Newcastle United’s new chief executive Darren Eales has divulged that the club will consult the fans over changing the name of the stadium and only then make decisions. He also added that he believes the Magpies have the potential to do great things but also have a few hurdles in their way.
While Newcastle United have spent heavily on improving their team over the last six-odd months, the Magpies are yet to splurge and transform themselves into a top-six club. That was exactly what many fans and critics expected the club to do this summer but financial fair play rules (FFP) restricted their hand although the St James’ Park side are looking for ways around that. It has seen rumours indicate that the club are looking for new sponsors and are also looking into changing the stadium’s name.
But the latter hasn’t gone down well although Darren Eales has refuted any claims that the fans won’t be made a part of the decision. Instead, he admitted that any decision to change the stadium’s name will only be done after consulting and talking to the fans. The Newcastle chief executive also added that there has to be a fan agreement as while they want to “be a top-six club”, they also need to be sustainable.
“That would be bad business. With the history of the club, something like stadium naming rights would be something where we’d be talking to the fans. Sometimes there’s a danger if you’re just chasing revenue; we want to have the best fan engagement. If we want to do anything with the stadium we’ll talk to the supporters. It would be crazy not to,” Eales said, reported the Guardian.
“It’s important that anything we do, we bring our supporters along with us. Fan engagement is going to be front and centre. We want to be a top-six club consistently competing for trophies so it’s about how we get there but we also want to be sustainable.”
The Magpies have struggled to splurge to improve the team while also keeping within FFP rules which have kept them out of the race for European football right now. It saw Eales confess that there are “constraints within Premier League rules” and that Newcastle will have to find creative ways around that. He also added that the club are looking globally as he believes that they’re on a special journey with the “potential for something that’s really great”.
“There are certain constraints within Premier League rules but I don’t think establishing fair market value is difficult. We’re absolutely [looking at Saudi sponsors], it makes sense in the number of doors that can be opened, but we’re [also] looking globally. We tick a lot of boxes in terms of what companies and brands are looking for. Our Premier League journey can create something special – there’s a lot of excitement about Newcastle’s journey and our amazing fans among companies I’ve spoken to.
"There is a heck of a lot of interest in our storyline from global brands. I think around the world of football there’s a focus on Newcastle as an exciting story; it’s a club where the fans are incredible, and they’re unique. We’ve got something special that’s really attractive to commercial sponsors.
“We’ve got the potential for something that’s really great. I can see that from my first seven weeks but the reality is we have some challenges. The reality is we aren’t like Manchester City when they had the takeover or even Chelsea. We haven’t got a blank sheet of paper where you can just go out and buy who you want,” he added.