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22nd Oct 2021

St James’ Park to get new name under Newcastle new owners

Daniel Brown

St James’ Park has been Newcastle’s home for 129 years

Newcastle United’s Saudi-led owners are considering a plan to sell the naming rights to St James’ Park.

According to Sportsmail, securing a sponsorship deal for the stadium is being considered as a potential avenue of increased revenue – which would also improve the Magpies’ ability to spend more in line with the league’s financial fair play regulations.

The report comes after Saudi Arabia’s finance minister, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, spoke about Newcastle becoming a ‘serious competitor’ in the Premier League.

However, it is believed that any commercial sale would see the name ‘St James’ Park’ kept in place in some capacity as part of the rebrand.

This will evidently please Newcastle fans, who were angered by former owner Mike Ashley’s decision to rename the ground the ‘Sports Direct Arena’ in 2011.

The decision to do so was quickly reversed following opposition and complaints from the Magpies fanbase – who feel a strong bond to the stadium which has been their home for 129 years.

A deal to sell the naming rights to St James’ Park would only go ahead if the supporters were on board with the decision, with fans set to be asked whether they would accept stadium sponsorship, which would mean more money coming into the club.

It is thought that a Saudi Arabian airline is one option for a commercial partnership.

Earlier this week, 18 of the 20 Premier League clubs voted against Newcastle’s new Saudi owners being able to secure lucrative sponsorship deals during an emergency meeting.

The Magpies are understood to be annoyed about the decision, arguing that enforcing such a rule change, which has triggered a temporary ban on commercial deals that involve pre-existing business relationships, is anti-competitive.

Finance minister Al-Jadaan has recently addressed the evident opposition to their takeover.

“I would say if people are worried about competition among clubs, and particularly now we have invested into one of them, that is a good sign that there is a serious competitor coming their way,” he told American TV channel CNBC.

“I am really confident that with the investments coming their way – the community, the stadium – we will see an enhanced club.”

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