NEWCASTLE fans were celebrating an early Christmas present as the last traces of the hated Mike Ashley regime began to be removed from St James’ Park.
The Toon Army are desperate to see the end of any public memories of Ashley’s reign after the £305million sale to the club’s new Saudi owners.
The Sports Direct logo is being taken down at St James’ Park[/caption]
Director Amanda Staveley revealed last month she ‘couldn’t wait’ to start tearing down the Sports Direct hoardings and logos from the ground and ‘absolutely’ wanted to do so before the end of the year.
That was put on hold for a few weeks because of clauses in the contract agreed with Ashley.
But while the new owners have been barred from agreeing any sponsorship deals with Saudi-linked while Prem clubs agree a stricter set of regulations – a decision is expected next week – the work has now begun, starting at the Leazes End of the ground.
And with Toon fans finally able to look back on a weekend that brought their first prem win of the season, there was further news as the workers started to tear down the signs.
Obliterating all evidence of the Sports Direct sponsorship will take the rest of this week, with the Gallowgate and East Stand to come next.
Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust board member Alex Hurst said the move represented ‘a collective outpouring of relief and joy’.
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He added: “It might not make sense to others, but you need to have lived the 14 years of what the signage symbolised and what that did to Newcastle and the city. It’s a good day.”
Newcastle’s new owners will look to bring their fans more joy in the new year, in the form of signings.
And Lille’s Sven Botman is one of the names the Magpies are after.
According to The Athletic, Botman is among their ‘primary targets’, but it could take a bid of around £40million to tempt the French champions to sell.
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