Resistance Mounting To Wonga Shirt Deal


There is a growing concern, and even outrage, that Newcastle will be entering into a sponsorship deal with Wonga, the payday loan lenders, who charge outrageous interest rates to the very people who do not have much money and cannot afford it – and there’s always been a morality question over companies who do these kinds of financial deals.

But it could well be that Newcastle will have that name on their shirts next season, so Newcastle will be advertising the Wonga business specifically,  and the payday loan lending industry in general.

The good news today is that the discussions are said to be focused only on a shirt sponsorship deal, and the naming rights to St James’ Park stadium are not being discussed.

Malcolm Dix is the honorary vice-president of Newcastle, and had this to say about the situation:

“If they are going to pay £20m for the right to sponsor the club then that’s great. It would be wonderful if they could incorporate St James’ Park into the name of the ground and that would keep everybody happy.”

“It’s a very interesting choice of company. After all, in the financial situation that this country is in then the people that lend money are probably the richest of the lot.”

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, had said in May that that companies like Wonga, who charge ridiculously high interest interest to their  clientele, who are the poorer people among us, was morally wrong:

“The reality is interest rates in the thousands of percent. It is just morally wrong.”

And Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery who is the Labour MP and Chairman of Ashington FC, said he would return his tickets if the club goes ahead with the move:

“It is absolutely outrageous that a club would even consider this.” “I have more and more people coming to see me and saying that as a result of job losses or benefit cuts they are being forced into these terrible but legal money lenders whose interest rates only then trap them into further debt.

“It would be sickening to see the club linked to this and I would certainly break off all ties with them. I have two platinum club tickets that I would be returning straight away if they tarnish the reputation of this club with a Wonga deal.

“We are trying to get a tougher Government approach against these firms. How in an area hit by the cuts as badly as the North East can the club even consider this?”

Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes, who was involved in an altercation with the club when they changed the name of St. James’ Park to Mike Ashley’s company (how much is the owner  paying for that?), is not happy with the potential new move by the club:

“There is widespread concern in Newcastle about the role of legal loan sharks in getting people further and further into debt, offering irresponsible rates of interest that people can’t afford.”

But there is past experience that Mike Ashley does not take into account the opinions of fans or business leaders of Newcastle, and he does his own thing.

But business is not just about making money – there is a social responsibility attached to any business too.

Most fans only want good businesses and respected businesses to be associated with the club – Richard Branson’s Virgin Money was one of them.

We suppose the good news is that we’re not going to have Wonga Stadium as the new name of St. James’ Park.

What do you think about this?

Comments welcome.

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26 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #1

    Being repeatedly hit with an iron spiked mallet is too good for Ashley.

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  • Adopted_Geordie

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #2

    I second JFA!!!

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  • WWYCD

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #3

    JfA
    Ur opinion on the fat man reverting recently mate?

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  • rainrix

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #4

    Companies like wonga are literally legal loan shark companies. Taking advantage of people who are desperate is pretty low. However the conga stadium really grinds my gears, imagine the headlines 😐

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  • rainrix

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #5

    conga stadium? Nice one although that does have a fiesta vibe to it, buck it lets go with that.

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  • jamo nairobi

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #6

    truth is we need the money if we’re to sign the much coveted world class CB’s we all want.wonga may not be the most preferred but it’s what we have on offer at the moment.

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  • Byker Boy

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #7

    Can’t imagine me ever buying a shirt with WONGA emblazened across the front it. Me thinks “Lone Shark”as opposed to Loan Shark might be more appealing.

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  • wynsleap

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #8

    I think Ashley must lie awake at night wondering just how far he can go to insult the club and its fans.
    He obviously regards us all as a bunch of w*****s so he thought ‘what is the nearest I can get to that?’.
    If your’e listening to the fans’ reactions Wonga (well at least the moral, discerning ones) you’ll think twice about the bad publicity you’re going to get on this.

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  • catchy in norway

    Oct 8, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #9

    one of the richest teams in the whole world and wonga is the best they can do???

    maybe its just some of ashleys pals, i dont know, but its not the best choice,,,

    can anyone of the pro ashley pardew camp answer this

    is an 8 year deal really stability?? he can get fired tomorrow, he can leave tomorrow,? how is that stability ???

    stability to me is knowing what your supposed to be doing and doing it well, everybody comfertable in there abilities and what they have to do,,,

    well sorry, our club is far from stable on the playing side of things, none of our players seem to know where there ment to be,
    stability is playing your best players in there best positions and give them the confidence to say you can beat him (the player in front of him)

    our players play in so many different positions now they seem lost out there,

    my point, jonas, is he a right back left back DMC AMC left winger
    is fergy a left winger or left back?
    anita, right back or DMC
    obertan left wing right wing forward
    santon left back or right back
    BA forward or left winger
    cabaye DMC or AMC
    HBA right or left or attacking MF
    perch CB RB DMC

    you can not tell me this is stability, during any match these changes happen regular,,

    we defend against teams like reading at home ??? why

    last season, jonas started left wing and protected raylor, yesterday he let evens go for his goal and offerd no protection for fergy, then fergy got subed and jonas went to left back where he looked much better,, why not start with him there first, and fergy LW, feed him the ball and say cross the ball as much as you can,, we where expecting ferg to run from left back to cross ,,,

    for me pardew needs to look in the morror, stop picking his friends and trying to fit them in a team, even when we beat man u last year.. it wasnt good football. it was long ball football,

    we just dont play what i call football

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  • Tsunki

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #10

    Rainrix – your gears are getting ground now? Peter Griffin would be proud of us ha ha.

    No way I will buy a shirt that tells the world iam a ‘wonga’ not a chance. OK you may say its choice to get a loan from these usurers but try saying that when you are on your uppers and there’s not much choice. They are basically stealing the cast-offs of the credit card market and keeping people in debt. It would be just dandy for us to be affiliated with them if the government or opposition decides to make a crusade against them, we could share that big tarry brush with them.

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  • Visten

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #11

    Ashley cares about pound signs end of. I mean yesterday we are getting stuffed 0-3 at home and the camera pans to Ashley and his side kick, and there they are laughing their heads off at what ever it was they thought was funny. I can say I thought the situation on the pitch was no joke, no joke at all.

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  • Tiote4PM

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #12

    While I like Mike Ashley and feel he has been good for the club…

    This for me would be a step too far.

    As people have already said here, Wonga is a disgusting organisation praying on the poor and desperate.

    Poor poor decision making from the top. I for one would protest against this.

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  • nufc 11

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #13

    Everyone can say what they want but the bottom line is that this club is in debt…… and this deal and more like it will take them out of the red and parden the pun but it is as black and white as that to MA an co.

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  • HullMag6

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #14

    Hitachi could’ve been worth an approach as theyre building the Agility trains IEP plant at Newton Aycliffe. Promoting north east regeneration rather than the fuel of the decay.

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  • markmac

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #15

    @9 ] I know where your coming from with everyone playing in different positions, i think that shows the fact were trying to get value for money or keeping costs down [whichever way you want to look at it] by having versatile players who can fill several positions rather than say 2 accomplished players to every postion, i think some players can do this better than others, perch and raylor have shown this, but it obviously doesnt work for everyone, and as you say not everyone is 100% where or what theyre supposed to be doing, and who with, ie playing down the same flank with the same person week after week you obviously get to know each other inside out, just think how well jonas and jose enrique used to work together, i guess it must be confusing,

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  • bigmattyn

    Oct 8, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #16

    I’m sorry but if you’re thick enough to not pay off the debt on payday and rather keep compounding it then you deserve everything coming to you. It’s not wonga’s fault that there are thick people out there that don’t think of the consequences of not paying up on these loans. I’ve used wonga before when I unexpectedly had someone smash my car window and nick my phone and radio. As it was near the end of the month I didn’t have much money so borrowed about 200 quid and paid 20 quid in interest. The actual rate of interest is about 1percent per day, just make sure you’re only borrowing it for a very short space of time!

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  • DG MAGPIE

    Oct 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #17

    Wonga …… Booooooooooooooo.

    That the most nature thing I have to say about the situation

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  • stk85

    Oct 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #18

    disgusting company and i will not have anything to do with nufc, lke the ppl in the article if this deal goes thru.
    would prove that football is a totally morally bankrupt business.
    banks are supposed to be there to help but instead we’re fed legal loan sharks? oh what a wonderful world we live in!

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  • thepict

    Oct 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #19

    Where is the proof that it is w@nka that are doing a sponsorship deal with the Toon? Of course the Sunday Torygraph . Wait and see who it actually is before going ballistic.

    Would our “revered owner” actually cancel a sponsorship deal for 10 million quid to sign one for less money? Don’t think so .

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  • numba9

    Oct 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #20

    I just think he is hateful towards us . Feeling is mutual Ashley out !

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  • tequilamag

    Oct 8, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #21

    The Torygraph reported in the business section and have no axe to grind, pretty reliable source and now being picked up bu all the other news outlets. Don`t think there is much chance this is just paper talk.
    Shameful bit of business by the club.

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  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 8, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #22

    Bigmattyn @#16.
    You used Wonga apparently knowing that it was just for a couple of days and you infer that you knew you had money coming into your account at the end of the month –and could therefore repay very quickly. I can see no problem as to how you used Wonga.
    You also state “It’s not wonga’s fault that there are thick people out there that don’t think of the consequences of not paying up on these loans.” Whilst I would not have put it exactly like that the gist of what you say is true – there are ”thick people out there” and it is these people that Wonga make their profits from. The list of “thick people” may include those recovering from illness/breakdowns, desperate people with nowhere else to turn, those with debts from illegal loan sharks (ie pay up or you get beaten up) and those with absolutely no idea about finance etc etc. These are some of the people who Wonga make their profits from. Citzens Advice bureaux and Councils up and down the country spend a fortune (Council expenditures paid by us through our Council Tax) trying to get the mess sorted out which people have got themselves into because of these types of companies. There are people who have committed suicide because of Wonga’s practices (as alleged by bereaved parents). Some may think it is ok to fund people like Adrian Beecroft (investor in Wonga) ( recently proposed making it easier to sack employees) so that he may increase his Aston Martin collection through finances procured from “thick people”. Whilst they are not doing anything illegal –they are just as bad as the illegal loan sharks. NUFC should not be associating themselves with this outfit –their money is blood money.

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  • mccuthberto

    Oct 8, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #23

    Anyone else getting shown ads for Wonga while they read this? Find that pretty funny…

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  • Graeme

    Oct 8, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #24

    I understood that the money behind Wonga was a Major High Street Bank. They freeze your overdraft, just as your pay goes in, leaving you well screwed, with no cash.

    Bank manager about as comforting as a coffin – where do you go? Wonga, or similar.

    The Bank makes far more money than they ever will off your overdraft!! Aint they just the most lovely group of people eh!!!

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  • nico

    Oct 8, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #25

    Surely the Toon won’t associate themselves with this company. All they do is prey on the weak and stupid. Nobody in their right mind would get one of these loans as its the first step to spiralling out of control.
    As for being good business, I won’t be buying a shirt or getting thye youngan one. I bet there are a lot of people out there who think like this.

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  • BandB

    Oct 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #26

    I’m holding my counsel on this until bills_son has has lectured us on how it’s excellent business and we are all a bunch of raggy-arsed ingrates. No matter how hard I tried to shove my head up Ashley’s arse, I would be doomed to find my further progress blocked by his feet.

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