Newcastle United have began the process of taking the signs down at their famous St. James’ Park Stadium.
Workers dismantle St. James’ Park sign
Owner Mike Ashley renamed the ground as the Sports Direct Arena in November, after the company he owns and founded, and we hope he’s paying a lot for that privilege.
And whenever Newcastle are playing at home and are on TV, the only signs you can see on the ground are those of Sports Direct – all over the place – so we have to assume Mike Ashley is getting worldwide advertising for his company, at the expense of the club he purchased in the summer of 2007.
The name change of last November was met with vast disapproval by both the Newcastle fans and the Newcastle City Council, who have refused to change the signs to the Stadium.
The St. James’ Park sign will be replaced by Sport Direct Arena signs, but the taking down of the famous name of the Stadium is being met with mass disapproval in Newcastle.
The workers who have been tasked with removing the signs, are even coming in for some barracking, but of course it’s nothing to do with them, they are just doing their jobs.
We suppose Ashley and Derek LLambias are still waiting for a sponsor to come along to pay for the naming rights, but that will mean the name of the Stadium will be continually changed for the length of time each company sponsors the new name of St. James’ Park.
And we suppose the delay in changing the signs was that the Newcastle hierarchy may have been hoping for a sponsor to come along, and no such sponsor has arrived – at least not yet.
The magnificent St. James’ Park shown here via an aerial view
We’ll continue to call the ground what it’s been called for over 120 years – St. James’ Park – and at least that will remain the generic name of the Stadium forever.
And that will not change, even though the “official” name of the Stadium may change – continuously we might add – through the years ahead.
But of course that name is fleeting, and St. James’ Park will live on forever.
At least on this blog it will.