Newcastle United seemed to have a change of heart last May – or should we say – Mike Ashley seemed to have a change of heart last May – and it was when out of the blue Newcastle slid down the Premier League table and we were almost relegated again.
Well, we survived, but not after Mike Ashley had talked to Sky Sports and pledged to spend some big money to improve the squad this summer, and that we were going to make our own luck from now on.
Nick Forbes – Newcastle City Council leader
And few would say that Ashley did not carry through on his promise this summer, spending £52.6M on four good senior players.
That was only one area where the club has not done the job over the last few years, and another is the poor relationship with the council, which basically was exacerbated when Ashley changed the name of St. James’ Park to Sports Direct Arena four years ago.
It was a huge mistake and miscalculation by Mike Ashley – and one of the many mistakes he has made in eight years owning the club.
At the time, the ruse put out was that it was a temporary measure to showcase the naming rights sponsorship opportunity to interested parties, but it lasted less than a year.
But the City Council and Newcastle have not been in contact since.
But the good news today in the Chronicle is that Managing Director Lee Charnley after seeing through a good transfer window in thr summer requested a meeting with Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes
The meeting was to discuss how the club can now work more closely with the Newcastle City Council to help promote the city both nationally and internationally.
This is what Council Leader Forbes has said in the Chronicle today:
“I am very happy that Newcastle United is helping Newcastle Council achieve its ambitions in promoting the city nationally and internationally as a great place to invest.”
“I met recently with the club’s Managing Director Lee Charnley and we discussed how the council and the club can work together in future.”
“Newcastle United is one of our most recognizable International brands and it will be great to have them on the team as one of the city’s star players when it comes to promoting Newcastle.”
Nick Forbes was also very much against against the Wonga sponsorship, although one of the things they did was to pay for the name of the stadium to officially return to St. James’ Park.
It was an example of Mike Ashley – ever the business man – to get a company to pay the club to return the name of the stadium back to St. James’ Park – the name it should have always been.
It’s good that the club and the Council are now talking and hopefully reaching agreements on how to boost the City.
It seems to us it’s another example of what Steve McClaren has talked about – getting everybody behind Newcastle – and rowing in the same direction.
Obviously the City Council is a really major player in that, and we hope this signals some close discussions and agreements between the two parties.
One way to boost the city big time of course is to have Newcastle United be really successful on the field – such as winning the FA Cup or League Cup – and playing in Europe again.
That’s hopefully what we are now aiming for – certainly winning a cup is one of this season’s goals.