"We need to make Coors Light Park a fortress"

By Lee Ryder on Oct 28, 09 10:52 AM

The above title of this blog entry are the words that are enough to send shivers down the spine with the latest outrage of Tyneside the bright idea to rename St James's Park - to even imagine a future Toon player uttering such words will make many physically sick.

You can see it in years to come perhaps a more experienced Haris Vuckic saying: "We need to make Coors Light Park a fortress."

It's been clear for months that Newcastle were struggling to find a buyer for the club and on the day that Chris Hughton was appointed as boss, it might have been an idea for the current board to let people get their heads around how things will pan out between now and the end of the season.

Renaming St James's Park is simply bad taste in the eyes of most Geordie fans - and many will feel that even the injection of silly money to do it will do nothing to make up for another piece of heritage being ripped away from the Tyneside streets.

On the back of Newcastle Broon being brewed in Tadcaster, this is another slap in the face for Toon fans.

Had Newcastle built a super stadium before they decided to rebuild St James's Park in the 1990s perhaps there would be no complaints when it came to naming a new building and cashing in the situation.

And there have been many stupid names for football grounds such as the Emirates, the Madjeski Stadium, The DW Stadium, Reebok, KC, the Walkers Stadum and the
Fitness First Stadium - the USA it's common place with Pizza Hut Park, Dick's Sporting Goods Park and Toyota Park all on the list of your average MLS fan.

Yet they are all brand new stadiums.

You just could not see big clubs like Barcelona, Man United, Real Madrid or AC Milan even contemplating changing the name of their current home.

Even little York City got stick for renaming Bootham Crescent to KitKat Crescent but that's a club that is on its knees financially.

Renaming St James's Park to Coors Light Park, Bwin Park or even the McDonalds Arena shows that Newcastle's top brass have again got it so seriously wrong.


Mike said:

More like Confused.Com Park if Ashley has his way.

RossyT said:

'Greggs-Cheese-Pasty Park' has a nice ring to it......FFS!
Can he not sell the HeliCopter he flits about in and some of his excess fat for starters?

Mag_Laad said:

Lee Ryder how sure are you that Ashley is inject 20M for Hughton on transfers? It only said in the statement:"Mike Ashley is totally committed to the future success of Newcastle United and will be focused on gaining promotion back to the Premier League. Mike will put a further £20m into the club this week". The money might be put in the club to cover our losses, I can't see Ashley spending a penney on our squad unless he raises the money by selling players.

Dave Owens said:

Slap in the face? That's all?

Andrew Davis said:

Hi Lee,

I was at home in georgetown,washington,dc,USA and had a nap after watching a footie game online and the programme had sky sports news on and i have to say i was not with it and i thought i saw that MA had taken the club off the market........

I sleep more and then wake up and still in a haze and head to another website and then to the chron.

The name change is something i would never in a million years think about that and i for one that never thought he would take off the market and to that extent i am bewildered really on what his game is???????

I really did think he would sell the club as its obvious he has no feeling for Newcastle United or the supporters wherever we are.

All we can hope is one day we are in shock at a owner change and we can get back on track.

Some bob hope of that eh.

Disgruntled geordie and millions everywhere.

On a side note i am pleased that chronicle is being more harder on player performances as after Alan Oliver left we have lacked real zip and long may it continue Lee.


paoulo said:

the £20mill will be to pay keegans compensation and legal fees, and the remainder to reduce the overdraft to that of other championship clubs. nothing positive.

if Ashley hadnt forced keegan out he wouldnt have to be putting £20million in right now as keegan would ber here and we would be in the premier league. no sympathy ashley you are stupid.

we have to stop his other sources of revenue stop attending games

glenn said:


i sit here today in wet and windy ohio usa reading the articles about our beloved team i read the comments from some supporters saying how they dont see the problem with ashley selling the naming rights!!! are you frikin kidding me??? HOW DARE HE!!! who the hell does ashley think he is ST JAMES PARK has been around longer than that fool has been alive it is the heart and soul of our city its what we the fans dream of from our early ages , we dream of playin there , we dream of going there just to stand among the greatness of amazing players past and present . this man is a one man recking ball he is bleeding the life and soul of beloved team. MR Ryder did you not once tell me that the city own the actual ground and the team just leases the groun??? if this is true can the city not just evict him just ashley himself say hes a public problem give him an arbo so he cannot enter city limits because hes a public eye sore. somebody needs to do something this is truly beound a joke now.DEAR SIR BOBBY HAVE A WORD WITH GOD FOR ME PLEEEEAAAASEEEEE!!!

Restless Native said:


You're the local journalist. You're the one with the 'power'. Stop moaning on here and USE YOUR POSITION TO DO SOME GOOD.

Ashley is raping Newcastle. Sorry, no other word for it. And not just the club, the City.

If you lot at Thomson House don't do something ... NOW ... you're complicit as far as I'm concerned.

And so are the 40,000 morons that keep shoving money into the fat man's pockets every other week.


Restless Native said:

Every Newcastle "fan" who attends a match now, after the fat man has said he's staying, is either a SCAB or a CORPORATE WHORE.

You're not loyal. Keep lining his pockets, and you're retarded.

PokerPete said:

Why doesn't Mike Ashley do us all the biggest favor ever and just rename the club!! That way we wont be duped into wasting our money any longer!! Lets face it! Newcastle united is long gone.
Ive listened to both arguments for and against protest and boycott but what choice do we have! We all Love "Newcastle United" but now it's just a myth, a fairytale from long ago. We are all stuck in sentiment. That is the weapon he uses to destroy us! Lets separate the myth from reality! We love the Old NUFC ! This club might as well be called Mike Ashley Divided!
lets wake up!! SAY NO to MIKE Ashley. SAY NO by Boycotting! Show him we are not going to take any more of his "insert your own word"! Its his CLUB now! He acts like he doesn't need us!! he is banking on us needing the club more than the club needs us!!! Let him have it!
This guy is CANCER! and to kill cancer you need radical treatment!!!It's gonna be painful!!!! but it has to be done!!! DO not let him fool you!!! this "TEAM" is just a sports direct imitation!!! an adidas two stripe!!!! don't buy into it!!! we love the real NUFC!!!! Not the Ashley fake!
Until the Imposter is gone! Stay Away!!!! DO NOT BE A MIKE ASHLEY ENABLER!!!! FIGHT THE CANCER!!!

David F. said:

Relegation was bad enough, but I believed at that time that it would lead to Ashley selling up and allow our club to start again from a clean slate with a full overhaul from top to bottom.

Hughton has managed with his limited abilities to get us to the top of a league, whose quality at best could be called poor. This gave us hope that once a new regime came in that they could start progressing from a running (OK jogging) start. No baggage, realistic short-term expectations and a long term ambition for success.

After yesterday’s announcement, I can see no positive outcome. I can’t even get angry about it because there is nothing that can change what has and will happen. When Keegan left, the anger generated made Ashley understand what he had done. But now he knows what people think of him and his cronies. It makes no difference.

Now what?

Scenario 1:
We get promoted into a league way beyond our current capabilities. Newcastle with Hughton as manager is no attraction for any decent players to come in and Ashley wouldn’t pay crazy wages anyway. We become at best a Bolton, but more likely Hughton is made scapegoat, gets sacked and we get relegated again within 3 years.

Scenario 2:
We stay in the Championship. Our few remaining decent players leave the club for the glory (and money) of the premier league. We stay in the Championship for at least 5 more years.

I don’t think that Ashley has done any of this for malicious reasons. I just think he is a gambler and is just highly inept in anything to do with running a football-related business. His ineptitude has now peaked with his suggestion to rename the ground to ‘Ji-Sung Park’ or whatever.

Please somebody give me hope !!

Mag_Laad said:

Agreed Restless Native,

Lee you can do something as you are part of the local media, you need to try something. I mean protesting etc hasn't got us that far yet, but if local media start condemning Ashley then it would help a tad.

Mag_Laad said:

Infact Lee write an article as a Newcastle Supporter and not a journalist, write how you personally feel of this rubbish we are in and not from a perspective of a journalist reporting news.

jayaldihnio said:

Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of scoring at St. James park in a black and white strip, the gallowgate chanting my name. I dont know if I will ever sleep the same if my dreams are filled with scoring in front of a empty, boycotted Tadcaster brown ale park at the Mike Ashley end, in the black and white Donnay strip of the Damned United.

Morose Mag said:

Oh my lord.

What is this vile chump going to do next? He clearly can't be trusted therefore we have no option but to demonstrate and do it proudly and vociferously.

If the 40,000 Ashley regime backers can't bring themselves to boycott matches (I certainly struggle) then we have to make it known, in no uncertain terms that the chubby little salad dodger and his sycophants aren't welcome.

We need organised, concerted action and I think those with the largest soapboxes need to lead from the front. Step forward messrs Ryder, Edwards and all those delightfully eloquent chaps at True-Faith. With your guidance and instruction we can act in numbers and demonstrate to the oik in a purposeful way.


Richard A said:

Surely it has to be:
"The Laurel and Hardy Stadium"

No one can fail to recognize the physical similarities and bungling incompetence of Ashley and Lambias.

Smoggie Down Under said:

Oy - Lee where's my post from last night gone. The idea of a blog is free speech and discussion. You know full well that's what I was writing - designed to provoke comment and banter. You all hate Ashley and everything to do with him, and you moan that he's not listening to you and he's treating the club like his play thing, and then you censor stuff on your plaything - You can't have it both ways. C'mon fair's fair - don't you want more readers / posts and some good old banter....?

Bill Harton said:

Sign Andy Reid and call it the Greggs Pasty Stadium!

Let's face it, if we start winning, get in the prem and do well (and I admit, it's a big if becausde we're short of 15 decent players and a manager), you'll forget about it and sing his praises just like the Chronic did with Fat Fred when he insulted all Geordies...

ben-nufc said:

sell the rights to sarah jessica parker at least it will still be sjp

londontoon said:

surely only the stupid would buy rights to this ok they'll get huge exposure for the first couple of weeks then they will be hated.. its not just locally this sort of thing disappoints but internationally. Football was invented in england it is our history the stadium and all others across the country are modern day citadels, bisilica, cathedrals... if you take down the st james park sign you will be accociated with only the present day and that will be hate, not the history & love of a great place. ok the french got away with it at the emirates but thats the french for you.. if it is ever renamed whatever the sign says newcatle city council should pass a law making it illegal to be spoken within northumberland and rename every road around the ground st.james road, st.james way etc. lets make him a prisoner in his own little world.. if theres any true geordies on NCC they should get this sorted asap.

RomanWarrier said:

Well - i reckon you could sell the Gallowgate out to powder puffs ! ! ! ha ha ha.
This is just the way life is these days - sadly adapt or die and up to now - you guys are chosing the latter. wake up - smell the coffee.
Kenko Coffee - ha ha ha

londontoon said:

in fact Lee, if the area isn't already known as St. James Park, not just the stadium but the ground it sits on can we not push the council to rename the area out of historical interest? say everywhere from leazers trc to china town inc the old brewery site? at the very least the EC can get involved with this, start a poll or something?

Greta Saachi said:

Is iy true we're going to sign Marlon King?

Pete said:

1) It isn't going to be Sports Direct Park - sell the naming rights to himself? DUH!

2) Protest against Ashley outside the club? We saw how effective that was in getting rid of Mr Shepherd. DUH!

3) Boycott the games and the merchandise? Well, nobody has bothered so far. I'm sickened by the number of numpties wandering around toon in the the new deckchair strip. 44K still turning up for games? DUH!

But here's the rub. Let's say that a boycott works. The revenue dries up. What's left for Ashley to do? Wind up the club! NUFC in administration, no money to pay salaries or backroom staff, club goes belly up. DUH!

Our only hope is that we get promoted, he finds a buyer and disappears. In the meantime, we're going to have to endure more of his vengeance (make no mistake, he's just getting even now)...

Graham Southern Toon said:

Well if we thought things couldnt get any better then the naming rights issue starts and the posts get even better!!!
I havent posted on here for sometime as I have kinda given up hope, but the other reason is that we are TOP OF THE LEAGUE! Yes I agree most will say we wont stay there and I for one dont think this squad is capable of winning the league, but Hughton love him or hate him, and most would say the latter (In football terms, not as a person) has got us to the top, with limited resources and under a very large cloud.
So I say, continue to back the team and the club, forget about that guy who owns the club (I cant write or mention his name anymore!) and lets double bluff him. He expects a reaction and I think he enjoys it, he knows he is hated and no matter what he does he will never change that, so now he is enjoying it. He is staying, nothing we do will change that, Houghton is there so support him and give him a chance, he aint dont to bad this time round.

I say, support the club, support the players, support the manager but have nothing to do or say about the owner, that includes you Lee. Dont run anymore articles on the guy, just follow the postive things at the club, the fact we are top, and make that the news, show him we dont care what he does that he will never beat us, the fans!

Restless Native said:

Graham Southern Toon - are you an ostrich?

Would you have ignored Hitler as he marched up Grey Street?

The "I support the 11 in black and white" and "there's nowt we can do anyway" brigade will ensure Ashley is here for the forseeable.

You're unbelievably naive.

Businessmen care about one thing - sales numbers. Retailers care about two things - sales numbers and more sales numbers.

As long as the sales numbers look OK - and the 40,000 pie-eating zebras who keep chucking their hard earned at the fat man every are making sure they're more than OK - then fat Mike has no reason to go ANYWHERE.

The ONLY thing that motivates retailers to change what their doing is falling salling sales numbers.

Do you people not get it? If you hate Ashley and you want him out, the ONLY thing that will achieve that is to cut off his revenue.

Keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting more of the same.

Why can't you see it? Or maybe you can, and you literally have nothing else to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Graham Southern Toon said:

Restless Native,that is the funniest reply i have ever had!!! I'm not an Ostrich but I do have a fairly long neck!!!

Would I have ignored Hitler?!!! Come on, Hitler killed millions and would have killed more if he wasnt stopped, but to compare the two is laughable!

How many times does it need to be said, you will not stop the 40,000 fans that turn up on match days, a few years ago there was a waiting list for season tickets, now you can turn up on the day, if those 40,000 start to disappear more will come instead. We are in times of hardship and people cant afford every game so go once in a while and those 40,000 are different week in week out. You can shout, protest, have a go at people for supporting the owner (Still cant say his name!) by going to games but the fans will still support the club.
If we get promoted the club will be worth far more and be easier to sell, then he hopefully will be gone. As a Championship club he will remain here for years or put us in administration. So in my opinion we are better off supporting the team and getting the club back in the PL where we belong.

I put this to you Restless Native, Shearer was still interested in being the manager according to reports even with the current owner in place, so if the Sky Sports Breaking News on Tuesday night had been "The club is no longer for sale and Alan Shearer has been installed as the boss until the end of the season" would you then have been happy???? Would you then have been telling everyone to stay away? Because I know Shearer would have been asking for a full house every week and would have got one.

Anyway, I am off to order my kids Toon strip for Xmas!!!!! Just joking before you jump up and down about the 2nd World War again....!

toongonebad said:

right well he wants 100m+ 250M debt hes did himself for, so how can the club be worth more than that if we go up? its the same as he wanted before we went down only hes putting it out spelt differently.. if we go up the only thing Dick Dashdely will do is hold on to the club... hes just playing with us now. this is a battle we can't win buy shouting and staying away from SJP. we keep saying its not his place its ours, so why stay away hes a fat bully and i hate bullies most of them haven't got a good fight in them if you just stand up to him. we need to win the war long term not just a small battle of wills and poond notes... the ground should be filled and let him stay away, it doesn't matter really who is getting the money if it wasnt him it would be someone else like FFS or the other bloke who ownes the power stataion of the simpsons -old man Hall i think hes called? eventually he'll go away. until then everyone has to sit tight. don't buy his sports gear or food and drink..

Restless Native said:

Graham Southern Toon.

You make a good point about Shearer. Would I still make the 600+ miles round trip to go the match if he was in charge? Would I still be encouraging others to stay away?

Honest answer is 'no' to both questions. I made the decision when Keegan quit never to set foot in St James Park again while Ashley's in charge. The Keegan tribunal verdict vindicated that decision in my own mind.

BUT, I understood and accepted that other fans saw the situation differently and didn't want to boycott. And we were still on the market then.

The reasons I believe a boycott is now our only option are:

1. The club is no longer for sale

2. Chris Houghton is a puppet, a yes-man

3. The plan to sell the name of St James' Park is the single biggest indicator that Ashley is now acting with spite - he is hell bent on destroying our heritage and our children's legacy. COmpare Ashley's plans with Steve Gibson's words anout MFC: "The club is not our play thing, it belongs to the fans and the area".

4. Protests don't work - outside the ground, inside the ground, it doesn't mean anything to Ashley, the only thing he cares about is money, like every retailer

5. I don't want Ashley at my club - that might sound like stating the obvious, but in my mind that means I CANNOT fund a discredited, arrogant regime of incompetent buffoons and pathological liars.

I still go to away games, I still follow the team. But I can do that without giving the fat man a single penny.

If you love NUFC and you want Ashley out, why are you paying him to stay? If 40,000 weren't attending every week, don't you think he would have accepted the deal on the table and be gone by now?

At an even simpler level, why would doing EXACTLY the same things we have been doing for months / years result in a different outcome? The team isn't strong enough to be promoted. Houghton is a weak manager. Ashley won't invest in players - the £20m is for overdraft servicing. The January transfer window will come and go with NUFC being net sellers. And so on.

Keep going to the game, and you're endorsing all that.

john kinghorn said:

hi lee,
I have recently moved to Australia but still keep up to date with all the happening at 'st james'. That man is a disgrace to the whole of the north east. He is destroying our club and by the sounds of it he isnt even bothered about his bank balance anymore! Under his vile leadership we will not get promoted, we will be lucky to stay in the championship and for a club who was beating man utd 5-0 not so long ago is just a ridiculous turn around, and its quite simple who is to blame. No matter what the lads will get support off the pitch as always.

Always a mag

Morose Mag said:

Here here Restless Native!

We need more of his kind of spirit rather than the apathetic bend over and take it attitude of many others on here.

No more support until the horrible fat chav hightails it back down to his noveaux riche Buckinghamshire lard pad.

toongonebad said:

I think MA bought the club to cheer himself up after the split from his wife, then when the friends he thought he had bought with it told him to nik-off, he went in the huff. and turned back to his other buisnesses and shares that bring him in millions to keep him happy.
basically he bought the club on a wim, it would be like the average bloke buying an MG, then finding as it broke down a lot and when the roof leaked it wasn't much fun after all but he better patch it up here and there now and again just in case someone strolls past and fancies buying it... in the mean time if nobody looks like they're going to buy it he might aswell flog it for parts... in a nutshell that my has personal problems hes taking out on NUFC!

fran dolarhyde said:

So a rich Saudi Investor comes along, says he'll take the club off Ashley, pump in millions and the only thing he wants is to call the ground "Saudi St James Park" and you would all say no?!! get real

Jeff Muir said:

Come into the modern world boys, this is 2009 not 1909. I have supported the team for 60 years (I am 68 years young,)and we need some investment. Nothing wrong with 'The Addidas Arena' if the 50 million quid it generates from this and the new strip goes into the club and NOT Asleys's back pocket!!!!

romanwarier said:

dolarhyde, only if he builds a mosque at the Gallowgate ! ! !

ian said:

Truly woeful first half against sheffield,completely outclassed in every department. If this is the future then I don't want a part of it. Boycott is the only way, let's face it your not missing much with this mob. Kadar 19 or 9 ? Collocini and/or Carroll could get sent off,Butt falling around like he's wearing carpet slippers. Simpson,Taylor,Enrique = hoof to no-one in particular,Jonas = beat a man skilfully then do something Ameobiesque to ruin it. Cannot string 3 passes together it's embarrassing pap and I want no part of it. Roll on Attenborough at 9. NUFC is dying unless you boycott to get rid of this regime

Andy said:

Ashley has never intended selling the club. He's getting his own back at the fans who want him out. I agree with someone's earlier comments-boycott Sports Direct-hit him where it hurts. Don't buy the strip, don't buy the season tickets 0r any ticket for that matter. He's got a lot of money tied up in the club-even he isn't that stupid to let it go into administration to spite the fans. He'll sell it go if the fans just stick together and don't buy the canary strip or even any strip-Christmas coming up let it be a bad one for Ashley-don't give him any more of your money!!

toongonebad said:

i see MA and DL are trying to back track now on the name!!! "they say" ahem that they were never going to drop to St James part.. O K! honestly these people are brand new... more like the penny has dropped and they realize they'll never get anyone to hang their name up there. fatman and boy blunder really are their own worst enemies and PR..


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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