After an unbelievable start to the season, Newcastle currently sit 3rd in the table and are unbeaten in 11 Premiership games. So with Toon fans finally starting to quieten their anti-Mike Ashley protests, something controversial just had to happen. The Magpie’s board have decided to rename historic Newcastle’s St James Park to the Sports Direct Arena with the hope of bringing in extra sponsorship money in the future.
Newcastle’s Twitter-friendly players have been giving their opinion on today’s news, with Sammy Ameobi suggesting that his ‘very 1st game at St James’ Park…was also my last!’ and Danny Simpson stating that the players will ‘keep doing what we’re doing on the pitch.’
Sky Sports News’s Jeff Stelling has described the decision as ‘hideous’ and has stated ‘Although the caption on Soccer Saturday will refer to whatever the stadium’s official name now is, I for one will do my utmost to call St James’ Park just that.’ Many people have questioned what potential sponsors will get back for their money, with newspaper journalists, television pundits and fans unlikely to refer to the ground as anything but St James.
Newcastle’s City Council have also criticised the club’s decision stating ‘some things are beyond profit’ and also refused to change any signs in Newcastle bearing the name St James’ Park.
Some of Newcastle celebrity fans have been sharing their opinions on Twitter, with Steve Harmison likening changing the name to ‘changing the team’s colours from black and white, to red and white and making us look like Sunderland.’ The Newcastle news reached Ant and Dec in Australia this morning; the Geordie duo claimed it was a ‘Sad day. However, you, me, us – every fan who values the heritage of their club will always know it as St.James’ Park.’
For all you Newcastle fans, Flaming Hairdryer still will be referring to the Toons stadium as St James’ Park in future. 🙂