- Premier League
Toon rename Shearer's Bar on day legend criticises club
Newcastle United have announced they are to rebrand a bar named after Alan Shearer, on the same day the Magpies' all-time leading scorer criticised recent activity at the club.
On Wednesday morning Shearer said he was 'sickened' by the North East club's decision to appoint ex-Magpies manager Joe Kinnear as director of football, with the bar's change of name confirmed later the same afternoon.
However, club director John Irving insisted that the former striker had previously been made aware of the impending change.
Club officials confirmed that Shearer's Bar will be renamed 'Nine' - the shirt number that Shearer used to wear, along with other club legends including the likes of Jackie Milburn and Malcolm Macdonald - as part of a complete revamp. On Wednesday signs were removed from outside the bar, which is located under the Gallowgate End of the club's stadium.
"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," Irving told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"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."
Colin Perkins, account director at Sodexo Prestige, which operates catering at the stadium, believes the restoration will satisfy fans and add to the area's recent revival.
"Nine will be a fantastic new venue with a superb high-quality, value for money menu and a comprehensive range of drinks and offers," Perkins said.
"We believe that this will not only satisfy fans visiting the stadium on matchdays, but also visitors to this increasingly-vibrant part of the city throughout the week."
Shearer had been strident in his criticism of the club's recent conduct, saying in his Sun column: ""Where do we start? What I do know is that right now people are laughing at the football club I support. And that sickens me.
"I promised myself years ago never to be surprised by what happens in football - particularly when it comes to Newcastle. But this situation really is stretching it a bit."
"While other clubs are all plotting and planning for next season, Newcastle have a manager who has just been totally undermined.
"Alan Pardew has said he will carry on but I am sure it will be a difficult situation."
He added: "It's all a PR disaster."