MPs Back Newcastle Fans On Issue Of Renaming St. James’ Park


News today that twelve MPs are appealing to Newcastle United to reconsider their decision to change the name of  St. James’ Park.

The sign that is no longer there

The twelve MPs have signed a Commons motion, and it condemns the name change of St. James’ Park to the Sports Direct Arena.

The motion has been signed by Labour MPs Ian Mearns, Pat Glass, Catherine McKinnell, Chi Onwurah, Nick Brown, Ian Lavery, Dennis Skinner, David Anderson, Mary Glindon, Stephen Hepburn, Alex Cunningham and Sir Alan Meale.

And the  change of name to the Sports Direct Arena is supposed to be a temporary move until a sponsor can be found to buy the naming rights of St. James’ Park.

And the club have said they expect to get around £10M/year into the coffers by doing this.

Workmen removing the letters last Thursday

We just hope that Sports Direct are paying Newcastle United money for the renaming of St. James’ Park to Sports Direct Arena in the interim.

The motion says that it deeply regrets the decision to rebrand the famous ground and are urging the Tyneside club to think again.

In a new twist to the story last week, the black St. James’ Park lettering was removed from the ground last Thursday by workmen using crowbars – shown above –  and that has caused renewed anger among Newcastle fans, but as usual the club is saying nothing at all to fans.

Since the signs were removed there have been two instances of graffiti being sprayed onto the wall of the stadium, and one local man has already been arrested for the first occurrence.

David Anderson is the Labour MP for Blaydon, and this is what he had to say today:

“They’ve got no interest whatsoever in the ordinary football fan.”

“They are ignoring the people who have made this the club what it is, who spent more than 100 years building this club up into an icon for our region.”

“It is total disrespect for the history and culture of our region.”

The Newcastle City Council has backed the fans and have refused to change any direction signs to St. James’ Park,  and they have also asked local media organisations not to recognize the Sports Direct Arena name.

We will continue to call the ground St. James’ Park, because that’s the home of Newcastle United Football Club.

Comments welcome.



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30 comments so far

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #1

    Emirates Stadium, Manchester City stadium etc etc.

    We need to adapt and move on. Top clubs are doing it for extra revenue. It sucks at the start but we will soon learn how to accept it. 10million/annum is no small money and it will be used(hopefully) to fund new signings or upgrading our training or youth facilities.

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  • Indian Magpie

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #2

    Mike ashley should action That Crowbar off

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  • dutchy

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #3

    I agree we need to move with the times and get a stadium sponsor, but if SD isn’t giving the club any money for the stadium rights then they shouldn’t be allowed to call it the SDarena should they.

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  • Beattie25

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Ilovetoon I agree with you on most points but not this.

    Arsenal, man city, Wigan etc… All have brand names attached to relatively new stadiums with no history whatsoever.

    This is the only example I can think of where an ancient stadium has been changed.

    Imagine old Trafford, the neu camp, bernabau, San siro et…. Having their names changed?! There would be murder.

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #5

    ilovetoon8788 – the difference with those stadiums you mentioned is that they are new, they have no history, no links to the club or the fans.

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  • Beattie25

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #6

    Also what’s wrong with an American approach to the stadium?

    Just force the hand of the media to introduce the stadium as:

    Sports direct presents ‘st James park’

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  • lgnufc

    Feb 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #7

    I agree with Beattie. There is too much history behind the name St James’ Park to change it. City, arsenal, etc stadium name changes are completely different issues as they have no history behind the what so ever

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  • martoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #8

    If a ‘real’ stadium sponsor came in and said “We will pay £10m to call it the xxxx stadium” then I think most fans would grudgingly accept it. However there is no ‘real’ stadium sponsor and I doubt there ever will be because of the adverse publicity. It is the fact that MA is forcing his company name on us in what seems to be a freebie that is irritating me and I think a lot of other fans. I’d be very interested to know if NUFC are receiving payment from SD for this – does it show up in company accounts?

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  • tdt

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #9

    Does anyone else think this would be our best team for Saturday? (I realise AP may be unlikely to pick it)

    —————-Krul——————
    Simpson–Collo–Williamson–Santon
    HBA—–Cabaye—Tiote—–Jonas
    ———–Cisse—Ba————–

    Subs: Elliot, Ferguson, R.Taylor, Abeid, Guthrie, Obertan, Best

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  • martoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #10

    Off topic its looking less likely Wolves will have a new manager on Saturday:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17112269
    Cue Agent Bruce 🙂

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #11

    ilovetoon8788 @1 1- the emirates is not a name change
    2 have you ever thought about changing your name to – i couldnt give a tossabouttoon8788. just a thought!

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  • jon.c

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #12

    Move on ,our supporters are great look to the future not the past we are too sentimental give the team the support they deserve

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  • Therapyman

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #13

    I Agree move on… £10M is a lot of money… that we need!

    Look to the future! More great signings!

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  • spitfire_

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #14

    I don’t mind to change the name but for a good price. This new name is for free… isn’t even for one peanut.

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  • toonincheek

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #15

    The name St James Park is part of our heritage.

    MA is the current owner but has a responsibility to maintain the heritage of the club for future owners and fans.

    Definitely Corporate Vandalism.

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #16

    full marks to the MPs who are putting up a fight to regain our heritage. i was reading an article the other day by a guy who advises company s on rebranding and name changes. this guy who is a well known expert believes a stadium sponsor will never happen now. because of all the upset it has generated from the local population a new sponsor could be damaging for their company.his exact words were that he would strongly advise against any company getting involved in any name change at newcastle . good news in a way that ash may have to reconsider or , just too piss us off, keep it sports direct, so which ever he chooses we are not going to see any money from this barbaric venture .

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  • Irie-Magpie

    Feb 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #17

    Why does this keep being rehashed, i know it’s news and needs to be reported on, but come on we all knew this was going to happen so i don’t get all the uproar over it especially when it’s bringing in extra revenue into the club. Look at it this way, you need to raise cash you have two cars one with sentiments that would yield a good price and the other diddly squat…
    NUFC is my team an St James Park will always be cherished and live on forever in my heart..but if we as supporters/fan/MPs want to keep it ST JAMES PARK, why not thrump up 10mil to keep it so..

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #18

    irie magpie- i read your comments os one of a ” defeatist” the reason it keeps being brought to light,- the more the better as far as i am concerned, is so that it keeps the whole story in the news. We as fans wont gain by it. ash will gain by way of free advertising. NO other club has had to stoop so low, and dismantle the clubs heritage just to make a few quid. there are other avenues.But because our owner despises us with a passion he has conned a lot of people into believing this was the ONLY way to make a few quid- a few quid we would not benefit from., by we i mean the club- not asley, the club. You say SJP will always be cherished mmm really! as for thrump up £10m to give to a man who has taken down our name with a crow bar , give him £10m just to put it back???????????? 1 bet he loves fans like you. why dont we all just have a whip round for him saying he is skint just to have a nice little jolly on us!

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  • toonincheek

    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #19

    Irie – it keeps getting rehashed, and I hope it goes on getting re-hashed because

    IT’S OUR HERITAGE

    It doesn’t belong to MA.
    It’s FAR too important to drop it.

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  • blew

    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #20

    Keep politics out of football and MPs out of the real world. A shower of pathetic parasites, perhaps those who object should pool their MPs expenses and sponsor the ground and its renaming.

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  • Irie-Magpie

    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #21

    Toon/Stuart, Don’t get me wrong i hate what’s happening but the fact still remains the man (MA) is doing his best to revive the club and give it a sure financial footing…what do we as fans/supporters want .. EPL or Blue Sq Premier every year.. and as you said Stuart that expert regarding the name change has advised potential suitors to stay clear because of the possible uproar that we as fans will bring to the table if it changes name again..

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #22

    blew@20 – the MPs are keeping out of football. its the heritage that comes with it, and believe it or not it IS MPs jobs and interests to salvage the heritage of their city, sorry.

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  • theleckworthbird

    Feb 22, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #23

    Len Shackleton dedicated a chapter of his book entitled
    ‘What Football chairmen know about football. The page was blank.

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  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Feb 22, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #24

    Let’s not forget that Llambias actually stated that the alleged 10m was a JOINT revenue from both shirt sponsor and stadium sponsor so the name change won’t actually generate anywhere near the 10m claimed.

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #25

    irie @21 All i;m saying is that before he done anything as drastic as that , he could have checked other viable avenues before resorting to this.for me it happened too quickly . i know he said he was going to do it , what he didnt say was other avenues had been explored but not viable, because he would have been questioned on those avenues, and that is someyhing he would feel very uncomfortabe with, as there wernt any. howver would that bother him anyway?

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  • Irie-Magpie

    Feb 22, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #26

    I’m concerned that this off field happenings does not spill onto the pitch and affect how we’re currently doing this season. Hopefully MA and co will review this and dig a bit deeper and see if their is any other avenues that can/will rake in this ?10mil? without having to rename our grounds every few years.

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #27

    irie@26 no i dont yhink think this episode will bother the team or the manager too much .As you know this is more of a local fight and saying very few of the squad or mansger are from here so imo i dont think they are too upset about the situation. they will be focused .

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  • solano

    Feb 22, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #28

    I can’t believe some people think that our local politicians shouldn’t get involved in the re-naming row!
    Good Grief! They are elected to represent and reflect the views of their constituents – the vast majority of whom, are dismayed by the callous disregard MA has shown towards the city’s residents and the club’s fans. This is exactly what our MP’s should be getting involved with, instead of walking through the voting chambers under strict instructions from party whips to tow the “party line”

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  • ende

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #29

    On one hand, I understand the heritage argument. On the other, 10m is a good deal, if we can get it.

    But there’s a simple compromise here. Let the stadium naming rights be sold (SD Arena or whatever), but let the land retain the name St James Park. So then it is Sports Direct Arena -at- St James Park.

    The ideal situation is some sponsor gets suckered into giving us lots of money to put up some signs on the stadium, but fans players and media still call it St James in colloquial usage.

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  • Graeme

    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Comment #30

    If SD was paying the Market Value for having the naming rights to the stadium, fair enough,

    He isnt paying a penny – therefore its just sheer robbery by the FCB. He could actually reduce SD tax liability, by reducing his overall profits, by paying NUFC an 8 figure sum for the naming rights and advertising. Both NUFC and SD would then benefit!!

    Maybe he just doesnt want to see the wood for all the trees in the way!!!

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