Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Shearer denies bar consultation

Alan Shearer was notified by email that the bar named after him at St James' Park is to be renamed

Alan Shearer has shrugged off Newcastle's decision to rebrand the bar named after him, saying: "It won't stop me from buying my season tickets."

Signs at Shearer's Bar were removed on Thursday, hours after the Magpies' record goalscorer used his column in a national newspaper to criticise the club over the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football and the resulting fall-out.

However, the development was a coincidence and the start of a major redevelopment programme which will see the bar reopen next month as Nine, a move about which finance director John Irving claimed the club had "liaised" with Shearer. But the former England striker told the Sun: "There was no consultation, I was simply informed by email of their decision to change the name, it was not a question of me agreeing or disagreeing."

He added: "It is their ground and it is up to the owners what they do with it.

"It won't stop me from buying my season tickets and supporting the team."

Shearer's Bar opened in December 2004 during Freddy Shepherd's reign as chairman.

The striker scored 206 goals during a 10-year spell with his home-town club, eclipsing Jackie Milburn's record in the process.

Irving said: "Shearer's Bar was immensely popular when it was first launched in 2004, but its popularity has dwindled over the years as this part of Newcastle has developed and new bars have opened around it.

"In transforming the site and opening the bar up to a wider range of visitors, it was important that a new name remained in keeping with the club's history and heritage, and Nine is certainly faithful to that.

"We have liaised directly with Alan to keep him abreast of the plans, which he has been appreciative of, and we're looking forward to launching Nine next month."

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