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Newcastle: Renaming of St. James' Park to Sports Direct Arena Not End of World

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United beats Wigan Athletic keeper Ali Al Habsi to score the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic at St James' Park on October 22, 2011 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Aaron YoungCorrespondent IIINovember 10, 2011

It is likely that it was the owner Mike Ashley’s plan all along to change the name of St. James' Park. He just needed the right time to do it.

Mike Ashley has not exactly been the most popular owner Newcastle United has had over the years, but he seemed to have learnt from his mistakes prior to the success that the club has been experiencing over these last couple of weeks.

There are many reasons to why fans don’t like Mike Ashley. The infamous sacking of the legend manager Kevin Keegan is one of those reasons. Keegan later won the lawsuit against the club, which proved how unfairly he had been treated.

The Kevin Keegan example is not the only one. Popular players like Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll were sold. Ashley showed little to no interest in investing in the club. A popular manager, Chris Hughton, was sacked and replaced by the no-name Alan Pardew.

In retrospect, hiring Pardew turned out to be a good decision. This season, Newcastle United is yet to lose a game in the English Premier League, so Pardew has done a good job at St. James' Park.

There is good reason for why I just referred to the stadium as St. James’ Park. When I first heard the news that the stadium has been renamed, and that it will be renamed again once another sponsor pays for it, I was outraged.

St. James’ Park was and is one of the stadiums in the world, with the most colorful history and importance to the fan base. If you looked at a list of the top 100 landmarks in London, Stamford Bridge wouldn’t be one of them.

However, St. James’ Park would definitely be on the list of the top 10 landmarks in Newcastle.

As mentioned above, when I first heard the news, I, as a fan, was outraged. When that is said, half a day has passed and I have let it sink in, and I have concluded: this is not the end of the world.

Because as you can tell, throughout this article, the stadium has been referred to as St. James’ Park. This is because no matter what the owner comes up with to try to put more money into his own pocket, the stadium will always be known as St. James’ Park for those it really matters.

So if the money from the new sponsor can contribute to another quality player per year, or make sure that the club can afford to keep its best players—I believe I can live with that.

What do you think?

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