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Newcastle United fans have put up with a lot over the years but selling “naming rights” for James’ Park might be the final straw for some fans.
At 10pm on Tuesday the club announced that Chris Hughton would be made full-time manager and that owner Mike Ashley would no longer be selling and instead would inject 20 million pounds this week.
Slipped in among the back-slapping was the news that the club would welcome bids for the naming rights of the ground the club has occupied with pride since 1892.
Newcastle fans have had years of fun abusing Sunderland for what they consider the pretentious “Stadium of Light” which replaced Roker Park 12 years ago and now their fiercest rivals are poised to return the favour when one of the most famous and atmospheric grounds in the country becomes an advert.
Standard Chartered bucks the trend of banks making a dash from sports sponsorship deals and will pay $130 million to put its name on Liverpool Football Club's shirts for four years from next summer. It is one of the most lucrative deals in soccer history.But AIG, Citi, RBS and Northern Rock offer a stark reminder that big sports deals can be high-profile signals of waste. AIG sponsored Manchester United and RBS and ING pumped millions into Formula One, and Northern Rock was better known to millions as the sponsor of Newcastle F.C. than as a mortgage bank -- until its collapse.Citi raised anger after sticking with a controversial $400 million deal with baseball team the New York Mets. All those banks needed taxpayer rescue funds.Critics say big sports deals can reflect poor corporate governance and misguided priorities. Advisory firm Advisor Perspectives this year said a study of 69 U.S. sports "naming rights" deals showed the performance of the companies buying the rights trailed the S&P 500 index by almost 5 percent over the course of the deal.But it could be a good fit for StanChart, which gets 80 percent of its profits in Asia. Liverpool is a big, iconic name in Asia and English Premier League games are screened into millions of homes each week. The prize for the bank is not the domestic or European fields where Liverpool has enjoyed regular success, but the potential customers in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and across the region.At least there can be few complaints the bank's board is following its heart. Former chairman and CEO Mervyn Davies was a staunch Spurs supporter, current CEO Peter Sands is an avid Arsenal fan and Finance Director Richard Meddings may have struggled to find a global reach with a deal with his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers.