By Russell Edge
Newcastle United will see all the Sports Direct advertising disappear from St James’ Park if Mike Ashley chooses to sell the club, according to a report.
According to the Daily Star on their website, the business supremo is looking to completely end his association with the club and not keep the advertising rights he currently holds, which will include the removal of the hoardings and signage placed around the 52,000 seat stadium.
At present there are said to be over 150 different panels, boards and banners displaying the Sports Direct logo, which includes large signs on the roof of the stadium as well as several large displays outside the stadium, and this development at the stadium may see other companies choose to take over the advertising space.
Ashley, who set up his business in 1982 and has grown it to become the largest sports-good retailer in the United Kingdom, took over as owner of Newcastle United in 2007, buying out former chiefs Sir John Hall and Freddie Shepherd for a reported fee in the region of £134million.
However he has endured a tumultuous decade on Tyneside, with a fifth placed finish and a Europa League quarter final appearance dampened by two relegations and a host of controversial decisions made by the owner, including the decision to rename St James’ Park to the Sports Direct Arena.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are looking to bin their £40,000-a-week midfielder.