The latest news of Wonga’s criminal activity in England, after they admitted they sent false demands for money to some of their poorest clients, has again brought up the question of whether Newcastle United should be associated with a company that not only has a bad name in the UK, but charges exorbitant fees on the very people who simply cannot afford to pay those high fees.
Yesterday, payday lender Wonga was fined £2.6M in compensation after going after struggling customers with false legal letters in order to pressure them into paying up – and the news is that approximately 45,000 customers received letters from fictitious law firms, the FCA ( Financial Conduct Authority) said yesterday.
Last season was the first year of a four year deal between Wonga and Newcastle United that is said to be worth around £6M a year to the club, but it also brings a lot of baggage to Newcastle – something we could do without.
Fans objected when the deal was first announced in late 2012, when we abruptly ended the strip deal we had at that time with Virgin Money, because we presumably got a much better financial deal with Wonga.
But it came out that Virgin hadn’t even been given a chance to rebid for the strip sponsorship deal, and were simply told by then Managing Director Derek Lambias that the strip deal would be terminated at the end of that season.
And it’s not like other more reputable brands wouldn’t be keen to do a deal with Newcastle, with the Premier League games seen all over the world, and that puts Newcastle in the driver’s seat for a very good deal.
We really do hope that Newcastle are looking at their contract with Wonga and seeing how they can get the deal ended, and then partner up with Richard Branson’s Virgin company or some other well respected brand.
That would be a very good move for Newcastle to make, and would even make their fans a little bit happier with things at the moment.
What do you think?