Newcastle naming rights worth £10m claims Derek Llambias

 

Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias has revealed a hugely controversial decision to sell the naming rights to St James' Park could generate up to £10million a year.

The Magpies announced their plans early this morning, and that in the meantime, the stadium will be knows at the Sports Direct Arena.

That has sparked a predictably furious response from supporters, who were angered when potential sponsors were initially offered the chance to link their name to the stadium, as owner Mike Ashley did by calling it SportsDirect.com@St James' Park, a title which was seldom used, two years ago.

The latest move comes after the club took advice from branding experts, and Llambias is convinced it has to happen if Newcastle are to maintain pace with the Barclays Premier League's big boys.

He told BBC Radio Newcastle: "I would hope it would generate between £8million and 10million a year. That would give us another player.

"The club needs to be self-sufficient, and this will help us be self-sufficient.

"Yes, we do need to go that one step further to compete. Yes, we do.

"We have had an exceptional year, and long may it continue, but the fans want us to buy more players.

"We need to bring in a striker in January, we will need replacements in the summer and we need to give ourselves as much as possible.

"There is no guarantee we will find a sponsor between now and then, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity and this is one.

"We have to keep going at it. We can't just say 'Oh, it hasn't worked out, let's go back to what we were'. We have to give ourselves the maximum opportunity to sell it."

The news comes with the Magpies riding high in third place in the league table and just as peace between the Ashley regime and the supporters appeared to be breaking out with manager Alan Pardew and his players having restored some of their battered pride.

Llambias admitted they were risking taking the gloss off a start to the season which has seen a further 4,000 season tickets sold in a cut-price offer in recent weeks, but insisted there was no alternative.

He said: "I totally respect the tradition and history of the club. That is always going to be there, but we need to move with the times and this is progression.

"We need to move on. We are not disrespecting our fans at all. Far from it.

"We are trying to make it affordable and put players on the pitch.

"We have exhausted all our other revenue streams, retail is not good - that produces next to nothing, quite honestly - so we need to bring in more, quite honestly.

"We have been out there a long time looking. We lose Northern Rock as a sponsor this year, so it gives me a very small window to get a new shirt sponsor and hopefully a stadium sponsor at the same time."

Llambias accepted that many would still always refer to the stadium as St James' Park whatever it is officially called, but reiterated that the move was vital.

He said: "We understand that side of it, but it is the sponsor's responsibility, as well as ours, to move forward. Time will dissolve that.

"The history will always be there, we just become part of the history or they become part of the history. We just need to make sure we give ourselves the opportunity.

"You know Chelsea has come out to basically say they are going to re-name their present stadium. Now, they have a long history as well, but they have an owner who actually has more money than God.

"We can't compare ourselves to Abramovich, we have not got that sort of money, so if we want to compete with the big boys, we have to bring more money in."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss