English Premiership

Magpies sign controversial deal

2012-10-09 16:28
Newcastle United (File)

London - English Premier League side Newcastle United on Tuesday unveiled a sponsorship deal with loans company wonga.com, sparking criticism and concern because of the firm's reputation for sky-high interest rates.

Wonga will sponsor the club's shirts from the start of next season and will also invest £1.5m in the club's academy and a social scheme helping to equip local youngsters with workplace skills.

The Magpies, currently sponsored by Virgin Money, added the deal, whose overall value was not been revealed but which British media suggested was around £24m, will include a fans' forum to foster closer links with the club hierarchy.

Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said in a statement: "We are building a club that can regularly compete for top honours at the highest level.

"Throughout our discussions Wonga's desire to help us invest in our young playing talent, the local community and new fan initiatives really impressed us and stood them apart from other candidates."

But local politicians and R3, a trade body for insolvency professionals, questioned the appropriateness of the choice as the northeast of England, of which Newcastle is the main city, has the highest rate of insolvency in Britain.

Wonga offers short-term business loans for an annual percentage rate of up to 360 percent while its "representative" annual rate for payday loan for struggling households is more than 4 000 percent.

Those rates have seen the opposition Labour Party speak out against the deal.

Local Labour lawmaker Ian Lavery told The Times newspaper that "if Wonga get this sponsorship I will not set foot in St James' Park (which club owner Mike Ashley has rebranded the Sports Direct arena) until it is off the shirts."

He dubbed the deal "an outrage."

R3's chairperson Lee Manning noted that "Wonga has chosen to target a region that has comparatively high numbers of people experiencing financial difficulty.

"Our experience tells us that many of those seeking high cost credit need professional advice for their financial problems, rather than accruing further debt."

There was no immediate response from Wonga when contacted by AFP.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
30 September 2016
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 21:00
01 October 2016
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 13:30
West Ham United v Middlesbrough, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Chelsea, The KC Stadium 16:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 16:00
02 October 2016
Manchester United v Stoke City, Old Trafford 13:00
Leicester City v Southampton, King Power Stadium 15:15
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City, White Hart Lane 15:15
Burnley v Arsenal, Turf Moor 17:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.