Newcastle Managing Director has said today in the Sunday Sun that Newcastle have had some interest in companies wanting to acquire the naming rights to St. James’ Park.
Derek LLambias – have had some inquires on naming rights
And Derek was adamant that it is not the plan to keep Sports Direct owning the naming rights to the Stadium, and as soon as a company comes along with a decent offer to the club – Newcastle want around £10M a year for the rights – then the name of the Stadium will change again.
The majority of Newcastle fans seem to be opposed to the name change, and the initial attempts by the Newcastle Board to somehow keep St. James’ Park in the name, didn’t attract much interest from companies.
And of course it will not have helped that the renaming of St. James’ Park is so much opposed by Newcastle fans, and they even removed the Sports Direct signs at the Reserve game with Sunderland last week.
And that will hardly help Newcastle have a company come in and buy the naming rights, when they will have visions of their signs possible being vandalized.
This is what Derek Llambias told the Sunday Sun today:
“It has been nibbles here and there. We are trying.” “There are a lot of people out there who will say ‘We can do it, we can do it’. There are a lot of tire kickers out there though. It is just like people claiming they are going to buy the club – there were a lot of tire kickers there then.”
“There are big companies out there and the Premier League is a global brand.” “Can you imagine the publicity they will get? It has never been done before.” “We are not trying to antagonise anyone – we are just trying to put a player on the pitch.”
“We put it out there with St. James’ in the name and there was no interest.” “We took some branding advice. It was not just something where we thought ‘Let’s just do it’. We took advice on it, we took advice on the arena signs as well.”
“Some might say ‘Why do it in November?’ “But we had a two-week break, the players were away and Mike and I can take the beating.” “By the time the players and manager are back everyone is aware of it, it may affect the game or it may not.”
Newcastle must grow their revenues from the £88.4M we had in the last financial year, and before Mike Ashley arrived on Tyneside the revenues were around £100M.
So in that sense the club have gone backwards, while other clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, the once perennial top four clubs in England, have all moved forward big time.
Our relegation in 2009 hardly helped things of course, but now Newcastle are in much better shape both financially and on the playing side of things, but the new strips deal with Virgin Money only brings in £5M/year.
Compare that with £25M a year that Liverpool will be getting with Boston-based company Warrior Sports, a subsidiary of New Balance, for their shirt deal over the next five years.
And the Manchester United deal with Nike is worth £23.5M each year.
Manchester City will get £400M over ten years for the naming rights of their stadium with Etihad Airways.
But we think that’s illegal, because of the links that the owner has with the owner of the airlines – and we expect UEFA to move on that – when they get around to it.
Etihad are owned by the Abu Dhabi government and the airline has an association with the Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour, who is himself a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, and that means it’s really what is called a sweetheart deal, and illegal. The rates offered must be what is commercially viable.
It would be akin to Mike Ashley offering Newcastle £400M for the naming rights to St. James’ park over 10 years by Sports Direct – hey that might not be a bad idea! 😀
But you can at least see why the Board are looking for ways to increase the Newcastle revenues, so Newcastle can compete with the biggest clubs in the country.
Certainly the costs have been brilliantly contained by excellent financial management since we were relegated, there’s no getting away from that, as last week’s financial results demonstrated.