‘Opportunity missed’ - Newcastle United stadium decision slammed amid St James’ Park expansion claims

St James' Park, the home of Newcastle UnitedSt James' Park, the home of Newcastle United
St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United | Getty Images
Newcastle United are aiming to expand St James’ Park rather than relocate elsewhere

Football financial expert Kieran Maguire has questioned Newcastle United’s decision to upgrade St James’ Park.

Debate has raged since the Saudi-backed takeover about the iconic stadium’s future. A feasibility study in December surveyed fans on whether to expand or rebuild. 

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St James’ Park is synonymous with Tyneside - being the club’s home since 1892. Newcastle West End and Newcastle Rangers had occupied the stadium in the previous 12 years.

But tickets have proven difficult for supporters and Toon chiefs are concerned about locking future generations out. Plans to expand in the past have fallen flat given its location between Leazes Park and Leazes Park Terrace - which are Grade II and Grade I listed.

However, The Telegraph reported last week that Newcastle now believe they have a plan to rebuild the Gallowgate End that will increase capacity above 60,000. Monetary guru Maguire admitted he was “surprised” by the decision and expected the Magpies to follow Tottenham Hotspur’s lead by building a state-of-the-art facility.

“I’m surprised at the stadium decision,” he told Football Insider. “I thought it was an opportunity missed by Newcastle.

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“If we take a look at what’s happened at Spurs, Tottenham have more than tripled their matchday income at a new stadium and have substantially increased their commercial income too. The issue with Newcastle is what they would do in the interim period - Spurs had the benefit of being able to use Wembley.

“I don’t think that opportunity is available to Newcastle, so the decision to expand the existing St James’ Park is probably done out of economic necessity rather than long-term vision.”

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