All appeared to be going so well so far in the land of the Geordie. Currently sitting in 3rd place in the Premier League after losing a number of considerably key players in the Summer as well as being one of only a handful of unbeaten sides in Europe. All was perfect until the puppet master Mike Ashley once again interfered into club affairs. As many know he has often tried to rename St James’ Park with his own brand Sports Direct, in-fact it’s already the ‘SportsDirect.com@StJamesPark’ stadium; but on Tuesday evening he went one step further, igniting fury amongst Geordies and neutral football fans alike. It has been leaked in the press that he will be changing the name from the traditional St James’ Park to The Sports Direct Arena in a move that will just anger supporters even more.
Let me ask you all this. Despite the name change, who will actually call it “The Sports Direct Arena”. The answer to that is of course no one because it is ludicrous and it’s simply not the name of the stadium. What Mike Ashley doesn’t seem to realise is that whatever he calls the stadium, it will always be referred to as St James’ Park; it has been for 109 years under the Newcastle United reign and it will do for another 109 years. You can change the name, but you can’t change history. It will always be the place where Alan Shearer broke Jackie Milburn’s 49 year old goalscoring record, it will always be the place where Newcastle pulverized Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 and it will always be the place where one of the best managers of all time in Bobby Robson strolled the touchline. It all comes down to the fact that you can change the name of the ground as many times as you want, but it will never mean anything. It will always be referred to as St James’ Park.
Whether it be St James’ Park or the Sports Direct Arena, it will be the same structure with the same fans and the same players playing inside it every week. It’s a money making exercise and one that will have more negatives than positives for Ashley. Yes Newcastle fans, you have the right to be unhappy and to voice your anger as any supporter would, but at the end of the day; we all know what ground it is and what ground it will always be. Proper football fans will forever refer to it as St James’ Park because it’s traditional and that’s what English football is all about at the end of the day.
They can change the name, but they can’t change what supporters up and down the land and across the world will call it. St James’ Park, the home of the Toon Army. Everyone has a great respect for Newcastle if you ask me and I’m sure we’re all with you in saying, up yours Ashley!