Ground Expansion Unlikely At St. James’ Park


One of the questions that was raised at the Fan Forum meeting on Monday night was about the expansion of St. James’ Park, and there had been some plans in place when Freddy Shepherd was Chairman to potentially expand the ground to a capacity of around 60,000.

Soccer - England World Cup Bid 2018 Host Stadiums

St. James’ Park

There was an initial question on this and then a follow up question.

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Document question: Can you explain the position concerning the sale of an asset in terms of the land to the rear of the Gallowgate End and the message that it sends to supporters in terms of the club’s ambition or lack of, concerning opportunities for ground expansion in the future. The current board of Newcastle United are mere custodians of a famous and historic football club and have a duty of care to ensure that their actions do not cause damage to future ambitions.

Answer: The club confirmed that it is public knowledge that the land located beyond Strawberry Place next to St. James’ Metro station is up for sale and confirmed there are two interested parties, which it could not name due to commercial sensitivities. The board stated that the land was sold to a joint venture (the club and American media group, MGM) in 2004 for a casino site and that MA had purchased the land back in 2008 once the casino plan had been scrapped to bring it back into ‘group ownership’, not specifically ‘club ownership’.

Follow-up question: “Would it inhibit your ability to expand the ground?”

The board outlined that it was a potential option but not its only option. It was explained that the club had not pursued expanding onto the site as it did not make commercial sense to outlay approximately £30M – £40M to expand for the sake of an extra 6,000 – 8,000 seats. It was also explained that the club did not own the road between St. James’ Park stadium and the land (Strawberry Place) and would have to purchase the road in order to fully expand the Gallowgate End.
The board stated that building a hotel or similar development on the land would require a huge cost outlay.

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It seems that the cost value analysis doesn’t support any ground expansion, but it never would, and it’s a case of building and expanding St. James’ Park, so that it remains an iconic football stadium in Europe.

We’d still like to see the ground expanded to 60,000, and there has to be a way to get that done, and it’s what Liverpool will be doing with Anfield, under their American owners.

The plans are to upgrade Anfield and it will cost around £230M to expand the ground from the current capacity of 45,522, and John Henry and his directors have wanted to expand the ground for quite some time.

That’s not much of a business case either – to spend £230M to increase the ground by just 15,000 – but that’s not what it’s all based on at Liverpool and other top European clubs.

It’s that the Liverpool owners are much more ambitious than Mike Ashley – and they want the very best for Liverpool Football Club and their supporters.

Mike Ashley just doesn’t seem to understand that everything in this world – including football – is not always based on a business case and money.

Comments welcome.



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92 comments so far

  • welshgeordie9

    May 14, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #1

    i wish people on here stop moaning about Pardew, he’s here for another season at least, deal with it, there’s nothing we can do about it, he’s not going anywhere with Ashley in charge, and to be honest i don’t think Ashley gives two flying ducks what we think of him, for now just support the players next season.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 14, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #2

    What was TDSarf gloating about earlier that the club had sold the land, basically Mashers has bought the joint venture out after telling them he’ll never sell and put it back up for sale when he’s realised he’s going to run us into the ground.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 14, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Comment #3

    welshgeordie9,
    How very wrong you are, there’s a lot people can do about it and I think they let him know against your lot the other week !

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  • santonthenewmaldini

    May 14, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #4

    Anyone got a link to the full document from the fans meeting? Not that it answered anything new that we did not already know !

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  • welshgeordie9

    May 14, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #5

    3Jail for Ashley // May 14, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    What do you mean my lot, whatever they have done it’s not working because surprise surprise they are still at the club

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  • expatmag

    May 14, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #6

    G/Day from Oz guys

    Not been on for a while for obvious reasons. I have found following this club of ours totally depressing. Staying up into the small hours of the night to watch this crap no longer appeals

    I hope Gateshead make it up this weekend and I strongly urge all you NUFC supporters to change your allegisnce to the Heed. Much more ambition shown there.

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  • expatmag

    May 14, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #7

    Anybody heard from that TUFF lad recently

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 14, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #8

    expat,
    No longer in China so not on in the middle of the day anymore, any news of us in the Daily Telegraph ?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 14, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Comment #9

    welsh,
    Google it ?

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  • expatmag

    May 14, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Comment #10

    JFA

    Good to hear from you. Where are you now? I guess I will be one of the lucky ones in late June early July when I will be watching the world cup from a 5 star resort in Fiji…..LOL.

    With regards to the toon, until any proven improvement, I am following the HEED being a former Low Fell lad.

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  • beermonkey

    May 14, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #11

    santonthenewmaldini

    its on the clubs website

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  • Mister Tuff

    May 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #12

    expat – still lurking about -what’s this about Fiji.

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  • beermonkey

    May 15, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #13

    it will be interesting to what the groups next step will be

    although I cant believe people actually believed ash would sack pardew, why sack him Ashley deals in the bottom line pards and the team made there minimum of 10th and they got there bonuses

    for me I have always had more of a problem with pards and our play
    the owner can always improve
    but as we can see from the fans forum the clubs lack of desire ambition is there for all to read
    I think its more important to get Ashley out as the rest will all fall

    football win lose or draw is always joy the banter and everything that goes with it
    its getting the point where being a toon fan is joyless

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #14

    For what its worth, here is my take on things at the club:

    Players

    Shola, De Jong, Gosling, Newton, Vukic, Tavernier definitely gone with no fees coming in but around 70K per week in salary savings.

    The French revolution will be over with Ben Arfa, Debuchy, Marveaux and Obertan sold and we could get 20m for them in total and salary savings of about 170K per week.

    I think Campbell and Abeid will be retained and I think we would have trouble moving Jonas on so he will return too. Raylor will be like “a new signing” in Pardews words.

    As Remy has left too, a further 80K per week in salary costs is freed up.

    That little lot will save us 330K in salary costs per week, enough to get at least 6 new decent players without extending his budget too far.

    The 20m raised from those sales plus the 20m from Cabaye sale should see Pardew have enough money to bring in decent players without having to touch the additional TV money, in Ashley’s eyes.

    I am expecting the club to raid the free transfer market too with Gomis from Lyon and Hunt from Werder Bremen signed up quickly

    I see Rudiger from Stuttgart has made his debut for Germany recently and he is apparently going cheap so he could also come in.

    I am also hoping for some quality wide men but they are few and far between.

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #15

    TUFF

    lurking about……LOL

    Reminds me a bit of that old Frankie Howerd comedy, Up Pompeii. I think his character was Lurchio.

    Yes. Fiji. Taking the girls over to Outriggers resort in Fiji for a break during the world cup. We got a 2 bedroom Bure right on the beach so while the girls are living it up in the pool, I will hopefully be allowed in the bar to watch the world cup and Australia walloping the Spaniards and the Dutch…..LOL

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  • Online Guy

    May 15, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Comment #16

    Well lad’s we are now officially finished as a Football Club ..Pardew is even being told to put out weakened sides in the cup competitions, and that is a direct instruction from Ashley ..

    We wont win the cup and we really wont win the league, ..why do we exist then ?

    Why is his policy at a Football Club, one of the biggest and proudest in Europe, not to win, or try to win anything? We are just a commercial venture now .

    This is scandalous and for all you people who attend St’James park now ..well you all need your bloody heads examined ..throw what you like at me but if you attend any game now or stick with your season ticket you are just helping the Sh*thouse that owns our club ..what a selfish Bas*tard he is .

    I will never go back and any of you supporters attend then you have got to be brain dead. Bring it on .

    Ashley is actually now taking the P*ss and its retribution and spiteful vengeance from the Bas*ard.

    And how anyone can look at Alan Pardew and take him serious is beyond me now ..

    He is actually not going to act as a Football manager ..he has been told to put out weakened teams and not to bother in the cup competition’s . Ashley’s puppet

    If I was gaffa at any level and was told that ..I would walk ..my pride would not let me stay.

    Has Pardew got no pride ?

    I beg you Ashley, sell up … We detest you in our droves.

    What a selfish Greedy Man you are Ashley ..Owning a Football club ,……….. for all the wrong reasons.

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  • Online Guy

    May 15, 2014 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #17

    How can someone who lives in the commercial world dictate to a football manager that a football club will not be allowed to compete or even try to win a football trophy ?

    How the F*ck can that be right

    Yu lot who attend the games want your heads looking at ..lets bring the Bast*rd down.

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #18

    OLD GIT

    I am afraid I have to agree with you and if the majority of supporters read this latest news coupled with the anticipated lack of quality signings, then I can see no other option for these supporters to leave in their droves.

    It is clear to all and sundry that ambition, success and entertainment is bottom of the list of aims for this owner and manager and therefore, why should hard working men and women waste their hard earned cash on a product that doesn’t deliver.

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  • Mister Tuff

    May 15, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #19

    expat – very nice going to Fiji. Who are your second team in the WC – as your lot will get knocked out pretty quick.
    Holiday tip -for your visit to Fiji – purchase a nice cool Hawaiian Shirt – you know the type -with palm trees printed on it. Much better than you normal holiday attire of an old string vest. The Rab. C. Nesbitt is not cool anymore.

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  • MacToon

    May 15, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #20

    I’ll second that Online Guy.

    6% haven’t renewed their season tickets, I find that figure impossible to believe but we will find out at our first home game of the season. I wonder how many cheap/discounted tickets will be available this season, my guess – 10’s of thousands.

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  • Mister Tuff

    May 15, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #21

    last sentence should read Rab C Nesbitt look…….

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  • MacToon

    May 15, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #22

    expat, who are you calling an Old Git, can’t see where he’s posted….

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #23

    I have an idea which might hurt Ashley but would need a coordinated effort by supporters of NUST and MAOC groups.

    Whilst demonstrations and walk outs at games are admirable and such demonstration should be increased next season, what about trying to hit Ashley where it really hurts with demonstrations.

    Not just at NUFC games but what about outside Sports Direct Stores in the North East.

    If a coordinated approach could be organised with secretive meetings with the press, eg NCJ and Tyne Tees, BBC etc where negotiations on a definite time and place could be agreed, then think of the national coverage this could bring and how much it would embarrass Ashley nationwide.

    Just a thought.

    If CIARAN is around, maybe he could discuss this with his relevant fan groups.

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  • Bleemo

    May 15, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #24

    Certainly stadium expansions are the least of our problems. I do agree with the basic sentiment that they are a luxury thing and not really worth the money. If it costs £30-£40m to expand by 6000-8000 I don’t think it is worth it. we already have a 52kish seater we cannot fill and that is already very high. The facility side of things I sort of agree with what they are doing, increasing the quality of the training facilities is far more important in terms of effecting the players performance.

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #25

    Sorry, I meant ONLINE GUY.

    Still pretty early in the morning here in Melbourne…..LOL

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  • MacToon

    May 15, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #26

    lmao, I thought that was who you meant …… as for protests, doesn’t matter how many good ideas you have, as long as Ashley’s has the supporters money in his pocket he wont care what happens.

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #27

    TUFF

    Are you still wearing socks with your sandals?……LOL

    My attire is befitting of the modern day sex symbol visiting the south pacific islands and dancing the hola hola with those island girls in the grass skirts and coconut shell bras

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #28

    MACTOON

    I agree to a certain extent but mostly, he would hate the bad publicity generated too

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  • Online Guy

    May 15, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #29

    expat

    For the club to put out a statement saying we would not be paying much attention to any of the cup competitions and the manager will be putting out weakened teams as the prem league status is the priority ..

    Well its just got to be nastiness and a wicked spiteful attack on the fans.

    Remember he moved the singing section ..He knows together we are powerful, and the lads in the Leazes end told him how it was and how we felt ..he soon moved them out ..divide and conquer .. what a spiteful childish man. It was his instruction ..Childish

    You know now Ashley just wants the ground to be full of people who just go for the drink and the food now ..the football is only secondary to his wishes, .
    52 thousand card carrying foodies who don’t care to much for football ..he would love that.

    He’s holding on to our time and our football club for all the wrong reasons ..now lets get really active and blow him out ..

    Spiteful way to run a football club ..win nothing just exist as a commercial advertising hoarding for sports direct ..and if you protest at the ground ? you will be thrown out into the street on your arse. that’s how much this man respect’s you as a fan.

    Chrisakes we have to get him out!. Can any of you see what he’s doing ?

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  • beermonkey

    May 15, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #30

    expatmag

    how is good perceived over there does the press keep an eye on him

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  • MacToon

    May 15, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #31

    Expat, are you aware his tat shop has been on BBC’s watchdog tonight regarding adding items to people online orders without them asking.
    I wonder how much publicity like this actually effects someone worth over £3 billion.

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  • Online Guy

    May 15, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Comment #32

    Expat @ 22 Im up for some of that ..In fact I will fill my tractor with sh*t and spray the shop front if you club together and pay the clean up bill @ 2k !

    Hey expat, not so much of the old ..Eh ? haha.

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  • Black and White with an army lol

    May 15, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Comment #33

    iv’e heard rumours that MA is giving AP 10 million to improve the squad can anyone verify this?

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #34

    ONLINE

    I think we all can see what he is doing and I think that if there is not a remarkable change of heart by him and his management team during the summer towards player recruitment in particular and the amount spent, then the demonstrations at the Cardiff game could and should be just the tip of the iceberg.

    If, and it is a big if, that there is a vast amount of supporters throwing in their season tickets and attendance at games is drastically reduced allied with my idea detailed above of hitting his “first love” with a corrdinated, organised and sustained advertised number of demonstrations, then his hand might be forced.

    We have the supporters groups up and going and I have to say that these meetings between NUST and the club management seem to be useless and fruitless so directions need to be changed and changed quickly in order to embarrass this owner into submission.

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  • Mister Tuff

    May 15, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #35

    Mactoon – don’t be offended by expat, he’ll have made an honest mistake – probably been on the “sauce” already. He used to live in the Heed many years ago before he was transported to the colonies for crimes. Then he used to drink Babycham and pink gins – he’s probably migrated onto the sherry decanter now.

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  • Online Guy

    May 15, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #36

    If everyone followed the lead outside of this blog ..the ground would be empty next season first game ..how long do you think Ashley would survive the shame ?

    He would be back down the smoke faster than a whore’s draws..Selling up.

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Comment #37

    BEERMONKEY

    The press coverage of football is second rate here as Aussie rules and rugby league far outweigh the coverage of soccer.

    However, they seem to think he plays for Dundee United and he is looked upon more as an up and comer rather than a player that will make an immediate impact in the socceroos squad.

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  • Online Guy

    May 15, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Comment #38

    I believe ashley has banned NUST ! ..true ? if true it just shows he’s a dictator and spiteful and cannot face the truth.

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  • MacToon

    May 15, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    Comment #39

    Mr T, I’m not offended at all mate and it was OG he mistakenly called an Old Git 😉
    Socks with sandals though, now that is a no-no ha ha.

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #40

    MACTOON

    Unfortunately, living in the lucky country, I am not privy to the BBC TV programs.

    ONLINE

    My sincere apologies, old man…….LOL

    TUFF

    I have progressed to a nice bouquet of aussie red now but I am still partial to the odd 12 year old malt.

    You still on the broon???????

    I think Australia will get as far as England, mate. Who is your second team in the latter stages?

    I have a fondness for Belgium doing well

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