NEWCASTLE’S new owners want to sell naming rights to St James’ Park, according to reports.
But they will only do so if they can get fans onboard with the idea.
Newcastle fans are proud of their St James’ Park homeCredit: PA
Toon chiefs are exploring new revenue streamsCredit: Getty
Previous chief Mike Ashley briefly renamed the historic ground the ‘Sports Direct Arena’ back in 2011 – to uproar from the Geordie faithful.
The Toon’s new owners are exploring potential revenue streams, however, with a view to boosting spending power within Financial Fair Play rules.
According to the Mail, Newcastle’s new Saudi chiefs want to sell naming rights – but would keep the name St James’ Park ‘in some capacity’ within the rebrand.
Supporters can expect to be consulted regarding the idea.
A Saudi airline has been mooted as a potential commercial partner.
Back in 2017, Ashley admitted that he made a mistake trying to rebrand St James’ Park.
He told Sky Sports: “The first thing you feel is stupidity, because as soon as you know the hindsight of something, you know what you were doing wrong.
“For example, I thought it was the right thing to do was to generate as much money as possible for Newcastle, so when people say to me: ‘Whatever you do on an interview do not talk about changing the name of St James’ Park!’
“Well I’m me, and I’m going to talk about making an error, and I should not have changed the name of St James’ Park. I should not have done that.”
He then added: “Football is not all about making money and reinvesting it into football clubs, it has a very strange balance to it. I wanted to get naming rights, get money in and invest it into the club.
You begin to learn that the special side of Newcastle means a little bit more than the ultimate end performance on the pitch
“The reality is, the vast majority of the Geordie fans would rather have the name of St James’ Park and finish maybe one or two places lower in the table, because they want to keep it special.
“You begin to learn that the special side of Newcastle means a little bit more than the ultimate end performance on the pitch.”
The Toon take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this weekend, still chasing their first win of the season.
Graeme Jones will take charge, after Steve Bruce was sacked earlier this week.
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