Joey Barton blasts Mike Ashley over St James’ Park name-change

I have a say

Posted Friday, November 11, 2011 by The Sun

Joey Barton blasts Mike Ashley over St James’ Park name-change

JOEY BARTON has blasted Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's stadium name change.

Barton kick-started his Toon exit in August by rapping the billionaire on Twitter. And yesterday he slammed Ashley's decision to rename St James' Park the Sports Direct Arena.

QPR skipper Barton said: "It will always be St James' Park to me.

"Ashley and his subordinates, know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.... #numpties.

"Why change the name other than to upset the natives. Sports Direct Arena big no no....#helmets."

The controversial plan has sent shockwaves throughout Tyneside with fans livid about Ashley controversially putting an end to more than 100 years of history.

Large sections of the Toon army are furious.

And their England Under-21 striker Sammy Ameobi could not believe it either.

He added on the social networking site: "Guess my very 1st game at St James' Park... was also my last!"

The Newcastle board are now actively searching for new, lucrative backers — but they will have to temporarily ditch any branding next summer during the Olympics.

Football matches will take place in Newcastle. But a spokeswoman from The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: "We will continue to refer to the venue as St James' Park.

"The IOC branding has rules about having clean (non-sponsored) venues at Games time."

Newcastle, who are third in the Premier League this term after an unbeaten start, do not play at home again until December 3.

And Ashley will be clearly hoping the anger will subside by the time Chelsea arrive in the North East.

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