Geordie pride

Geordie pride

I am not a fan of football – to be honest, I’m not  interested in any sports – but nevertheless I found this story slightly sad.

The home football ground of Newcastle United, St. James’ Park,  is to be renamed “Sports Direct Arena” – a move which team managers believe will help them maximise revenue. Fans, as one might expect, are outraged.

Yet this is the logical outcome of the professionalisation of sports. If a club can seek investment or buy talent from anywhere in the world, after a while it becomes a global brand. This ineluctably dilutes the once intimate connection between community and club – until the old, evocative names become mere antediluvian survivals, quaint relics left over from an ever less comprehensible past. For several decades, the fans have been more interesting (anthropologically speaking) than the skillful but heartless action out on the pitch. With the larger clubs, this disconnection is so palpable that in all honesty they should change their names from, say,  “Manchester United” or “Chelsea” to something like “Team 1” and “Team Two”, or  “The Reds” and “The Blues”. This of course will not happen, because fans would never agree, and also because these once-specific names have become globally recognized brands, like Persil or Durex.

The renaming of St James’ Park is therefore a sad but not an unpredictable development, in a world in which more emphasis is put on making money and consuming than on anything else, and communities are almost always sacrificed to shareholders. If Newcastle United’s fans really feel strongly about this, and want to strike a blow for a more interesting world, they could always consider boycotting home fixtures until the old name has been restored.

Derek Turner, 10 November 2011



Free Google Ad cialis drugs no rx
This entry was posted in QR Home and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.