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By ESPN Staff

Politicians fight for St James' Park

Politicians have urged the media not to call Newcastle United's stadium the Sports Direct Arena.

Club owner Mike Ashley was told he would receive no support from Newcastle City Council for his decision to rename St James' Park. On Friday the council wrote to news organisations asking for their support.

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors united to pass a motion opposing the decision after the name change was announced in November. They called on the sportswear tycoon to reconsider, and refused to change street signs in the city from St James' Park to Sports Direct Arena.

The letter said: "The motion requests that the city council write to the media and asks that they continue to use the name of St James' Park in all reporting and refuse to use the name Sports Direct Arena.

"We respectfully request that you take this approach. For its part, the city council has taken the decision not to change any wayfinding signs which bear the name St James' Park, and calls on the club to reconsider their decision.

"We would ask that you acknowledge the strength of opposition among Newcastle fans against changing the name of the stadium and continue to call it St James' Park in all reporting.''

Newcastle United refused to comment.

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