Newcastle City Council express disapproval over St. James' Park name change

A motion has been passed calling on club owner Mike Ashley to reconsider the Sports Direct Arena switch after outcry from the Toon's fanbase
Newcastle City Council have expressed that they will offer no support to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over the changing of the name of the club's stadium, St James’ Park, to the Sports Direct Arena.

Civic leaders at the city’s council recently passed a motion calling on Ashley to reverse his decision after widespread opposition was expressed from the club’s fanbase.

The motion states that the council officially agrees with “the overwhelming majority of supporters who believe this is the wrong decision."

A letter has been distributed to major media outlets, asking for Newcastle’s stadium to be referred to as St. James’ Park, and not the Sports Direct Arena.

In the letter, Councillors Nick Forbes and David Faulkner express their deep concerns regarding the name change.

“At a recent meeting of Newcastle City Council there was overwhelming criticism of the decision by Newcastle United Football Club to rename St James’ Park the Sports Direct Arena," the statement reads.

“As you will recall, the club’s announcement in November was met with widespread opposition from fans who felt it was a change too far.

“A notice of motion that was debated, amended and carried unanimously at full council is enclosed.

“The motion requests that the City Council write to the media and asks that they continue to use the name of St James’ Park in all reporting and refuse to use the name Sports Direct Arena. We respectfully request that you take this approach.

“For its part, the City Council has taken the decision not to change any wayfinding signs which bear the name St James’ Park, and calls on the club to reconsider their decision.

“We would ask that you acknowledge the strength of opposition among Newcastle fans against changing the name of the stadium and continue to call it St James’ Park in all reporting.”