Newcastle naming rights worth £10m claims Derek Llambias
Thursday 10 November 2011
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."
Latest in Sport
Danny Ings: Liverpool target wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach... who could get Burnley striker for just £260,000
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Marco Reus vs Theo Walcott: Which is the better option for Arsenal?
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'