It’s quite surprising but Richard Branson has said his company Virgin Money were not even consulted by Newcastle before it was announced that Wonga would be the new shirt sponsors, and that deal was not met with positive vibes from Newcastle fans.
Richard Branson – in Newcastle last January
Wonga is one of those companies who offer short-term loan deal (payday loans) and charge amazingly high interest to the specific people who just cannot afford it.
And they do not have a very good name in the business world – and the Wonga name will be on Newcastle shirts starting next season, in a deal that is said to be worth £24M to Newcastle over the next four years – our biggest shirt deal ever.
Those pay-day type loans are not legally allowed over here in North Carolina, and it would have been great to have had Virgin Money still sponsoring the shirts over the next four years.
But Richard Branson said they were not even told about the deal, and didn’t get a chance to match it, and he was asked if he would have liked to have remained sponsoring the Newcastle shirts:
“Yeah, we would love to have stayed in touch with the club and the players. It was a great time, the timing was perfect when we took over, we became Virgin Money on the day they beat Manchester United, a great start for us.”
“The club in their wisdom did the deal with Wonga without talking to us, whether we would have matched that who is to know. These things happen I guess.” “We will definitely still sponsor sports, we are still involved in major events, we will still keep an open eye one this.”
Wonga have also paid to have the St. James’ Park name returned to the stadium – so that was positive – and they will also invest in Newcastle’s Youth Academy in addition to sponsoring the shirts.
Ir’s surprising to us that Newcastle didn’t even mention the Wonga deal to Richard Branson.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org