Fun and games for consumers of North East football...
It’s all going on in the crazy world of North East football today. In the black and white corner, Newcastle fans are said to be OUTRAGED after payday loan merchants Wonga were announced as the club’s new shirt sponsor.
The company, who offer short-term loans with an APR of up to 4,000% have sealed the deal with the Toon Army, after a few days of speculation and add the Geordie hit squad to Blackpool and Hearts on the list of teams that are sponsored by them.
Michael Martin, the editor of Newcastle fanzine True Faith said: “The people who run Newcastle, for the fans, have a social responsibility.I would love them to honestly answer one question: Would you, Mike Ashley, seriously recommend borrowing money from Wonga at those interest rates? If you can’t answer yes then they shouldn’t be our shirt sponsors.
“Newcastle is being used to normalise their product. It cheapens and tarnishes the Newcastle United brand. I wouldn’t want my logo next to them, so what do other sponsors think? This is close to breaking point for me, the one that breaks the camel’s back.”
Presumably that was BEFORE the subsequent announcement that Wonga have also snapped up the naming rights to the club’s ground, which has recently been known as the Sports Direct Arena. In a move that will have fans biting their knuckles, the ground will revert to its more well-known name of St. James’ Park. Very shrewd, Wonga, very shrewd indeed.
Meanwhile, 12 miles down the road in Sunderland, the landlord of a pub situated about half a mile from the Stadium Of Light (pictured left) has received a letter from the club, demanding that he take down SAFC flags that are hung in his window, insisting that “the use of SAFC products in your establishment implies a misleading affiliation between your establishment and SAFC.”
Landlord Alan Wallace’s pub, The Fort, hosts hundreds of Sunderland fans before each home match – we’re wondering if any of them believe that the pub is some kind of genuine SAFC-affiliated establishment. Doubtful.
Looks like another example of a football club forgetting that they’re actually a part of, and exist because of the local community, and behaving like a gang of blinkered dickheads instead. Not like up the road at Newcastle, eh? Where they’re keen to promote ball-squeezingly high APR loans to their customers.