'Shearer's Bar' at Newcastle United to be refurbished and renamed

Signs are removed on the same day the former striker is critical of the club

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The Independent Football

It seems even club legends aren’t protected from Mike Ashley’s revamp following the news that Shearer’s Bar at Newcastle’s St James’ Park will be refurbished and rename.

On the same day that former striker Alan Shearer criticised the club in his national newspaper column, signs that dedicated the stadium bar to him have been taken down as part of a major redevelopment programme.

Shearer hit-out at his former club over the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football, but it would seem that the redevelopment – which will see the bar renamed as ‘Nine’ - was pre-organised and the fact it falls on the same day that Shearer voices his concerns in a mere coincidence.

Finance director John Irving said: "Shearer's Bar was immensely popular when it was first launched in 2004, but its popularity has dwindled over the years as this part of Newcastle has developed and new bars have opened around it.

"In transforming the site and opening the bar up to a wider range of visitors, it was important that a new name remained in keeping with the club's history and heritage, and Nine is certainly faithful to that.

"We have liaised directly with Alan to keep him abreast of the plans, which he has been appreciative of, and we're looking forward to launching Nine next month."

Shearer holds the all-time goal-scoring record for the Magpies having passed Jackie Milburn’s previous record on his way to netting 206 times in a 10 year career on Tyneside.

He returned to the club as manager in 2009, taking over from Kinnear who had left the role after suffering a second heart attack, but he was unable to save the club from relegation and left the job after his short-term contract expired.

The former England striker wrote in today’s Sun: “Where do we start?

"What I do know is that right now people are laughing at the football club I support. And that sickens me. I promised myself years ago never to be surprised by what happens in football - particularly when it comes to Newcastle. But this situation really is stretching it a bit.

"While other clubs are all plotting and planning for next season, Newcastle have a manager who has just been totally undermined.

"Alan Pardew has said he will carry on but I am sure it will be a difficult situation."

The calamity story does not stop there though, with Kinnear, who has been in the role for less than a week, giving a number of interviews that hardly done himself nor the club any favours.

After pronouncing managing director Derek Llambias’ surname closer to a Zambian river along with several other mispronounced names, Llambias resigned from his role to concentrate on his other business interests.

Finally, Shearer added: "What are the players to think when he can't even get their names right? It's all a PR disaster."