Renaming hailed ‘a good thing’ whilst Northern Rock flips the bird at shirts deal

Posted on November 12th, 2011 | 61 Comments |

Northern Rock pull out of Toon shirt sponsorship.
To be replaced by Sports Direct?
Newcastle United’s stadium renaming farce has caused quite a stir, although a ‘top marketing consultant’ hails it a success. Meanwhile Northern Rock have pulled out of the shirt sponsorship deal early. Are the two events related?

A marketing gadgie called Jonathon Gabay, who is – according to his website – “trusted by some of the world’s top brands”, has hailed the St James’ Park renaming debacle ‘a good decision’. This might be expected because, according to The Journal, he was ‘unofficially consulted’ about the renaming by the club. Anyway, he said:

It’s a good decision because of what it’s going to do.

I couldn’t say what sort of company will come forward. That’s not for me to say but I think there will be a lot of brands that realise the opportunity.

I already believe sponsors will know what a great place the North East is – the region, the football, the fans – and being associated with that is a fantastic opportunity for brands.

If there were a suitable brand then I couldn’t see how it can be something that the fans wouldn’t like if the money would be put back in the club to help them do even better.

And with that last sentence he perhaps hits the nail on the head with: “if there was a suitable brand”.

Alas there isn’t anyone prepared to pay Newcastle United for the stadium naming rights at the moment, so now is not the time for it. If a big sponsor comes along with £10’s of millions a season to be ploughed back into the club then maybe it might be possible to sell it to fans as a necessary evil, but as it stands 75% of fans are against the renaming (according to our poll).

There’s more trouble with sponsorship too as Northern Rock have pulled out of the shirt sponsorship deal early. The deal was due to last until January 2014 but there was a clause in the contract allowing them to get out of the deal 2 years early, so now it will end this coming January.

They say that it’s nothing to do with the stadium renaming and that they are pulling out ‘for financial reasons’ but the timing’s a bit sniffy and I tend to think it is related, although the cause and effect are the other way around. I think the stadium renaming has come about because Northern Rock pulled their shirt sponsorship and Ashley is trying to get a sponsor for the job lot – stadium and shirts – in January.

I have changed my mind somewhat as a result of the Northern Rock news. I think Ashley will try to find a stadium sponsor other than Sports Direct and I do not believe this move is a way for him to get cheap Sports Direct advertising in the long term. That’s just my opinion though and time will prove me right or wrong either way, and that’s not to say he won’t take any opportunity to promote Sports Direct for as long as there isn’t a sponsor.

I do still, however, think that it was a bad idea to use Sports Direct – even in the interim – and he should have waited until he had a sponsor before pushing through a change like this. Surely he could see that this would just seem like he’s using NUFC as a means to promote his tatty shirts business. And surely he could see how it would rankle fans. I sometimes wonder if he does these things on purpose just to wind fans up. Really, I do.

If we can’t find a shirt sponsor I’d like to bet that Sports Direct steps in to ‘showcase’ what shirt sponsorship means.


NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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61 Responses

  1. I don’t know who this Jonathon Gabay is, but I’ve spent virtually the whole night sifting through what experts in the sports marketing and sposorship industry think of Ashley’s naming rights scheme. Every single one seemed to be completely gobsmacked at how ill conceived it all is and think it’s doomed to failure.

    Is Gabay the one who’s working for NUFC? :lol:

  2. to be honest now the MPs are involved again i think things will change. i think pressure will be put on Ashley and sooner or later he will back down.

    not all tycoon are as flippant and disrespectful as ashley is and i think a lot of the tycoon in the UK will want to keep MPs happy.

    now that it has been mentioned in parliament again i think any company who takes up the offer could end up unknowingly blacklisted.

    decision makers might not deliberately blaklist who ever takes over the naming rights but its second nature to say no to something or someone you don’t like. even if you would have said yes to anyone else.

    we’ve all done it and we all know we shouldn’t and it does make life difficult for that person for a short while at least but from now on i can see Ashley getting some harsh decisions in the future.

    i think ashley might see a return to the decisions that made him have to sell a lot of his sport s shops in certain areas as they were damaging to local business.

    i would expect Ashley to get a hard time one way or the other.

    Sports direct has just been removed from a black list IMO and it looks like he is going the right way of being put straight back on it.

    i think us Geordies have a lot of fans ourselves and its good to know we have people in London fighting our corner.

    lets hope Sports Direct need some political favors to help them out and end up flat on their arses.

    impressing the boss seems to be the way forward(although i’ve never been a big fan) so with MPs being the “boss” of so many decision makers you might find we have every council in the land on our side.

    and more to the point, would a venue for music not be damaging to the Arena we already have is Newcastle? and to progress with a music venue of such stature surely it would need planning permission from NEWCASTLE COUNCIL.

    can you see them receiving such backing? why favor a football club when Newcastle is much more than a football venue Newcastle is a city is open 24/7 365.

    Newcastle is a city for all not just the football fan. so when decisions are being made and objected to, it would not surprise me if the Newcastle Arena had a valid claim to object to any other venue in Newcastle obtaining a license from Newcastle city council for live big scale music concerts.

    after all did Darlington FC @ the Renolds arena not receive the same treatment when the safe cracker asked for similar permission?

    and the blacklist i’m referring to is quite visible in the refusing to grant a license for the Renolds Arena of Darlington and granting permission for stadium of shite. both of which filled the same criteria and reason of why Renolds was turned down yet Stad de shit was granted.

    the saying goes “if the face fits” and lets face it i’m a Geordie and even i like Nial Quinn. its hard not too.

    so lets hope the black list returns to Mr. Ashley and he gets the hint that every little thing he does wont turn to magic and every little thing he does wont turn us on, and just because our lives before were tragic doesn’t mean we don’t want to him to hurry up and walk on.

  3. Stephen C says:
    November 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    to be honest now the MPs are involved again i think things will change. i think pressure will be put on Ashley and sooner or later he will back down.”

    Stephen, even the leader of the opposition has got involved in the dispute:

    “Labour leader Ed Miliband urged Newcastle United to abandon plans to rename its ground.

    The Labour leader said football clubs were owned not just by individuals but their supporters, and that given the “overwhelming” opposition of fans the club had a responsibility to find a “different way forward”.”

  4. Hugh,

    I’ve never been too fussed about changing the name of the stadium as I have always viewed it as a win / win situation.

    The fans will always call it St. James Park and the sponsors will call it ‘XYZ’. They will pay us for the privilege and hopefully they will have increased sales of their products because of the worldwide exposure to our team, fans and stadium.

    The club needs financing to survive and prosper.

    If the fans do not like changing the name and by association don’t want the cash (in order to get around the EUFA Fair Play Rules) how therefore do they think additional revenue will be generated?

    I do not hear or see many, if any, suggestions from the fans. Perhaps they are happy to have higher ticket prices or the selling of valuable players like Tiote and/or Cabaye to balance the books?

  5. Stephen @ 2

    Sports Direct is a publically listed company, and not owned by Mike Ashley. Influential yes but not the owner. Don’t blame Sports Direct.

    He owns 100% of Newcastle United and as such can invite whoever he likes to sponsor his club to advertise their products.

    You and I don’t like it but it is his right as it was for the royal family of Abu Dhabi to rename the City of Manchester Stadium to the Etihad Stadium as they owned it and the airline.

    Fact of live, sadly but true.

  6. Hugh,

    Very true.

    Ashley either loses the money he has invested or he pays up himself or someone else does.

  7. Exactly what I was thinking. Every single broadsheet has ran an ‘naming rights represents terrible PR claims expert’ story this week, every one!

    A few of said reports also gone on to say that Ashley’s really not that stupid. As long as no one is coming forwards he has his own co. repeatedly named in every home up and down the county, and of course beyond, for NOTHING.. not even a bogus £10m (for our new striker apparently.)

    Ashley will not find a stadium sponsor, he isn’t even looking most likely. He is turning us into an advertising hoarding bit by bit.

  8. WooHoo!!!!Yes!!!!! when this naming farce is overturned I wonder where they’ll get the 8 million a season from though?……..It’s a puzzler!

  9. Kamar says: “He owns 100% of Newcastle United and as such can invite whoever he likes to sponsor his club to advertise their products.

    Well, just splitting hairs here, but he’s technically the majority (and only) shareholder of a private limited company.

    It’s actually up to the directors to run the company, which would include finding sponsors.

    However, Ashley would appoint the directors and they’d probably be out of a job if they didn’t jump when he said boo, which is why I said I was splitting hairs!

    I can’t imagine Llambias telling Ashley he can blow his Sports Direct Arena out of his bottom and wait for a real sponsor, although technically he could. I suspect if he did though there’d be a swift EGM to vote in a new director (with Ashley being the only voter).

  10. Mike Ashley knows business better then anyone who as an opinion on this and i expect many more clubs to follow suit after we get the ball rolling. Its not something i want but id rather be first past the post as many will follow;)

  11. Simon, Mr Ashley does know something about business obviously but the only business I’m interested in in relation to this is NUFC.

    Ashley’s ‘business acumen’ might lead him to use NUFC to generate a freebie for Sports Direct. Good business from Ashley’s point of view perhaps, but maybe not the best thing for NUFC.

  12. Joe Soap, Kamar do you honestly think we will get £8-10m a season out of this lol? I don’t think so really Ashley should reducing the debt we owe him as Sports Direct is being advertised but in essence he is just getting free advertising which will continue.

  13. Worky @ 4

    thats what i was referring to in my piece it seems to be gathering support, hence why i mentioned the black list theory. he is not well liked at the best of times and the police and government seemed to back off once he had gain promotion back to the prem.

    Kamar @ 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 and how ever many comments you want to make.

    i am well aware that Sports Direct is a limited company owned by shares. but you and me both no shares are nothing but easy money. majoy share holders will all be on his side, little street guys like you and me who have a few shares here and there are in it for the money so go with the flow.

    Limited company secured by shares means nothing. it just means a certain amount of shares normally under 49% are available to the public to buy freely, take it anyway you like. it doesn’t mean anything. the guy at the top and every major share holder connected to sports direct will all be in on the game.

    so a blacklist for Mike is a black list for sports direct.

    and there is one thing i know about the council, they stand by principal, try getting planning permission for a garage if you piss off a councilor from another department. it doesn’t matter whether they work in the planning department or not if yours names down you’re not getting in.
    MPs, councilors and civil servants all have this bubble wrap attitude that if you break the air from one of the bubbles then you better make sure you don’t make it two. and if you make it two you better make sure it wasn’t deliberate.

    from the guy at the front office to the guy at the top of the civic center to the guy pushing pencils as a tea boy to the home office, each move they make will have a result of the people they deal with. annoy 1 and the whole thing goes kaplunk.

    they will never tell you this and its never made official but we all know how things work.

    so i say let us sit back and watch.

    Dont blame sports direct????? do you see any of the sports direct board proposing they pay us for the privilege of graffiti all over ST JAMES PARK? i blame every one of the rotten cheap Charva apparel making kuntz.

    and have you ever seen the cartoon “wheres Wally”?
    not forgive me if im wrong but every PR professional this week has said renaming St. James Park was a bad idea except one!!!!!

    so lads who the advisor for Mike Ashley?

    and i think its safe to say 50,000 geordies can rename his head “kicked in” and his arse “fu**ed”(non sexual sence) and his legs “broken”

    Boater @ 9

    we all know what he is doing mate we aren’t as dumb as lamearse is making us out to be. showcasing? now forgive me if i’m wrong but either he thinks he is the only businessman worth credence or the little Chinese men he wants to invest just don’t know how to market a business.

    “to the fans it will alsway be St. James Park, every one knows it will always be St. James Park but to investors……”

    so if lamearse know it is always going to be St. James Park to all but tweedle dee and tweedle dum, the who in the right mind would put a name on the side knowing it would get the coverage you were expecting?

    you cant whisper to the press dumnass, in japan it is St. James, in Abu Dabi it is St. James, in Australia it is St. James so if its always going to be St. James Park even to lamearse and Ashley who in the right mind, other than Ashley would plaster their business all over ST. JAMES PARK?

    can any one remember when you were at school when you were learning to read and the books for Blue Beard the pirate were so exciting you just didn’t know what was going to happen next, then years later when your younger brother was going through the same thing 10 or so years later the books you thought were exciting were so predictable and you cant believe you actually thought a pirate called black beard who sailed a ship to find treasure and then have a fight with Blue Beard who would steal the treasure and then sail away. only be caught in the next book by yellow beard and the finally caught by black beard in the 3rd book, could be so predictable.

    i mean what does he take us for.
    believe it or not i was speaking to a special needs guy last week who has learning difficulties and when i asked him who he thought would be our sponsor next season, his reply was “who ever will pay him to bang his tambourine for one hour for Children in need” then i asked him who he thought Newcastle’s shirt sponsor would be next season and that he did indeed reply “Sports Direct”

    so needless to say i wont be taking my tambourine to St. James Park again thats for sure

  14. Putting aside the ridiculous Man City stadium rename deal, which is an obvious ruse to flout UEFA’s “financial fair play” rules, Mike Ashley wants about the same for St James’ Park naming rights as Areenal get for both naming rights AND shirt sponsorship combined. Unlike Ashley’s scheme, Arsenal’s was for a new stadium which was completely “non toxic”, something which is absolutely crucial to a potential sponsor.

  15. Joesoap

    you and mike can shove the £8 million up are Arse. its never going to happen.

    we will get around £2-£3 million per year so naming rights.

    the bigger deal is with the shirts. £8-£10 million.

    so when lamearse was referring to £10 million for renames that would have been for both shirts and stadium in one.

    so is it really important to generate £2-£3 million on renaming St. James Park?

    we are in a position now where we can negotiate a better shirt sponsorship deal now that northern rock have left and maybe add an extra £2-£3 million to the deal to cover the loss of renaming St. James Park

  16. Stephen C says:
    November 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    “Kamar @ 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 and how ever many comments you want to make”

    Aye Stephen, but if you put all of Kamar’s comments together, they’re still not as long as one of yours! :-)

  17. and Joesoap

    are you really so nieve to think we will be sat here next season with St. James Park renamed Something other than the Sports Direct Arena?

    its always going to be Sports direct Arena no one will buy into it it is a smoke screen.

    and what worse not only will it still be Sports Direct Arena but it will still be free advertising.

  18. Worky

    i’ve got Tourretts i’ve got an excuse to hit the enter key repeatedly but i refrain.

    and at least my comments are remotely entertaining.

    ill save my conspiracy theory of the week for later

    its a good one

  19. Stephen C says:
    November 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “Stephen C says:
    November 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm (Edit)

    “we will get around £2-£3 million per year so naming rights.

    the bigger deal is with the shirts. £8-£10 million.”

    Stephen, Areenal, a club who appear regularly in the Champion’s League, get around £2.75 million per annum for their naming rights and £6,5 million for shirts so even that would be a decent sum comparatively speaking.

  20. thats what i was getting at.

    this £8 million joe walsh is banging on about isn’t going to happen.

    the only factor i could see someone paying more than at arsenal is the fact the market is now smaller.

    i.e. all clubs who want to rename have done so and the big clubs are either taken, untouchable or on the verge of a new stadium.

    so any decent PR company worth their two bob bit will see, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, West ham, Spurs and QPR all touting for new stadiums and naming rights.

    so if you could pick one of the above and were big enough to take any pressure of negative PR which would you pick?

    FFS i don’t know a makem who actually liked the name of their ground and i don’t know a makem who wouldn’t pay to have the name changed either.

    so the hyperactive PR expert who pops up like a sore thumb obviously has no idea or hasn’t doesn’t his market research.

    so therefor this is only a ploy to sound like its good but when no one comes in it will be plan A for ashley with Sports Direct Arena

  21. by god. Stephen, you mush have a lot of time on your hands, ever tried short-hand. I got thru 6 sentences and gave up…

    How can you be certain its defo only going to be Sports Direct Arena. Ashley apparently totally cocked-up when selling Barton, Enrique, Nolan and Carroll, that was soon forgotten about.

    Ppl r jumping to the wrong conclusions, we may have someone lined up already. Lets just have a little patience.

  22. “are you really so nieve to think we will be sat here next season with St. James Park renamed Something other than the Sports Direct Arena?”

    I would of been nieve and retarded to think we’d be 3rd after selling our ‘old-guard’ last summer.

    Nobody can be sure what his motives r. but to say you know for sure is totally nieve.

  23. i disagree timmy

    i think history repeats itself.

    the lamearse and Ashly show lied in court, lied about Keegan.

    fed us bullshit previously and seems to dangle a carrot to lead us not into temptation. then deliver us straight into evil.

    sir john already told us why he sold out to mike “because he wanted to show case his sports direct business on a global scale”

    so all of a sudden he forgets all about the main reason why he stepped through the door?

    no offence but Mission World Direct Domination@ sports is well and truly on its way.

    he said he has a 5 year plan of which this must be year two. but even for the two years of failure he did ok by them.

    everything he is doing seems to fit by what Sir. john hall stated were the reason why he sold to Ashley in the first place even if everything Ashley is saying does not.

    so ask your self this jimmy. who would you believe?

    a man who is proven to have lied, who isn’t exactly fair on his staff in Laos who is full of dirty tricks and isn’t well liked by most people who know him, Dave Whelan being one (yes a rival but former friend)
    Mike seems to have a way of lieing to people to get them to agree and then turning the knife and denying all knowledge. or withholding information like he did with Keegan and suddenly ushering Wise and jimedy cricket through the door. if all those people who have just signed up for season tickets knew what he was about to do, do you think they would have signed up?

    if we had just taken a job? and suddenly changed that job we could have sued for constructive dismissal. but unfortunately customers don’t seem to be able to do that. unless he misled them in someway by selling them season tickets to St. James Park, then changing the name a week after. (people might need to re-read the literature and advertisements to see if they have a case)

    everything mike is doing to stepping towards the “sports direct on a global scale” but yet everything he is saying is not.

    so being nieve would be expecting a man to change the habits of a life time and not get burned in the process.

    it has been a four year relationship with mike and we know him well enough to know.

    there wasn’t a Geordie in Newcastle who wasn’t suspicious at the reduced season ticket offer.

    the generosity we thought was a great gesture has now turned to bribery.

    and now we all know how he works and we all know how he behaves and we all know how he does his business.

    i just feel sorry for the people he has duped, robed, lied to, stole from, insulted, ridiculed, humiliated and slandered with his hence men in the 20 years previous to taking over at ST. JAMES PARK it obviously he is a nasty piece of work and think anything good will come of this is both foolish and idiotic.

    the only thing that will come of this is a complete showcase of Mike Ashley, as a coward, as a low life, as a liar, as a cheat and as a con man.

    so now we have all been burnt, we know next time his offers wont be too welcome as we know what they represent.

    so being nieve or gullible or just down right deluded isn’t something i am.

    was it not a great wise man that once said “trick me once…trick me twice, fool you, but trick me thrice erm errm eeerrrr” well ok using George Dubya Bush for inspiration might not have been the best idea but you get my drift.

    the door has closed.
    too many time this has happened. he might think he can get £8 million for the naming rights but he will lose a hell of a lot in up and coming deals and promotions as i for one will not be renewing my season ticket when it is up for renewal in 2023.

  24. yes, its all gloom!! its so bad we’re 3rd in the league, we’ve got back some fans that couldnt afford tickets because of numerous reasons.

    Off-loaded the loyal heros (barton etc) that bled black nd white who reluctantly left us for bigger wages at shittier clubs.

    Sir John hall for all I appreciated got his wedde and so too did keegan, but yeah its all gloom.

    Believe me I don’t trust Ashley but I didnt trust shepherd and the Halls to a certain extent.

    And my first thoughts were world domination, it might be his plans but he’s proved us wrong before and may again with this one.

  25. “I think the stadium renaming has come about because Northern Rock pulled their shirt sponsorship and Ashley is trying to get a sponsor for the job lot – stadium and shirts – in January.”

    Hmmm. That’s a very interesting point that’s got me thinking Hugh. I still think there’s a good chance that being third during another international break would have been somewhere in Ashley’s thoughts too regarding the timing. It’s as good a time as any to give the fans some more bitter medicine to swallow.

  26. timmy i didn’t say it was all gloom

    but if there is one man that will tarnish our fine start it would be Ashley.

    he has a way of changing things into a PR stunt.

    i mentioned this months ago. once Mike is ready to promote Sports Direct through every medium possible he will exploit every inch. including the fans. he will have us wearing black and white strips with sports direct on the front so when we are on TV scream for Ashley out we will inadvertently be promoting sports direct as his label will be glued to the front instead of northern rock, in the back drop Sports direct logos in full view of TV cameras.

    not to mention a sky sports reporter so far up his london derry air when mike speaks a little voice in side his mouth says “hello i’m david craig”

    i’m loving the 3rd in the league like every other Newcastle fan but i’ve said it before, no news is bad news for mike ashley.

    he doesn’t seem content to keep himself in the news for all the right reasons, he was doing well with the reduced priced season tickets but he goes the extra step and changes the name as well.

    well sorry timmy i just get the feeling that once we are all covered head to toe in sports direct thing will be like a yo yo.

    sports direct made £114 million profit at his last annual company returns.

    Why care about Newcastle united when you can reap the profits by using it as a publicity tool for increased sales.

    Newcastle United will never make £114 million for mike ashley in one year let alone 20 so it doesn’t take much to work out that compared to the power of sports direct, Newcastle united are the little minnows of life.

    yes we are steeped in history and yes 130 years of history striped into what? a marketing tool for sports direct.

    it just goes to show how small in the world and country we much be when a company like sports direct can generate so much cash in one year and use us like a leech whilst one fat cat gets bigger.

    ashley said he wasn’t going to put any more of his cash into Newcastle united.

    fair enough but that was before we helped promote £114 million of sales for mike and his merry men.

    ask yourself this.

    is Lamearse on bonus from Sports Direct to keep Newcastle in the news.

    and what is most important to mike. a business that makes £114 million per year or a business that makes a loss?

    in my personal opinion Newcastle united are now no more than a advertising board for Sports Direct and a way for ashley to line his pockets at our expense.

    one of the comments lamearse said yesterday went along the line of “we need to find a striker in January and replacements in the summer”

    replacements for who?
    now forgive me if i’m wrong but ashley sell sports clothing and the season end in may and incidentally start just before the back to school range starts.

    no reading between the lines we are going to be in for a summer of shouting screaming and ridicule towards mike ashley to inadvertently promote his business and give him the edge over Asda, Tesco and any other uber hyper market competing for summer, back to school sports wear.

    do you have any idea how many kids in the UK go to school? do you have any idea when the majority of new clothing is purchased for the new school year?

    funny enough in the summer.

    so i know fine well we will be subjected to the same publicity stunt in the summer like we are being used now for the Christmas market.

    Christmas sales will have gone through the roof for sports direct. the publicity the controversy has caused is worth more than him putting the name on the side of our beloved.

    mike will have a piece of paper in front of him now. it will be a document on statistics.

    it will be directly linked in correlation to events at st. james park. he will have in front of him all the data in a yearly chart showing the correlation between events at St. james park and sales at sports direct.

    he will not only be timing every thing with precision for sports direct but he will be using us Geordie’s to do the publicity for him.

    i for one think to win any kind of battle we need to be as silent as we can.

    make sure we don’t advertise sports direct and make sure if mike wants to advertise his Empire as well as we have done for him, he will need to pay us for the privilege.

    it isn’t Newcastle United or his advertising sports direct in the news, tv etc it is the fans of Newcastle United and their love for tradition and the publicity we bring that is selling so many shit shirts around the world and helping promote child labor in some of the poorest parts of the world.

    let us not take this lying down but instead let us take it by fighting with fire.

    don’t give him what he wants unless he gives us some payments in return.

    and i know people will scream we are 3rd in the league but he is using us and exploiting us like we are Laos children working in one of his sweat shops.

    well sorry but St. James Park isn’t a game for us, you cant just click your fingers a we come bashing and beating, St. James Park is our life and our heritage and no man on earth can change that.

    so 3rd in the league we may be but as the song goes “i’ll play in the dark at St. James Park at the gollowgate end in the rain….. i’m coming home Newcastle”

    because for some St. james park is home and part of every brick in the city from long benton to throckley and every where in between and there is a line going in each direction and all the line make a star.

    and in the middle is St. james park. so it doesn’t matter what part of Newcastle you are from a piece if ever man women and child in Newcastle has a piece of St. james park inside them and no matter how much it make financial sense you tell that to the beating heart thats being ripped out like a cheating whore of a wife.

    so at then end of the day if there is still blood in my veins there will never be a drop of blood that trusts mike ashley.

    3rd in the league is good but its a bitter pill to swallow for everything else.

  27. Stephen C, we’ll see m8.

    I didnt read any of your last comments as youve made your feeling known.

    But ask yourself this, if we were still in the hands of Sheps, where would we be..?

    If mike didnt take us on, where would we be…defo not 3rd…

  28. who ever said this is bang on.. my thoughts exactly as soon as I read this article.

    “I think the stadium renaming has come about because Northern Rock pulled their shirt sponsorship and Ashley is trying to get a sponsor for the job lot – stadium and shirts – in January.”

    of course it is. It makes complete sense.

  29. timmy its hard to say.

    if mike had not have been here i still don’t think we would have gone bust. the is no way administration would be the word.

    yes we were in debt to the sum of £250 million but for a football club that is relatively small

    Manchester united are in £400 million worth of debt.
    liverpool up until last season were in a lot of debt.

    but……. i will state facts……….

    if mike ashley had not have purchased Newcastle United we would be owned by the current owners of Manchester City. Fact… They wanted to buy Newcastle United. we were their first choice.

    so i totally agree timmy if mike had not have bought us we would definitely not be 3rd…….but 1st

  30. well I don’t believe that for a second m8. Nobody wanted to know about us.

    + as silly as it sounds I’d rather have our lot with love and harmony an al that on lower wages, hungry for success then ManCity with fat wages and prima donnas.

    It will all go tits up, we’ve been down that route, throwing money at problems, fingers burnt, I’m happy the way things are run since relegation.

  31. Stephen C says:
    November 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    “yes we were in debt to the sum of £250 million but for a football club that is relatively small”

    Stephen we weren’t £250 million in debt, I don’t know where you got that from.

    Below is what I wrote some time ago on the debt situation when Ashley took over the club in 2007:

    “In June 2007 when Ashley finally gained full control of the club, it looked as if the club was £71 million in debt, however, after Ashley’s takeover, it became apparent that the mortgage on the ground had to be paid off, and the level of debt was actually £124 million. More details are available from the site NUFC Finances site.”

    In the last set of Ashley’s accounts, the club was actually MORE in debt, to the tune of around £150 million. That should have come down considerably by the time the next set of accounts are published though. If it hasn’t then there’s something very fishy gannin’ on.

  32. Stephen C says:
    November 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    “if mike ashley had not have purchased Newcastle United we would be owned by the current owners of Manchester City. Fact… They wanted to buy Newcastle United. we were their first choice.”

    Stephen, I don’t think so, I think that’s probably a myth. When Ashley was buying the club, I seem to recall that according to John Hall, the other interested party were Malaysians, though I’m not entirely sure at this moment due to premature senilty. However, if Ashley had of backed out, unlike him, they would have almost certainly done “due diligence” on the club, then they would have probably scarpered!

    Having written all that, I divven’t trust Hall either, so it may have been shite, I divven’t knaa. I certainly wouldn’t regard that Manchester City story as “fact” though by any means.

  33. me too timmy i couldn’t agree with you more. but i cant help feeling the Etihad stadium sounds a lot better than Sports Direct Arena.

    and i think if we were now the Etihad stadium with the players we had bought (if we had bought the man city players) then i don’t think for one second anyone would winge as every person in the country knows the etihad is just a front for the Uefa fair play rules, to cover the cash they have spent.

    and to be honest i don’t even think people are too bothered.

    although it is a relatively new stadium it might be a different case if it had have been main road. but some how i think the City supporters would give up their ground name to topple the United part of the city.

    so on that note ill pose a question…..

    would any of you be willing to swap the Sports Direct Arena and 3rd in the league for the Etihad Stadium and 1st in the league? and if so would you be interested and happy about it?

    me personally i think for the cash Man city have got i think i would.

    call me a hypocrite and i will tell you this… at least the owners of Manchester city are funding their club and doing everything they can to please their fans so i think the relationship between the owners and Newcastle fans would be worth giving up the St. James Park name for.

    but giving it up to an exploiting fat ass hole just doesn’t bare thinking about.

    but a quick word on the primadonas at man city.

    there is now only one. i think once tevez leaves then you have a decent bunch of players playing for one team. even baletelli has sorted himself out. and well done to him for growing up its just a shame to see tevez act like a child.

    is it me or does tevez seem a little dim. he just seems like a lost sheep. i don’t think he has a clue and names his daughter after head lice.

    but a fantastic footballer all the same.

    but as far as i read it was definitely reported that the owners looked into Newcastle before mike bought us. apparently they were the other group interested that sir john had been speaking to.

    i read similar stating mike had just took over and they en-quired just before Keegan had walked out and the storm started

  34. worky i do a lot of traveling to away games i’ve been to every away game for the last two and a bit years.

    and it is something that is brought up and mentioned all of the time.

    it seems to be common knowledge amongst some fans at least.

    as far as i was aware last season the owners of man city even came out and said as much.

    but such is life. i personally have read different journalist comment on it and to this day i have never had a denial that the man city owners were not interested. it always seems to be that its water under the bridge our loss is man cities gain.

  35. well im off to bed now anyway so i will give you lads a rest from my take over bid.

    and i will see all you cheep soulless Geordie Sports Direct advertisers tomorrow.

  36. “A marketing gadgie called Jonathon Gabay, who is – according to his website – “trusted by some of the world’s top brands”, has hailed the St James’ Park renaming debacle ‘a good decision”

    Jonathon Gabay who is – according to his website – “trusted by some of the world’s top brands”. Thats according to his website Hugh but who else ?????

    I suspect the bloke is a legend in his own lunchtime.

    Mainly because I’ve spent the past twenty years in or around “Marketing” and I can honestly say I have never heard of this bloke ! However it shouldnt surprise anyone with previous experience of the Fatman’s scheming manipulative ways that he’s managed to dig out someone who now claims to be an “expert” and supports his decision.

    Come on people remember the other “divide and rule” tales he’s spread around the place when he wants to get his own way. This is just another one of those !

    PS WT who knows if SJH’s claim that Malaysians were interested was true or not ? I have a suspicion that he used that ruse in order to get Fatman to make a bid without looking at the goods first ! SJH was a robbing bastad so maybe Fatman feels he’s just getting his own back ?

  37. Andy Mac says:
    November 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    “PS WT who knows if SJH’s claim that Malaysians were interested was true or not ? I have a suspicion that he used that ruse in order to get Fatman to make a bid without looking at the goods first ! SJH was a robbing bastad so maybe Fatman feels he’s just getting his own back ?”

    Aye Andy, I knaa the kind of things that John Hall can get up to. One thing though; it was known that when Ashley aquired companies, he moved fast and wasn’t too fussed about deein’ due diligence anyway.

  38. Just to point out the decision to exercise the escape clause for the shirt sponsorship was made in the summer but both parties agreed to keep it under wraps (why I don’t know).
    With the ground renaming the club decided to go public in order to maximise potential.

  39. Hugh, Worky, anyone? What’s the deal over Toonsy’s blog and this one? Are there two camps? Just curious…

  40. Paul in Hollywood says:

    “Hugh, Worky, anyone? What’s the deal over Toonsy’s blog and this one? Are there two camps? Just curiou”

    .org occupies the intellectual high ground, Paul. :)

  41. workyticket says:

    “Andy, did you get my e.mail?”

    No because we’ve moved and I have a new ISP. I’ll mail you the details WT.

  42. It’s obvious the Dear Leader, is just attempting to bring in more revenue, by whatever means available.
    Unfortunately the catchment area surrounding this club is small, plus there’s little in the way of large corporations centered here,(we have argued this point before, but the fact is it’s true)
    We have won little in the way of silverware in many a year, so why would we attract any number of overseas fans or sponsors ?
    Finally even though we generate, possibly the third largest gates, our overall revenue is EPL mid table level.
    Hey we know these spin merchants by now, when they sense any negative fan reaction to whatever they are planning, the spin works, (mouthed by either Llambias or Pardew) immediately goes into production.
    It’s kinda funny actually, as the PR department was barely used in the early stages of Ashleys reign.
    Ah well ! is what it is and aint gonna change any time soon.

    Stephen C
    C’mon champ, concentrate your thoughts, or people are just gonna ignore your comments.

  43. Paul in south central (kidding)
    Well there are actually a number of blogs, there’s our ex pat Geordie, in N.Carolina, who’s blog is all good news, almost a house organ, with a commercial bias and a not too interesting following.

    Then there’s Toonsy’s, young man with a big ego, who I have to say has moderated over time (banned me from this very blog, for disagreeing with him.)
    His following are mostly a sycophantic bunch and tend to involve themselves, less with football than personal matters, along with an occasional personal attack.

    Whereas, as stated by Andy Mac, this particular blog has a more interesting group commenting generally.
    And i find Workey in general to be the voice of reason, who uses a light hand as a modulator, (does that sound sycophantic ? if so ignore it !)
    But hey take your pick.
    The other personal stuff involving Toonsy and Workey, is not something i know about but have an idea, what happened.

  44. Stability at NUFC ? Pardrew is joint 2nd securest manager in PL !
    PL managerial sacking odds are :
    Arsene Wenger – 50/1
    Alan Pardew & Roberto Mancini – 66/1
    Sir Alex Ferguson – 80/1

    Surprised? he’s certainly earned it, but he’s not in the same class as Wenger, Mancini or Ferguson.

    BTW This is the longest spell in the PL without a sacking since 2000.

  45. summerof69 says:
    November 13, 2011 at 12:08 am

    “Sorry to break up the debate but this is shocking from Llambias”

    Wahey it’s “Scoop” 69!

    Perhaps he has a chip on his shoulder because he knows he’s intensely disliked and unrespected within the football community. Perhaps he’s just striking back like a pathetic child.

  46. Andymac and Chuck – thanks guys. Personally, I gravitate to this site… Very reasonable, civilized folk. And you can call me a sycophant if you wish, I’m not bothered, it’s just simply the truth.

  47. Paul in Hollywood says:
    November 13, 2011 at 3:57 am

    “I gravitate to this site…”

    Oh aye Paul? I’ve seen you cheating on us with other ‘blogs.

    That Chuck’s a bit of a old slapper too. A couple of Amstels and he’s anybody’s! :-)

  48. Spidermag US says:
    November 13, 2011 at 1:43 am

    “The Sports Direct Arena Story” Seems like they had this ready to go just a little too soon.”

    Spidermag, the page was last modified 13 November 2011 04:17:41, though it may have been just to cut out all the St James’ Parks and paste in that horrible name which doesn’t exist really.

  49. Paul in Hollywood says:
    November 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    “Hugh, Worky, anyone? What’s the deal over Toonsy’s blog and this one? Are there two camps? Just curious…”

    Oh aye, almost forgot that. Best just leaving that one alone Paul. It isn’t worth the hassle, just let ’em get on with it etc.

  50. Worky, I never was aware of any cheating. I like to read what fellow fans write and say about the Toon. I did not know the situation until I saw Hugh’s comment on Toonsy’s blog and his reply. Got me thinking. I’m too old to play politics on this though. I’ll write where I find it appropriate to comment. That said, this site is far more responsive to what we say. I never heard ‘owt from Toonsy.

  51. Paul in Hollywood says:

    November 14, 2011 at 5:01 am

    “Worky, I never was aware of any cheating.”

    Cheating? Ah “Big Dave” and his mates have been at it again. They were banned from here so they try to smear this blog, post abusive comments, impersonate other users etc. I get malicious e.mails too, which is nice. If they lived over there, they’d probably be on the “Jerry Springer Show” or something like that ;-)

    It’s the kind of thing you get from time to time when you run a ‘blog.

  52. worky can i ask?

    what is there to gain apart from pleasure from running a blog?
    are they missing out on sponsorship or are they just looking for trouble?