Ashley gets Moat vote?

Posted on November 15th, 2009 | 9 Comments |

Great minds think alike?
Great minds think alike?
Having so far failed in his efforts to raise the funds to tempt Mike Ashley into selling Newcastle United to him, Barry Moat has now gone on record to suggest that the famous St James’ Park name wouldn’t necessarily have been safe in his hands either. It appears he can see exactly what Ashley is doing and why he’s doing it, and it could have been part of his business strategy had he been in the position.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Moat said:

“I think you have to explore things like naming rights, you have to do that.

“Unfortunately we live in a world where football is big business, and the gap between the Championship and the Premier League is getting bigger all the time.

“So you have to do things to close that gap. We need to get back up to the Premier League as quickly as possible.

“I think if you have to do some of those things, by taking the commercial benefit of a sponsor, then as far as I’m concerned if that gets the right players on the pitch, gives you the right entertainment on a Saturday, then where do I sign?”

I think it’s fair to say that most of us understand the whole ‘football is big business’, and that there are clever ways to market yourself and earn a quick buck. But also that sometimes you shouldn’t want or need to sacrifice something if it means more to you than the money it will earn. The naming rights to the proud and dignified stadium we all know as St James’ Park as a good example.

The subject is clearly quite divisive, because the arguments for the renaming are all based on the same theory that Moat mentions. In other words, if it raises money to get quality on the field then it’s a no-brainer. The other side of the argument is that it’s more than just the football on the pitch. It’s a belonging and a togetherness that is steeped in history, that is also what football is about too. The two needn’t be mutually exclusive either so you can forget about it being a ‘needs must’ situation. There are other ways to raise funds and the stadium name should have been left well alone. Or maybe I’m just a sentimental fool? Either way, I don’t think I’ll ever be convinced it’s a good idea.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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9 Responses

  1. Hmmmmm!  guess Barry is as pragmatic as The Halls, Freddy and Mike when it comes to making a buck.
    No nostalgia there.
    Just gonna have to get used to it,   as a general trend sweeping professional sports everywhere, wont be long before most clubs sell the naming rights.
    Hey if anyone was crazy enough to offer five million a year (not outside the realm of possibility) that`s  fifty million over ten tears.
    Now that aint hay and would pay a lot of salaries.
    Anyone who wants to retain the present name, that`s easy match the offered price.

  2. chuck says:
    November 16, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Thing is chuck, that 50 million you talk of would currently only pay this years wages and a bit of the next, and thats if we spent it all in 1 hit. Spread it throughout the years, and that would take our wage bill down to 31 million a year.

    Thats also presuming we manage 5 million a year in sponsership for naming the stadium. At this point i’d like to mention Arsenal and the Emirates. Their stadium is newer, bigger, in a more commercially friendly location, is graced with a team that rarely lose at home, play top class entertaining football, regularly qualify for the champions league et etc. The get 5.7 million for their stadium naming rights. We wont attract anywhere near 5 million for ours, even if we go up.

  3. Rangerman – I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not, in so far as I don’t have a cute answer for that question, because that isn’t my background. Although I have moved into a role which might allow me to answer that better in the not too distant future.

    But we know there are other ways for clubs to make money, because they’ve been doing it long enough? Yes, I guess the game moves on and so must we, and this is probably an easy option. Which is perhaps part of the reason I don’t like it. It’s almost the best example that Ashley isn’t in touch at all with the feelings of the club.  This is possibly a great bit of business to get a competitive edge. But at the concession of something as important as renaming St James’ Park? No thanks.

    At what point do you draw the line? When sponsors start offering money for players to change their names? It’s all about identity for me. I didn’t want St James’ Park to lose it’s unique identity. Even if it meant sacrificing a couple of million for a player.

  4. Has the name ‘St. James’ Park’ gone?
    I don’t think so, but i guess it sounds more emotive if you wanna
    keep using that term.

  5. CLiNT FLiCK – it’s gone where it matters most (* pats chest gently *)……..

    Emotive? Who me?…….

  6. :)
    bowburn, don’t think like that mate.
    It hasn’t gone anywhere.
    I’m an emotional person, but so long as the name is still there, it
    doesn’t tug at me heart strings.
    Now if the name was taken away, it would be a different matter.
    Us lot even use different names to refer to ‘Gallowgate’, don’t we?
    All stadia will go this way in years to come, plenty have already.

  7. Toonsy
    Whichever way you divide Fifty million it`s a lot of money.
    Dont care about Arsenal, yes a well run club, but when you say a more commercially  friendly location, Hmmm !
    Lets see,    how many professional football teams in the greater London area (all competitors) compared to Newcastle`s 1#, go figure.
    And breaking attendance records almost weekly as a second tier team.
    Think for one minute Arsenal would draw that amount in the same position.
    Geordies are crazy for football, even under the present conditions, they still show up , regugular as clockwork.