It Will Always Be St James’ Park To Us

Whatever Newcastle owner Mike Ashley decides to call it, it is still St James’ Park…

Perhaps taking advantage of the fact that Newcastle fans are currently delighted with their lofty league position, Ashley has taken the opportunity to disrepect 119 years of history by renaming the Tyneside football cathedral the Sports Direct Arena, after his chain of lo-price, rubber-smelling sports shops.

The Mag fanzine editor Mark Jensen told the Guardian: “It’s very hard to take. Everyone understands the economics of football in that you need to maximise the revenue but I think most fans would rather the ground not be renamed at all. Most fans will see this as pretty opportunist with the team doing well on the pitch and when the fans are just enjoying two weeks when they’ll be in the top three no matter what happens.”

A club toady revealed the longer-term plan, probably while rubbing his hands together: “Naming the stadium the Sports Direct Arena helps up to showcase the opportunity to interested parties. We are now actively seeking a long-term sponsor wishing to acquire full naming rights for the stadium.”

They are seeking to emulate Arsenal and Manchester City, but the situation is totally different. Both those clubs stadia are new and the Emirates and the Etihad do not have over a century of history and tradition behind them.

So simply ignore this misguided dicatate, we will be, and if you hear anyone refer to St James’ Park as the Sports Direct Arena then pull them up on it. 
Jackie Milburn, Bobby Moncur, Malcolm MacDonald and Peter Beardsley played at St James’ Park. People spent a lifetime watching them and many others there. It’s worth more than this.

About thefoxfanzine

Editor of The FOX Fanzine - covering Leicester City for 23 years... it seems longer.
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