Does Mike Ashley Care What Newcastle Fans Think?

Former Newcastle Chairman and Life President John Hall,  has chimed in on the debate on the re-naming of St. James’ Park.

Sir John Hall – chimes in on the re-naming issue

There has been uproar from the Newcastle fans over the last few days as the famous St. James’ Park black letters have been removed via crow bars by workers last Thursday, and the debate continues to rage as to whether the naming rights should be sold- even for £10M/year.

This is what Sir John Hall said today about the situation:

“What we all have to recognise is that it’s now Mike Ashley’s club and he can do what he wants with it.” “The club is doing quite well and we have to appreciate that we are up there where we never thought we would be.”

“But it comes back to the fact that there are people of my age group who have followed the club for the past 60 or 70 years.” “We’ve grown up with the name St James’ Park so it doesn’t matter what sign is on the outside.”

“It’s probably quite romantic but I would hate to see the sponsors change every few years. Changing time and time again won’t go with the history of Newcastle United.”

“I think Mike Ashley accepts that Sports Direct Arena will never be accepted by most of the fans.” “There are three football clubs in the North East and Newcastle are the oldest.”

“It’s a tribal mentality at the club and they won’t easily accept the name change.”

Most of us will keep talking about the stadium as St. James Park and as we have said before that’s the generic name of the ground in any case,  because the name will keep changing – which is really shabby.

One year if could be Google Search Stadium and the next year it could be Boots Park.

We often wonder if Mike Ashley even wants to know what Newcastle fans really think?

In the four and half  years he’s owned Newcastle United,  Mike doesn’t seem to have listened or even wanted to listen to what the Newcastle fans’ views on anything are.

We’ve always found that very mystifying,  because Ashley is a very  successful business man, there’s no doubt about that.

So you would have thought he would be good with his customers, and we were always told at IBM to listen to the customer – what do they want?

And while Mike may be good with his Sports Direct customers, it certainly isn’t true at Newcastle United, because he doesn’t seem to care about the fans at all.

It’s not easy to say that – and we wish it weren’t so – but the evidence of the last four years or so,  firmly suggests it is true.

We really wish the Newcastle board would admit a fan representative – or have a group of fans they meet with regularly, so that opinions and information could be shared.

It would solve a lot of the problems in communication that Mike Ashley has with his customers at Newcastle United – we can almost guarantee that.

Comments welcome.

174 comments so far

  • t00ntime

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #1

    sir john hall was the best boss we have ever had and ever will hence the naming of the sir john hall stand… but this name change was done last year…

  • Tooooon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #2

    This club will always be hindered until fat ash leaves.. the sooner he leaves the better.

  • Dannyo

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #3

    I like:
    – Our work in the youth departement
    – Our current position in the table
    – Our manager
    – The quality players we’re targeting
    – That we’re finacially as sound as anyone now
    – Many of the players we currently have
    – Our scouting system
    – That we practice value for money

    I dislike:
    – The removal of St. James’ Park name
    – Derek Llambas
    – The lack of communication from the board
    – The complete disregard for fans
    – That the stadium now looks like a giant billboard for SD

    I’ve probably forgotten something, but i think it pretty much sums it up.

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #4

    Dannyo…you’re not allowed to like Pardew…it’s just not “in” these days

  • Niff in the USA

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #5

    I know the history means everything to the Newcastle fans, but people just need to lay it to rest. The name has changed, but no where in the law has prohibited it being called SJP to anyone. Football has been about money for a long time now it may as well be accepted. The club has never been on a name, it’s been about the fans support and the football on the pitch. The sooner people get over this name change shit the better. Until then bring on wolves.

  • t00ntime

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #6

    @dannyo haha dislike

    thats true 😛

    now non football related am I the only one who thinks the klitchkos have ruined heavyweight boxing? they have made it slower and much more boring to watch, no more quick combo’s just slow punches not only that but 90% of the fight klitchko doesnt even do anything…

    I hate em as much as dannyo(and most nufc fans) hates llambias 😉

  • t00ntime

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #7

    @niff MA has even said he knows fans will still call it SJP and he is ok with that, its about the TV time it gets…

    for all he cares it can still be officially called SJP but when the next ‘sponsers’ come along they will want threre name on the stadium of course… which means the signs have to be changed….

  • Dannyo

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #8

    Hehe, i have a tendency to go against the stream at times. Dunno why, it’s probably like that due to background and various experiences 😉
    But ye, Pardew is deffo not the flavor of the month, i think HBA is tho?
    It’s almost like Shearer vs Gullitt, except Shearer was a slightly bigger legend, and Gullitt was shite.

  • t00ntime

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #9

    @dannyo I like pardew too I also think pardew should play ben arfa 😛 I explained earlier we have 8 defensive players and 3 offensive… well in a 4-4-2 your supposed to be more offensive… both our wingers are chosen for there defensive talents… you need ATLEAST 1 who can go forward or your screwed… my team:
    ———ben arfa
    —–ba ——cisse—–

    a 4-1-2-1-2 or you move ben arfa on the RW jonas the LW and put tiote next to cabaye for a 4-4-2 😉

  • Dannyo

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #10

    I have to agree, ignoring the human side of the game, and picking players cynically, i’d go the same way as u. However, in terms of creating chances, i do think Guthrie has more to offer through the accuracy of his pass, and would pick him over Gutti.
    Otherwise i’d think u’re spot on.
    When it comes to the players, i don’t think we’re utilizing our strength as well as we could, but at the same time, the hard work that we’re used to in a 4-4-2 covers up allot of the individual flaws of players, and it’s easier to back eachother up through the width of a 4-4-2.

    In our current state on the table and what we’re used to and all that, i’d still go for the 4-4-2, but being cynical and taking the risk, i’d go 4-1-2-1-2. I dunno if our defense is good enough for it tho.

  • rich_toonfan

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #11


    I agree with the 4-4-2 but HBA left wing and jonas right (jonas can help simmo defend and better crossing with right foot)

    I think 4-1-2-1-2 won’t help ben arfa….no width will mean other teams can defend through the middle and crowd him out (this recently happened to barcelona when they stopped using wingers, Pep Guardiola did an interview last week saying he had to go back to wingers as messi was getting crowded out and struggling to find room) the wingers will strecth the opposition and allow HBA to play central will more room, bit like he did wel lagainst man city there with width from jonas and obertan….but then cisse gets dropped and i cant see it happening

  • toonpanda18

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #12

    who is going arsenal??

  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #13


    Don’t agree about Sir JH.
    Sporting Club Newcastle just didn’t happen and he would have shifted the ground if he’d got the planning permission.
    Yes he did a lot of good things, bit like riding a roller coaster, but his legacy was the Shepherds…and he had a big business model which was not sustainable in the long run either.
    He actually did more for Rugby in the NE than we might care to admit but he destroyed the most successful ice hockey team in the UK – Durham Wasps by buying them and relocating them.Okay the Smiths were not exactly great owners but at least we had a team in the NE which actually did win things.
    SJH had a very mixed record imho.

  • g_lish

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #14

    I find myself coming to this site less and less as its seems to be an Ashley bashathon more than football related….

    Ed, you have done a cracking job with this site, but keep to football matters – its what you do best. The SJP name story is old hat and needs to be forgotten. Reality check time……we are not a successful football club and if we are to return to the good times, we need to move with the times. SJP will always be SJP no matter who has their name above the door.

    I don’t care if we never hear from the board, as long as we make steady progress – which we are. Its the players, manager and fans who count, not the owner. Most prem league clubs are now owned by business boys from outside the area, except Wigan, and look what they are…..

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #15

    Imo,John Hall was just an astute businessman who was clever enough to realise that football was going to pay big time when Skysports got involved,in no way was he the kindly benafactor that someone like Jack Walker was at Blackburn,from what I’ve read of various bits and pieces he took quite a bit out of the club as well,but at least he was willing to spend a good few quid,only time will tell if MA has such ambitions.

  • MacToon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #16

    There is a group formed to do exactly what Ed hopes for and that is to have dialogue with the club.

    The group is NUFCFansUTD.

    It has already had some success.

    NUST had some success speaking with the club but it seems there is a major stumbling block and that is Llambias, that stumbling block remains in place!

    I agree generally with Ed though.

  • t00ntime

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #17

    Llambias is a w4nk3r and when he leaves I’ll b happy lol

    On SJH didnt know much about him other then the nufc part, and the main I thing I remember was what keegen said ” we had finished 2nd, I was distraught. I remember him walking in and saying who do you want? I asked him what he meant. He replied, name
    Any player and we will put an offer in, Shearer I said ans sure enough a month later I was shaking shearers hand with a contract done.”

    Now just wait for MA to do the same 😛

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #18

    Are you involved with the group ?

  • wynsleap

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #19

    Mike Ashley doesn’t give a s**t about Newcastle fans or their feelings so why should we give a stuff for him?
    I can’t believe anyone with black ‘n’ white blood in their veins can ever defend this guy or his defilement of our club.
    He could win the Premier League, both cups and the Champions League and I still wouldn’t have this uncaring waste of space at my club.
    Personally I’m not into greedy, gambling liars who ride roughshod over people, history and tradition for the sake of money.
    And to think we sometimes call Man City and Chelsea for their part in altering the face and essence of this wonderful game.

  • jimiley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #20

    Fat Mike does not give a ….. what the fans think. His hide is as thick as an elephants. His aim is to make as much money for fat Mike as possible. The club and the fans are in it for the ride for better or worse. Dead people last saw NUFC win something and nothing is going to change under fat Mike’s stewardship. He has brought financial discipline into the club to save him money. The scouts have made some good recommendations. The bottom line is that he is as tight as a midge’s sphinctre. We will win nowt with this guy. Then again, some things never change!!!!

  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #21


    I remember the day Shearer signed for the Toon really well
    It was sunny and I was at North Shield eating fish and chips when the news came through an ice cream van tranny Happydays 🙂

  • MacToon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #22

    J4A, I have attended most of the meeting yes. They are trying to represent as many different views/groups/organisations as possible. It is an open meeting with any group/organisation invited to voice their opinions or concerns. Stuff like bring back the scarfs or tickets for troups originated there even though the club tried to take credit for the latter.

  • stuart no9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #23

    sunderland are proving that if you want someone out , you can do it quite easily without harming the the team.A few months ago at bruces last game in charge against wigan , fans voted with their feet.a few weeks later in comes a new boss, the rest is history, no one got hurt except bruce ofcourse.As soon as the board realized they were going to start losing money they acted .They now have a fantastic manager,a tactical genius, a team doing well and getting better, and yes will finish higher in the league than us, and all it took was for fans to stop going.It defies logic that the fat b…..d is still running our club. stop going and he will leave , without a doubt.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #24

    Do you think DL will ever attend one of the meetings or would it turn a bit nasty.

  • rich_toonfan

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #25


    that may be true but what did we win under shepherd and john hall? nothing either. the big money is coming from the middle east now….unless somebody from there takes over the club we have little chance to become a top side.

    We need to build like spurs have done recently. They sold some big players in berbatov and carrick and used that money from 2 players to improve the squad overall and bring in 5/6 good players. We hopefully will have done this with carroll, since he left we have signed cabaye, marveux, ba, cisse and santon. Hopefully we will spend more in the summer, not silly amounts but enough to improve the squad and keep us developing.

  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #26

    Mac Toon

    what’s the situation with NUST ?

    I’m on their mailing list but am not sure how it’s going, being 300 miles away

  • BigKirky

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #27

    Is anyone else going to watch the Vitali, Del Boy fight? Do you have a working link? I can’t find one. Ring walk is 9.45 – 10pm apparently.

  • blew

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #28

    Areasonably balanced statement from John Hall, leaning a little towards keeping on the fans side. Hall and his son were massive fans of the Toon to the extent of taking a reported £40M in salaries and expenses out of the club. Has Ashley taken anywhere near that sum? I doubt it, the club owes him big time. John Hall tells the fans what they want to hear.

  • MacToon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #29

    J4A, Llambias has invited groups for meetings at SJP. From what I hear he (Lambias) is an horrible, odious man who likes to push his weight around.

    Llambias is aware of what is said at the meets so now the minutes are aotomatically sent to his office so he doesn’t have to spy any more 😉

    Malcom Dix attends most the meets and he represents the club’s stance on most topics when required and is acting as a go between of sorts. Got to say I love listening to his sories and times of old from within the club.

  • jimiley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #30

    Stuart no9,
    Well said. The problem is that most fans thing the fat man is doing a good job. Demba Ba is doing a good job. Without him we would be in the bottom 6. The fat man has got lucky with a top striker and so has Pardoo. Fat man will continue to fleece the club while the Geordies get taken for a ride.

  • GeordieToon89

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Comment #31

    Must say Amigos and Desperado are pretty darn good drinks liike

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Comment #32

    Stuart no9
    As you well know I’m not the biggest fan of MA,but while we’re doing ok I think we should get behind the team and be positive,only when things are going very bad on the pitch would any type of protest carry any credibility.

  • MacToon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #33

    MagpiesFlyHigh, as far as I’m aware they still promote themsleves lol they have had elections recently and there were not the required amount of people at the meeting to cast enough votes…. something like that.
    Imo, they lost their direction.
    They have been invited to every fansutd meet but so far refused to aknowledge the invite! Might have something to do with Steve Hastie leaving the trust and setting up fansutd 😉

  • rich_toonfan

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #34

    I don’t think we got lucky with Ba, he has had a great record so just a giid signing. if you take any teams main striker out they will plummit down the league, even barca and real would be lost without messi and ronaldo’s goals.

    and bigkirky i am using this link….its on now but unsure if it will go off when fight is encrypted when it begins–live-stream-online.html

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #35

    How many people attend the meetings,and does everybody get a chance to speak,I went to that KK dinner at Ramside Hall a few months ago hoping I could ask him a question or two but the place was chaos I dont think anyone got the chance to speak except him and his minder.

  • GeordieToon89

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #36

    Hope Chisora gets knocked clean out tonight like cant stand the little sh*t

  • Irie-Magpie

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #37

    Ed, great job. on the site but personally I think you may be fanning the flames a bit here…MA is not asking us to forget the history of NUFC and SJP but to hold on to the memories and look forward to hopefully a brighter future!

  • MacToon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #38

    J4A, I’ve heard bits from these meetings. I heard of one meeting, about 10 people were there and you all get to speak if you’re called Llambias lol…….. he apparantly ranted about stopping a boycott of SJP and the anti Ashley chanting. This was months after KK left.
    believe me, I’ve heard some stories from within the club and Llambias especially comes across as an arrogant bully…….. and other things lol

  • rich_toonfan

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #39

    agree @georditoon89…..very full of himself for a guy who has achieved very little, think Vitali will win with a ko in 8th round, also winning every round before.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #40

    Mac Toon,
    I wonder what DL actually does for the club ?

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