Fans protest at St James' Park
Newcastle fans protested against the re-naming of St James' Park ahead of and during Saturday afternoon's home clash with Peterborough. Several hundred supporters gathered outside the Milburn entrance before kick-off to voice their anger at owner Mike Ashley's decision to re-brand the venue as the sportsdirect.com@St James' Park Stadium. Many carried placards bearing the message "Stand up for St James'", while there were a smattering of tee-shirts demanding Ashley's departure a fortnight after he opted to take the club off the market once again and appoint caretaker Chris Hughton as permanent manager. The fans sang "Get out of our club", "Newcastle United will never be defeated" and "If you love St James', clap your hands", closely followed by "If you hate Mike Ashley clap your hands". They then turned their attention to Sports Direct in more industrial fashion. Inside the ground, one banner briefly proclaimed the message, "St Robson, St Shearer, St James' Park" until it was removed by a steward. Ashley took his place in the stand shortly before kick-off and, after a minutes' silence ahead of Remembrance Sunday had been impeccably observed, did not have to wait long to find himself the target once again. Seconds after the first whistle sounded, a chorus of "Stand up if you hate Ashley" rang out, and was followed immediately by "Get out of our club". However, after full-back Danny Simpson sent a first-minute shot wide, the supporters focussed on the game itself.
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