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So, despite protests from fans and politicians, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has further cemented his unpopularity on Tyneside by announcing the renaming of St. James’ Park — apparently believing that adding an “@” symbol to it means the club is respecting history. The name will be “sportsdirect.com @ StJames’Park”.
“With the renaming it was always going to be whatever brand it was, at St James’ Park,” Managing director Derek Llambias said. “For the remainder of this season, we already have sportsdirect.com on the Gallowgate so we’d like to take that branding through the rest of the stadium.”
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust already has a petition up against the renaming of the stadium, stating “Derek Llambias has announced on 03/11/09 that the ground will be renamed to “Sxxxxs DxxxxT.cxx @ St James’s Park”. We strongly believe the name and soul of our ground is not theirs to sale. Our petition stands. NO to the renaming of SJP!”
Right on. And hell, just in terms of a name, something new entirely would be better than this travesty of an attempted compromise.
- There is a lot more in the papers today following-up yesterday’s story about Stan Kroenke’s possible takeover of Arsenal. Gabrielle Marcotti echoes the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust’s concerns about the prospect of a debt-laden purchase, though Jeremy Wilson suggests his past share purchases do not suggest a trend of massive borrowing (though we’re talking about a lot more money for a take-over). The Independent, like the AST, does not think a takeover bid is imminent anyway.
- Looks like Portsmouth’s embattled chief executive Peter Storrie has a lot to worry about, as the BBC is reporting he has been charged with tax evasion.
- We mentioned some unpleasant scenes in Bulgaria this weekend yesterday, as the mass brawl in the Plovdiv derby will have serious consequences for Lokomotiv.
- Stadium proposals for both DC United and Crystal Palace USA are to be studied in Baltimore.
- Southend United have until Friday to clear their £2.135 million tax debt. The Shrimpers Trust have been working overtime attempting to save their club, so let’s hope they can buy some more time.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.