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Newcastle to hold talks with fans about renaming St James' Park despite fury over Mike Ashley's Sports Direct Arena | The Sun

NEWCASTLE are set to hold talks with fans over potentially renaming St James' Park, according to reports.

Despite being the richest football owners on the planet, the Toon's controversial Saudi chiefs are keen to explore extra revenue streams in a bid to combat Financial Fair Play rules.

The Magpies could earn extra money by selling naming rights to their historic home – but want to avoid a possible backlash.

According to The Times, Toon officials will meet with supporters in order to gauge the mood on such a change.

Newcastle have played at St James' Park since 1892, although the name has been altered before.

Hated former owner Mike Ashley plastered the famous old ground with Sports Direct branding during his ownership.

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And in 2011 he even renamed it the "Sports Direct Arena" – going as far as to get rid of St James' Park signage outside the ground.

A year later the name was changed back, however, when Toon sponsors Wonga acquired the stadium naming rights and changed it back to its original name.

Newcastle chiefs are desperate to distance themselves from such a move, and would structure the stadium sponsorship in a different way.

They want to keep St James' Park in the name, while adding a sponsor's name after the phrase "powered by".

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The Toon's owners have spent £215million on players in two transfer windows since arriving last year.

They want the power to loosen the purse strings further still, with more lucrative commercial deals a useful avenue.

Manchester City and Arsenal sold their naming rights to Etihad Airways and Fly Emirates respectively.

While Tottenham are in talks to sell naming rights to their £1bn ground to Google for £25m a season.


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