LLambias – Wonga Deal Biggest Deal We’ve Ever Done

After the deal was announced yesterday, Derek Llambias talked about the last two weeks being massive for the club, because not only did we sign Alan Pardew and the coaching staff to improved eight year deals, but the Wonga deal is the biggest deal Newcastle have done since Mike Ashley bought the club back in the summer of 2007.

Derek LLambias – biggest deal we’ve done

Managing Director Derek Llambias says it’s all about bringing long term stability to Newcastle, something we’ve never had for a long long time.

This is what Derek said yesterday:

“It’s been a big fortnight – a very big fortnight.” “For me it’s all about stability. To be able to get the coaching staff on side for eight-year deals and the manager on side for eight-year deals and then complete our sponsorship deal with Wonga, plus the stadium naming rights as part of that . . . it’s a good two weeks – it’s a very good two weeks for the club.”

“It’s all about the season for us now. It’s about getting the injuries cleared up, but that’s Alan’s job. Thank God I don’t have to get too involved in that!”  “The naming rights were a very difficult pick, but it was one we felt we had to do to. Today we feel as if we’ve achieved what we wanted to achieve and calling it St James’ Park again is a massive plus.”

“The deal they have negotiated would not have given them naming rights. It is on top of what they’ve paid with the shirt. They’ve bought the naming rights on top of the shirts and that’s a big difference. It’s the biggest deal that we’ve done so far. We’re still working on others, by the way.”

“It was an always an option to rename it St James’ Park. We looked at all the options for a sponsor, whether they wanted to call it whatever they wanted to call it, or whether they wanted to give it back to the fans. There were a lot of different options.”  “The best option was this one. For Mike and myself we’re absolutely delighted.”

And Mike Ashley seems to be more than an astute business man – and after changing the name to reflect the name of his company, he managed to do a deal to get another company to pay significantly more on top of the shirt sponsor deal – to get it changed back to St. James’ Park.

That’s not a bad deal to make, and that, along with the £35M Andy Carroll sale to Liverpool are two excellent deals the Billionaire has made for Newcastle, whether you love or hate the Newcastle owner.

But this decision, while it has a sweet spot bringing St. James’ Park back for the fans, is also shrouded in controversy – with Wonga hardly having a good name in business in the UK.

In advertising you want only to be associated with companies with good names – at least that’s the conventional wisdom.

And the bad news is that Mike’s company’s name will remain inside the ground on top of the stadium, and it will be seen when the matches are televised.

That’s not good news and it’s very disappointing.

What do you think?

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21 comments so far

  • tarie4

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #1

    Munster Mag //

    I think U mis-read my post, I said if someone buys the Newcastle shirt with wonga on it, they are not condoning wonga, they are doing so to support the team, this does not mean pple with old shirts are not supporting the team mate 😉 does it. To me they are, but some supporters as U might be well aware always want the latest toon top (like me)

  • Peter Beardsley

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #2

    “We buy the shirt to support the team”

    You can buy many NUFC shirts without the Wonga logo, here’s one example from the team shop:


  • Markaccus

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #3

    Another thing…. Where were the government and the FA when Ashley was making all those horrific mistakes (dennis wise, sacking keegan)? Now that he might actually MAKE money for NUFC, suddenly they don’t approve! Hypocrites!

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #4

    I’m confused

    If the best option was to have st James park as the name then why did they change it in the first place???

    Could it be that they could not sell the naming rights, and it is easier to say it was part of the deal, so it looks like they have done something for the fans, because the figures that have been banded about seem very low for both, when lambass said only last year naming rights alone would generate £10 mil a year or there abouts so this deal should be over £70 mil over the 4 years????

  • Munster Mag

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #6

    Its good to have SJP back but much of this may be a PR stunt – we cannot see the real deal etc as we are not privy. As its not called the SD arena, it would be a great move by Ashley to at least remove the signage on top but that might be too much for the poor man. I would have thought we could get an equal deal elsewhere if we had been patient , with a less questionable organisation, but getting SJP back is great. I wonder how transparent the youth investment is – surely the whole investment goes into the club, and the club decides what to do with the money. It may be abother PR stunt. Tell you what Mike, do us all a favour and get the two defenders your first team needs, that so many fans who think you can do no wrong thought you would buy in the summer but didnt. I was very fast to praise the Anita deal, but not investing ( without bankrupting ) more on the back of 5th place, was a bit of a slap, and no doubt deeply frustrating for Pardew. Hopefully we can push on in january, and i have a feeling we will, but in reality, the team needs it.

  • tarie4

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #7

    Peter Beardsley

    Yes, but some pple like wearing the top the team is wearing 😉 are they condoning wonga if they buy next seasons top?

  • bollance

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #8

    Still waiting for official figures before deciding whether this deal has been a good one. It does tick other boxes but with FFP coming in soon it is all about the wonga

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #9


    The naming rights were a very difficult pick, but it was one we felt we had to do to. Today we feel as if we’ve achieved what we wanted to achieve and calling it St James’ Park again is a massive plus.”

  • tarie4

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #10

    Munster Mag

    “I would have thought we could get an equal deal elsewhere if we had been patient ”

    I agree to an extent with that. But Ashley is a billionaire and is probably good at spotting deals. So I will give him this one.

  • tarie4

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #11

    catchy in norway

    And getting money for calling it st James park.

  • totsy

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #12

    i’m sorry but its getting pathetic the amount of people choosing this opportunity to get on their high horse. Short term loans are easy to abuse, and are abused every day by thousands. i have family who work in similar business and the high interest rates only cover the company’s losses that are creates by the scum that abuse the system who lack morals.

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #13


    But did they? Remember that is 10 mill a year for that

  • Peter Beardsley

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #14


    “some pple like wearing the top the team is wearing 😉 are they condoning wonga if they buy next seasons top?”

    Yes. The company logo represents the company and its practices. Wonga (or any other shirt sponsor) knows this, this is why they sponsor team shirts. I’m not necessarily against shirt sponsorship but, I am on this occasion when a company exploits poverty.
    Football for me is a love and hate relationship! this is one aspect I dislike 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #15

    Ed, my comment would be if MA wants his company’s name to be visible from within SJP he should pay for it just like any other sponsor – for the good of Newcastle!

    …but I guess we can’t have everything can we 🙂

  • Peter Beardsley

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #16

    “the high interest rates only cover the company’s losses”!
    Wonga made a net profit of £45.8m last year. It seems that the high interest rate also went into covering more than the company’s losses!

  • Wandering Geordie

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #17

    The name St James park never left us.So to me I don’t know what the fuss is about

  • richyg01

    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #18

    I wonder what the other deals they are working on are?

  • JP...from The Rock

    Oct 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #19

    Some fans are way too fickle and can never be pleased. We now have a shirt sponsor that will give us more of a boost concerning transfer funds etc. I couldn’t care less if Wonga has a bad reputation it has nothing to do with me. If it has a bad image it would neccasarily tranfer over to the club, the club has it’s history and the Wonga company have theirs, two different things. What Wonga does has nothing got to do with us. We just show their logo ffs!

    The best bit of all this is we will be able to call it St. James’ Park again OFFICIALLY! Everyone should be celebrating this instead they are again moaning about anything.

    I am very pleased our home is once again being named St. James and so should all of us.


  • WLtoon

    Oct 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #20

    Knowing Ashleys total disregard for the supporters and his lust for more money,i would,nt be at all surprised if Al-Quahida are considering tempting this Loon with a mouthwatering offer. MA does,nt give a toss about public opinion or morals,if the money is fresh then F..k everybody else mate.

  • one Tony Green

    Oct 11, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #21

    @wltoon what a joke trying to compare a terrorist organisation to a payday loan company!!!!! You talk about morals the HSBC laundered money for drug cartels. Northern Rock stole people’s money ,put people in negative equity with 125%mortgages. Barclays mis sold pensions , PPI , and manipulated libor and their bankers paid themselves millions. The only reason the likes of Wonga exist is because the banks and government screwed us all.


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