Pardew – It’s Still St. James’ Park To Fans And Will Stay That Way

Mike Ashley keeps making decisions that rile the Newcastle fans.

What are those transfer targets on the board??

And the latest one is the way he has renamed St. James’ Park  as The Sports Direct Arena, and the club could have gone about it in a more skillful way, rather than workman turning up last week using crow-bars tom remove the famous black St. James’ Park lettering off the stadium wall.

There was uproar at that, and the Newcastle City Council and twelve  MPs have all objected to selling the naming rights of St. James’ Park.

But Alan Pardew says that has not deterred Ashley, and there are good financial reasons for getting around £10M/year by changing the name of St. James’ Park, which has been the name of Newcastle’s home ground now for 120 years:

“He does what he feels is right, it’s not a conscious decision to upset the fans,” “He’s quite bullish, of course, and people don’t like change and changing the name of the stadium, it’s about raising revenue. It’s still St James’ Park to the fans and will stay that way.”

“There are sound economic reasons for the name change. We have to move with that otherwise we won’t be able to keep our players. For me, it’s difficult. I want to represent the fans, that’s what I do as manager, and I want to also say to the owner ‘I want the best possible team’ which is what he wants also.”

“If I can keep the same group of players I wouldn’t worry about raising expectations.” “But will I be able to keep my best team? We are vulnerable to bigger clubs and you can’t get away from that with the salaries they offer.” There is the example of Liverpool who signed Andy.”

One good thing is what Alan says – it’s still St. James Park to the fans – and it was interesting in yesterday’s interview that Geordie John Carver kept calling it St. James’ Park in his interview, and it seems Ashley doesn’t object one bit to that.

It’s just a pity that Mike and Derek LLambias cannot be more civil to fans by issuing news about what’s happening at the club and what their ambitions are. To an awful lot of  Newcastle fans what goes on at Newcastle United is so very important!

Derek did do that once  last year, and it was a good communique and had the fans talking and it was even positive.

And Newcastle are doing so well this season that European competition next season is a possibility,  but Alan says they are not thinking about that – not yet anyway.

It’s a bit of a cliche these days, but also very true that the best way to keep your feet on the ground and not get carried away,  is to take it one game at a  time.

When asked about European qualification, this is what Alan said:

“We are not focused on that,” “We are focused on the next six games because if we are in the running for a top six place in six games times then we will really give it a go.”

“Whether that’s the Europa League or even the Champions League. But the next six games are key.

Now is the time when the top teams get into gear, so are we going to get into gear?”

That’s only one reason why Sunday’s game against local rivals Sunderland is so important, because if we can win that we’ll stay in 6th place in the league,  with just 11 games to go.

Of course even if we lose, heaven forbid,  we’ll still be in 6th place, because Liverpool are 4 points behind us in 7th place and have a game in hand. I wish I hadn’t even mentioned that.

And by the way,  Liverpool have over twice the revenues coming in that Newcastle have at the moment,  which is one reason Newcastle must increase their revenue in the years ahead.

We know some fans don’t like football being a business these days, but it is, and a global business at that.

And that’s how clubs must now be run – if they don’t want to end up bankrupt that is.

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • gorgonzola

    Mar 2, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #1

    and we wonder why Manure wins the league so often even if they dont play as such….weeellll….

  • cyprus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #2

    Interesting question about why ‘the magpies’. Also interesting is the beautiful badge with the two seahorses. Coolest badge? Check out some other ones (PL, Championship) at

    Swansea has a nice one too.

    Why the seahorses then? Interesting answers about it here:

  • cyprus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    Congrats for being ambitious and mentioning even Champ League possibility. That’s the spirit.

  • Dannyo

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #4

    One of the better articles i’ve read for a while this one. It’s all in the Telegraph if u want to have a look lads.
    It’s really good to see the honesty AP shows, and the way he talks about the club, its board, its staff and its players.
    Personally, the greatest thing about this interview is that AP shows two things:
    1. The building of the squad is far from done.
    2. MA is now learning how to run a football club and learning from his mistakes.

    Made my day this article 🙂

  • Rosted Pork

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #5

    Newcastle and Sunderland will do battle for
    the signature of Crystal Palace winger
    Wilfried Zaha in the summer – DAILY STAR

  • Rosted Pork

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #6

    Newcastle and Sunderland will do battle for
    the signature of Crystal Palace winger
    Wilfried Zaha in the summer – DAILY STAR,

  • Rosted Pork

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #7

    y not offer ranger + 5mil for zaha 😉

  • Rosted Pork

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #8

    any doctors hea? 🙁

  • ballerfan2

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    I was extremely amused by another blogger’s reference to the new name as ASDA (Ashley’s Sports Direct Arena). Maybe the odd reference to ASDA is another way of getting the point across.

  • martoon

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #10

    Steven Taylor was on BBC Newcastle this morning and I noticed he kept referring to ‘St James’s’ as well so obviously even the players use the name SJP so you start to wonder what is the point of a rebrand?

  • Thump

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #11

    it’s about raising revenue.

    I’m all for raising revenue but the simple fact is: it won’t happen. Yes we might get some money for it (assuming it sells in the first place) but as I’ve said time and time again – if Arsenal, a stalwart in both the Premier League and European football, couldn’t get £10m p/a what chance have we got in our third season back in the top flight?

  • martoon

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #12

    I’m not a finance expert (so feel free to correct me) but I get the impression it is a way to channel money from one business to another without having to pay tax etc. i.e. SJP is rebranded and SD pays for this as advertising expense which it can write off against tax etc. So money that would have gone to the tax man goes to the Toon instead.

  • chris_g

    Mar 2, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #13

    Thump – I totally agree. It’s getting really tiresome hearing people repeating this old chestnut. The £10m p/a that everyone keeps talking about was the total amount that the club were hoping to get for a COMBINED shirt and stadium sponsorship deal. The realistic amount they could expect to get for just the stadium naming rights would be in the region of £2-3m, as Mactoon has also pointed out on several previous occasions.

  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #14

    Martoon @ # 10

    It’s so very, very simple if you look at it with un-blinkered eyes, the only people that have problems with the renaming of SJP are the locals and long time supporters of the club.

    As the club becomes more successful which is MA’s plan then the exposure globally will be good for whichever business is associated to it by sponsorship.

    Do you really think the other 7 billion people outside of Newcastle give a damn about whether it is called SJP or not?

  • Best9

    Mar 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #15

    ive been through a rollercoaster of thoughts when it comes to the whole renaming of SJP, at first i was furious, next I realised well hang on, if we’re getting revenue for the club then that can only be a good thing, everyone who cares about NUFC will always call it SJP, now I’m kinda under the impression that since the uproar of SJP being changed to SDA, no decent company will touch it due to the bad press around it, I read somewhere that a finance/business expert said that due to the bad relations between MA and the fans, not many companies will want to buy into it…so now i’m just back to MEH i dont really care as long as NUFC are doing well 🙂

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #16

    We will see if we get into gear on Sunday
    All talk,let’s see some action

  • 9

    Mar 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #17

    The other 7 billion don’t turn up every week. The stadium would be empty if it wasn’t for “the locals and long time supporters of the club”, get real.

  • max

    Mar 2, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #18

    st james park


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