The Lowdown: Stadium talks…
As per The i Paper, Magpies CEO Darren Eales recently revealed the north-east outfit intend to utilise the companies linked to their Saudi-backed owners as a means of expanding their commercial revenue.
Furthermore, Eales also suggested the Magpies are considering the possibility of a naming-rights deal for St James’ Park, which would allow the club to boost income under financial fair play rules.
The CEO insisted supporters would be consulted over any potential naming rights deal, and Plumley has now shared the type of figures fans can expect to see.
The Latest: £200m deal?
Plumley believes that over the course of a ten-year agreement, Newcastle could earn in the region of £200m with a stadium naming-rights deal.
Speaking with Football Insider, the football finance expert claimed:
“I think this will come down to two things.
“Historically, we’re looking at deals that have been done before. The other thing is the background of the Premier League taking a closer look at deals and seeing if they constitute fair value. that links to the ownership at Newcastle, as we know.
“As a result of that, it won’t be outrageously high because they will have to play the game a little bit.
“The benchmark was the £40m-a-year City deal with Etihad. But if we look lower than that, some of the figures that are doing the rounds with Everton and Tottenham are around £20m.
“We know money is no object to them and if there were no regulations then a naming rights deal could be worth anything. But they have to fall in line with regulations.
“The other interesting thing is we have to look at the history of that stadium’s name. We know people refer to it as St James’ Park, whereas with Spurs and Everton, those are brand new stadiums. The naming rights become more attractive with new stadiums.
“So there is plenty to go off there, but I think around the £20m figure is what we’re looking at.”
The Verdict: Mixed reaction…
While a £200m boost in income would allow the Tyneside club to improve their squad and facilities without breaching FFP, it is likely fans will not be super receptive to the naming rights deal.
St James’ Park has been the home of Newcastle United since Newcastle East End and West End FC formally merged in 1892.
Having kept the name ever since, the only time this was ever abandoned was when former owner Mike Ashley temporarily renamed the ground the Sports Direct Arena back in 2011.
However, with huge backlash coming from Toon fans, this decision was quickly reversed. As such, this may not be the best idea for PIF to explore, as supporters may change their currently positive opinion of the new owners.