the lines that advertising deals would be checked to make sure they are at the going rate in order to stop deals circumnavigating the rules, it would be funny if this does go on for ages and fifa interject as we are getting below the going rate and force sports direct to start paying for advertising πŸ’‘ πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  35. A major concern with sponsorship deals is the fact that our stadium may end up having a different name evey few years! Different sponsor different name.

      (Quote)

  36. Sorry to be a cynic, but I think this is all very much pre-planned bull**** and a sly move by Ashley. In short, I think he’s giving himself free advertising.

    Look at the amount of press this is getting, for a start. He knows that this is global, syndicated news with his name on every single column-inch.

    He also knows that the addition of the stadium rights to the shirt rights is nit****; probably an extra couple of mil a year. The club will likely lose that in brand value alone. NUFC without SJP? It’s a bad move and he knows it.

    Lastly, he knows that many companies will steer clear rather than damage their brand in the NE through association with this kind of sacrilege, leaving him with free advertising for a long, long time.

    He’s a clever *******. And I mean both words equally.

      (Quote)

  37. BigDave, Ashley was responsible for the relegation debt, but that will have been paid off with the Carroll transfer.

    The rest of the debt is purely down to Shepard, years and years of paying european fees and wages to players that weren’t getting above 10th.

    It’s time to stop vilifing Ashley and glorifying the past. A top 10 finish this season would be our best two seasons in a row since Sir Bobby.
    For a good 5/6 years we had all the big name players but were utter sh!te. Luck or not, we’ve turned a corner with Ashley, cut costs whilst doing it and are in the most exciting state the club has been in for a decade.

      (Quote)

  38. Hang on – I may have missed all this discussion, so sorry if I’m going over old ground. The council OWN SJP, don’t they? NUFC only own the buildings.

    So the people who matter – the pundits on MOTD and radio, the people putting signs up, etc. – nobody can stop them sticking with the real name, can they?

    I must admit that I’m feeling quite militant about this. There is a line you don’t cross and this is over it. The Bernabau, Old Trafford, etc. – they’re staying with those names for a reason.

    Not that I’d ever condone willful damage, but when they take down the sign on the outside and replace it, I would be mightily disappointed if it remained intact for more than a few days at a time.

    Also, if the bedsheet brigade are still around, how about putting them to good use? Let’s see some at the next home match, please. With the real name on them.

      (Quote)

  39. I still think Ashley is a ‘Minka’ (in the words of my italian friend) and the way he has gone about his business is ****. But the facts are clear at the minute andd long may it continue….Looking πŸ™„

      (Quote)

  40. Yeah Whumpie – might as well start all the ****ney chants again while they’re at it.

    In fact why not go the whole hog and make the atmosphere as toxic and poisonous as possible – worked a fcuking treat last time! πŸ™„

      (Quote)

  41. heyyyyy on a bright note young ameobi supposed to have had a good game i didnt watch it but im pleased for the lad….

    best add on the bottom i hope ashley gets cok rot just incase im mistaken for a fat ash fan

      (Quote)

  42. Stardust,

    You really are a silly little man!

    For the last time, Ashley did not loan us the money out the goodness of his own heart! Stop painting that picture, it is nonsense!

      (Quote)

  43. SOLANOSTRUMPET
    November 11, 2011 at 10:06
    BigDave, Ashley was responsible for the relegation debt, but that will have been paid off with the Carroll transfer.
    The rest of the debt is purely down to Shepard, years and years of paying european fees and wages to players that weren’t getting above 10th.<<<<< yes but 60 mil of that debt was for the stadium ,which had to be payed of if sjh sold the club πŸ˜•

      (Quote)

  44. stardust,you carnt have it both ways lad,you say FFS took money robbed the club,wont ashley be doing the same if he gets free advertising.

    but i do like o2 park

      (Quote)

  45. Somebody also probs mentioned this but….

    half price season tickets to tie fans down….?

    Coincidence? I think not

      (Quote)

  46. Off topic slightly…
    One of the seven dwarves has been arrested for ****ing a giraffe. Apparently the other 6 put him up to it πŸ˜‰

      (Quote)

  47. Solano you can thank Jabba as much as you want thats your right. But I wont be I did credit him with the good start to the yr but thats it I wont be thanking him for getting us relegated, the KK ****storm, the way he treated A Shearer, the rebranding ****storm last time, or this time, and I wont be thanking him for the Lies and treating the fans like Shit.
    But if thats the type of man you admire thats your choice.

    Whumpie Jeff Sterling and a few others have said they won’t be calling it anything other than SJP, on that Jeff summed it up by basically saying that any true fan would be outraged at this, and I agree totally. But it seems some of our Fans are happy enough to go along with anything our great owner decides to do, some of them are even grateful to him for continually ripping the club apart.

      (Quote)

  48. reet lads catchyou’s later after I pay my respects to the brave people that gave their lifes fighting for what they believed in.
    When you go home tell them of us. and say
    For your tomorrows we gave our todays.

    All gave Some.
    Some gave All

      (Quote)

  49. Aye – great idea Whumpie – Plato once said “Think with your arse and you will talk ****e”

    Yeah let’s all turn against the club, let’s get relegated again, who on earth wants a club at the top of the Prem for the sake of a name – good grief.

      (Quote)

  50. I’ve heard that Paxo are considering buying the naming rights to Old Trafford. After the stuffing that went on there against Citeh they say it is the perfect fit for the brand. πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  51. Possible non negative protest, sing “there’s only one st james’s park one st james’s park, cheering along singing our song, singing at OUR ground st james’s park”, shouldn’t disrupt our players and if it was kept up regularly would get the point across

      (Quote)

  52. stardust,how will seliing our sole for a poxy 5 mill a year make us title contenders,its just not worth it..
    now if we could get what man city got,id me fkin hell yeah.

      (Quote)

  53. Stardust, you misunderstand me. I don’t want a huge backlash, just enough effort to encourage the reversal of what I think is a very poor decision for the club. I firmly believe that this decision has been made for the benefit of Sports Direct, at the COST of Newcastle United.

    It’s clear that the council won’t play along, and I suspect others will follow suit. If the fans do their bit – not massively disruptive, just making a clear statement that the place will always be referred to as SJP, then it could tip the balance.

    I suspect Ashley sees this as just a short-term thing anyway; something to help get his other brand out into the media for no cost. And it’s working, of course – he’ not daft.

    But don’t be fooled by this claim of Β£8-10M, that’s just total smokescreen, and we all know that the shirt sponsorship is where the money’s at. Nor is it in the interests of the club to have an ‘interim renaming’ to Sports Direct Arena’ – that’s transparently only benefiting the chav brand itself, not the club.

    I’m not after boycotts or anything – just a continued refusal to acknowledge the renaming, along the same lines as what the council is doing. It should be enough.

      (Quote)

  54. “They shall grow not old,
    as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them,
    nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.”
    LEST WE FORGET

      (Quote)

  55. Alanthedog363 – that’s the kind of thing.

    And a bucket of paint over the sign on the front wouldn’t go amiss.

    Sorry. Probably not the right thing to say; I’m just annoyed. 😳

    Singing better.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green