Newcastle United were once again back in the news when, following the removal of the St James Park sign at their ground, a fan was charged after using graffiti to write the words ‘St James’ on a part of the ground.
The decision to officially change the title of the historic ground from ‘St James Park’ to the ‘Sports Direct Arena’ has been met with outrage from the local Newcastle fans, with even the local council refusing to change the title on signs from St James Park.
The club’s managing director Derek Llambias has said that rebranding the stadium could bring in up to £10 million to the club, so it is a very worthwhile venture. All of the fuss over the rebranding of St James Park is something of a distraction the current Newcastle team, as they find themselves in a position in the table few would envisage them to be in at this point in the season.
There have been many high points of the season, such as the 3 – 0 demolition of Manchester United at home, the game that secured hero status for the Magpie striker Demba Ba. Ba has proved himself to be a high quality player, and the fact that Newcastle managed to sign him for free makes his success all the more sweeter.
He is bound to have many clubs chasing his signature in the Summer transfer window, but with Ba and fellow Senegalese forward Cisse showing signs of becoming a fearsome partnership, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be desperate to keep ahold of Ba. There is also likely to be interested in the midfielder Tiote as well, who has made a big impression so far in the Premier League, but he appears to have settled well in Newcastle.