The sun sets across the St. James’ Park sign for one of the last times. This sign has now been removed. The ownership has decided to rename this ground the Sports Direct Arena ending years and years of tradition. Although football fans up and down the country are expressing ridicule at the renaming, if it brings in enough money then the rebranding exercise could be coming to many more historic stadia.
Sports Direct are part of the group that owns the club so the owner is sponsoring himself, which just looks sad. It was hoped that a big brand name like Nike would come in and pay lots of money but when that didn’t happen, the new name was chosen to ‘demonstrate’ how it would work. There’s been a lot of dissatisfaction from fans and football in general and the stupid thing is that the stadium name must change back for this summer’s Olympic matches because the contracts were signed with St. James’ Park. The only way this will ever work is with a sponsor paying £30 million and that money bringing in a new striker who gets 40 goals a season and that scenario doesn’t look very likely at the moment.