Fans Rip Down Sports Direct Signs

9 March 2012, 08:04

Police are investigating reports football supporters tore down advertising hoardings during the reserve Tyne-Wear derby.

Northumbria Police confirmed they were examining allegations of criminal damage during the clash between Newcastle United and Sunderland reserves at St James' Park.

It's after reports Newcastle supporters tore down signs advertising Sports Direct.

A tweet on Sunderland's official Twitter feed read:
"Newcastle fans are tearing down the Sports Direct signs around the ground and throwing them onto the pitch.''

The referee halted play and the players took a drinks break as officials restored order, before play resumed.

The incident happened during a match played in front of a crowd of nearly 3,000 at the Tyneside club's home ground.

Newcastle's reserves got a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said:
"At 9.46pm tonight Northumbria Police were made aware of damage to signage within the Newcastle United stadium in Newcastle.

The damage followed the Newcastle versus Sunderland reserve game at the stadium.

Police are making inquiries to ascertain who caused the damage.''

The ground formerly known as St James' Park was officially renamed The Sports Direct Arena by Magpies owner Mike Ashley recently - a move which was not well received by some Magpies fans.

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