Newcastle Council Refuse To Back St. James’ Park Name Change

There was a lot of upset among Newcastle fans when Mike Ashley renamed St. James’ Park as the Sports Direct Arena in November.

St. James’ Park

But the name of a ground that has been home of Newcastle United ever since in was formed 120 years ago in 1892 is hard to change for most fans.

We took the decision to continue calling it St. James’ Park and never even mention Sports Direct Arena (whoops), but the Newcastle City Council have come out with a motion that requests the media to keep calling it St. James’ Park.

So we’ll see what Sky Sports call it this afternoon, when they broadcast the game worldwide, and they will probably talk about this news and the actions taken by the Newcastle City Council.

Mike Ashley was told in no uncertain terms that he would receive no support from the Newcastle City Council for his decision to rename St James’ Park.

The name was changed in November but the Council have refused to back that decision by changing  street signs in the city from St James’ Park to Sports Direct Arena.

This is what the motion states:

“The motion requests that the city council write to the media and asks that they continue to use the name of St James’ Park in all reporting and refuse to use the name Sports Direct Arena.”

“For its part, the city council has taken the decision not to change any wayfinding signs which bear the name St James’ Park, and calls on the club to reconsider.”

“We would respectfully ask that you acknowledge the strength of opposition among Newcastle fans against changing the name of the stadium and continue to call it St James’ Park in all reporting.”

If this motion gets wide support it  will put a damper on any company wanting to buy the naming rights of  St. James’ Park.

That’s because the companies only do it so their brand is talked about when the media reports on Newcastle United and the games are televised – that’s the whole purpose of a company paying out big money for the naming rights.

Newcastle United have officially refused to comment on the action taken by the Council.

The naming rights were expected to bring up to £10M/year into the club’s coffers, but Richard Benson passed up on that opportunity when Virgin Money came in as the new sponsors for the Newcastle shirts a couple of weeks ago.

As we said,  this action will make it more difficult for a  company to buy the naming rights of St. James’ Park,  if the motion receives wide support.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • check the toastie

    Jan 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #1

    Dont have a problem with the name change if it brings money into the club and success on the pitch.

  • kingkev9

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #2

    Hats off to the city council. It will always be St James Park. It’s embarrassing when you hear people call it the SDA. Hopefully no one will buy the naming rights, or but isn’t that what MA wants!?!? Free advertising

  • kingkev9

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #3

    I can’t understand anyone, especially those born and bred in Newcastle, who would support the name change. 120 years of history changed for a few quid

  • LewSpi

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #4

    You know what, I wish we’d just sign this Ravel Morrison, I think we’ll regret it if we miss out on him. Just take a chance, and give him disciplinary conditions in his contract.

    He who dares..

  • sirtoongospel

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #5

    I absolutely support the club in trying to increase interest and revenue by a variety of means. But I totally oppose this.

    Our shirts slightly change in design, players and sponsors can come and go, owners and managers change, the stadium can even become more modern and grow somewhat, but 2 things never change.

    We are NEWCASTLE UNITED and we play at ST JAMES PARK.


  • fgb224lbs

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #6

    From he last thread. The words Roshan puts in capitals are ones he had to add to his phone’s dictionary and at the Time he accidentally put them in all capitals so whenever he writes them they autocorrect to capitalized words. As you can imagine it would be a pain to go change them all.
    Hope this clears things up

  • The Eternal Optimist

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #7

    is this really news worthy? sounds like the halfwits at the council trying to get involved in something that doesn’t concern them. All fans will call the stadium st James’ park, the council are going to continue calling it st james’ park and it is none of their concern what the national media call the stadium.

    It’s embarrassing, and you’d not get it at any other club. Pipe down- it’s Ashley’s entitlement to call it what he likes and to sell the rights if he can. If the council want that right buy him out otherwise shut it cos you’re damaging the clubs ability to generate revenue.

  • darko

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #8

    Morning lads,
    On the way to Fulham, anyone know any pubs next to ground?
    I was told but can’t remember. Cheers


    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #9

    I would like to see the Toon move to a 70,000 capacity stadium when we are regularly playing in the champions league and I doubt it could be called St James’.
    I am not sure if its possible to develop the current stadium’s capacity and I think it would be brilliant if people could stand rather than sit to support the team.
    I totally understand supporters feelings about the name change and find it very irritating when tv commentators call it sports direct I also find it even more irritating when UNITED are on the telly although often they play against a united.

  • jasper

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #10

    Darko @8
    There are about 150 pubs and bars within a mile of the ground so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one…….St James is a proper city centre ground.
    The nearest is the Strawberry, approx 50 yards from Gallowgate end but you’d have to get in early on match day.

  • Irie-Magpie

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #11

    I have to agree with you Eternal Optimist, I can’t see any die hard fan/supporter calling it anything else other than St James’s Park.

    This is helping our club financially tho we may not support the move it’ll generate interest and income.

    Ma wants the club to be self sustaining and has shown( 10mill? for Cisse) that what the club makes he’ll spend(virgin kit sponsorship)

  • darko

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #12

    Thanks Jasper – I meant near Fulhams ground though.


    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #13

    Its embarrassing for the council to listen to its people and act on their wishes? Interesting thought

    I am all for the council doing this. The ground will be known as St James for this generation but the name will be lost over time

  • Les Grossman

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #14

    Get a grip!

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #15

    Darko uf ya get off the train at putney there are tonnes of bars between there n craven cottage bout a mile walk fron putney station to craven all bars tho its a bit posh that part of town like!

  • morocco0015

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #16

    its embarrassing to read comments from half wits saying the name St James Pk isnt important

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #17

    The name change would = a heck of a lot more than a few quid.

  • stuart no9

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #18

    the eternal optimist @7- every point you make in your post is wrong, except the point you make ” ash can call it what he likes”. 1- “is this news worthy” . yes it is to a loyal fan . – note the word loyal . 2 ” halfwits getting involved that dosnt concern them ” It concerns them very much. What the halfwits dont want is all the history that NUFC has assembled over 120 years, to be obliterated by one mans lust for greed and power who, in a few years time has made his fortune on the back of NUFC and will no doubt, no longer be here. 3 ” all the fans will call it SJP. for now yes they will, however, the name will gradually disappear over the next generations when organisations like the media keep calling it SDE. 4 ” its embarrasing and youd not get it at any other club”.? – how do you know that?. ” damaging the clubs ability……………….. good god ! look at the bigger picture man.

  • stuart no9

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #19

    darko @ 12 hahahahahahah what a plonker !

  • morocco0015

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #20

    stuart no9
    well said mate, would have wrote similar post but felt to EMBARRASSED to engage with such a know it all prat @7.

  • stuart no9

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #21

    Can anyone explain to me what ED means by ” we will see what espn call it when they broadcast the game world wide today ” am i missing something here ?

  • Terry123

    Jan 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Completely agree with The Eternal Optimist.

    MA is ahead of the game on this one. In 5 years time virtually all clubs will have ground sponsorship, why should we miss out on cash which is in limited supply and will go to other clubs. I’ll still call it St. James’s but the owners can call it what they want – they pay the bills at the end of the day. Not sure with the council is sticking it’s nose in to the debate, I can’t see why they would try to prevent money coming into the local economy.

    It’s an income stream we can’t aford to miss out on. MA needs a return on the millions he’s pumped into the club that saved us from financial oblivion.

  • stuart no9

    Jan 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #23

    terry123 ” i cant see why they would try to prevent money coming into the local economy” – they wouldnt . they are trying to prevent money going into this greedy mans bank account ( a cockney) on the back of the great tradition of NUFC. Other clubs can find ways to generate cash without changing stadium names, why cant we . No other club has had to take such drastic measures, no other club would, but then again no other club is ran by mr ashley.

  • Cardboy

    Jan 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #24

    Good stance from the council…. a new song from the terraces would keep it going for generations whatever anyone else tries to name it. Would be sung week in week out and let the club owners know its a step too far.

  • Terry123

    Jan 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #25

    With respect, you mean the bank account of the person who’s put £150M plus into the club – I think he’s entitled to get it back?

  • AdamSQZ

    Jan 21, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #26

    I think that the initial anger has subsided, but reluctance remains in part due to the “sponsor” – Sports Direct. If Nike or someone with a bit more of a prestigious image were to be taken on then we mightn’t care as much. After all we will all keep calling it St James’ Park.


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