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Opinion

Newcastle United owners considering selling naming rights to St James Park

1 month ago
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The new owners at Newcastle United are now looking at St James Park naming rights, as a means of helping to raise extra revenue.

The news has been revealed by The Mail, who say the matter has been discussed, but will only happen if the Newcastle fans give their consent.

It is zero surprise that this is the case and the new owners would be failing in their duties if they didn’t look at every avenue of bringing in extra cash, though whether this particular revenue stream is something that should be pursued is another question, dependent on that explicit / implicit support of the fans. The newspaper also adds that in the talks, the new owners intend any potential naming rights would definitely keep St James Park as part of the stadium name.

Whilst FFP (Financial Fair Play) often appear able to mean all things to all men (and women), it can’t be ignored that these days it isn’t simply a case of Premier League club owners piling in as much extra cash as they want, as we saw with Roman Abramovich when he started buying trophies for Chelsea.

We have already seen the rest of the Premier League trying to sabotage the rebuilding of Newcastle United before it even starts, with their emergency meeting and vote on Monday, which saw 18 Premier League clubs voting for a temporary rule change, for the next month initially, intended to stop commercial arrangements that involve pre-existing business relationships (related party transactions), or at least minimise the amount of money that can be raised from them.

Newcastle United were the only club to vote against the move, whilst Manchester City abstained, both clubs reported to have taken legal advice which has strongly told them that the attempted change of rules is illegal and couldn’t be sustained.

However, it doesn’t change the fact that the new owners do need every possible revenue stream, if they are to quickly repair the mess left from 14+ years of Mike Ashley neglect.

In an ideal world of course, St James Park would never be called anything other than simply those three words.

As Newcastle fans though, we all know that it hasn’t been an ideal world where our football club has been concerned for an awful long time. So, as fans, anything that might potentially help to turn things around, has to be given fair consideration, even if supporters did collectively still decide that on balance they weren’t in favour of a renaming move to help bring in extra cash.

The likes of Arsenal and Manchester City have brought in massive sums of money by selling the stadium naming rights, though of course they have new grounds, not their traditional homes.

Everton are obviously another club trying to break into the self-appointed elite at the top of the Premier League and they have already gone down the route of raising money via naming rights on their new stadium, even though they haven’t even started building it! Alisher Usmanov (former Arsenal part owner and now Everton’s absolute owner in reality?) has already managed to put another £30m into Everton by purchasing the option on naming rights to their intended new stadium, with him then putting in around another £200m via actually having the naming rights for ten years. On top of putting in extra cash via the naming of their new stadium, Everton have already done naming rights on their training ground as another way of piling in extra cash.

So as you can see, the potential is there for serious extra cash to come into Newcastle United, if this was a route the club went down. Indeed, any naming rights revenue for NUFC could be far in excess of anything Everton add to their budgets, with the ambitious plans the Saudi PIF owners have for Newcastle United.

It is of course also a very different scenario to when Mike Ashley renamed our ground as the Sports Direct Arena in 2011.

Not a penny was paid by Sports Direct for the naming rights, so the club and fans had all the negatives of naming rights and zero positives.

That is of course the key difference…

Under Mike Ashley, everything that he did was to benefit himself and the rest of his business empire at the expense of Newcastle United.

Whilst the new Newcastle United owners, just like pretty much every other Premier League club ever, are looking to use the rest of their business empire / connections to benefit the football club.

Interesting to see how it pans out and I suppose that if the new owners did want to pursue this naming rights revenue stream AND did want to do it only with supporter consent, then probably polling all season ticket holders would give them their best answer on whether it carried fan support.

In the meantime please answer our snap poll below, just to give us a snapshot of opinion now:

***The poll is now closed – Please go HERE to see the results.

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