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Newcastle United & Wonga: Lending Pardew's side a helping hand

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Throughout the 17 years Liverpool advertised Carlsberg in bold white writing on the front of their many jerseys, I can’t say I remember or have even heard about any controversy over the move.

Admittedly, I am probably too young to remember back to the very start of their deal, but I would bet a significant amount of money that the nationwide media didn’t make a big deal out of the sponsorship, or indeed didn’t object to it.

Advertising alcohol – an evil that has ruined many a family throughout the years – is morally wrong, and having young children wear Liverpool jerseys with the advertisement emblazoned across their shirts isn’t very smart is it?

But no, such sponsorship is an accepted fad in football nowadays, isn’t it?

That is to say, there was little outrage over Everton’s deal with Chang – another alcohol producer.

There was no upheaval over Stoke City’s deal with arguably the biggest online gambling corporation, Bet365, either.

What about Swansea City’s current deal with 32Red? Another morally wrong gambling site that will drain your bank account faster than Nathan Dyer can run 100 metres. Were the Welsh side lambasted for signing the dotted line on that one?

I do not recall any outrage over Wigan Athletic’s deal with yet another gambling site 12Bet.com, Sunderland’s deal with Tombola (bingo site), or West Brom’s pact with Bodog (another bookie) – can you?

I don’t think so.

However, when Newcastle United sign a lucrative 4 year deal with a financial institution by the name of Wonga – the southern half of the country cries foul over such a morally & fundamentally wrong company sponsoring a Premier League team of its calibre.

Of course, if anyone has a decent memory, they will realise that the exact same company advertised with Blackpool during their Premier League era a year or two ago with little said in opposition to the deal.

Wonga will invest close to £40m in Newcastle United over the four years. This investment includes supporting our academy so we can produce better players as the years go on, and the company will also pump some money into a club foundation which helps young adults find jobs, and get them off the street. Horrendous stuff eh?

On the pitch, the close to £9m that NUFC will receive each year for the shirt deal will help Alan Pardew sign another player. With the injuries mounting up, we do need a defender this January and do not be surprised if £5m is set aside for a new CB, in the knowledge that the Wonga deal will commence next season.

Every year, for the next four years – Newcastle United will have some guaranteed cash flow from the sponsorship and should be able to add players each and every season without delving too far into the coffers of the club’s own resources.

Regards the actual service Wonga provides – I am not a fan, but it is there as a choice. No one is forcing you to take a short term loan, just as no one is forcing you to take a loan from Standard Chartered (Liverpool’s current sponsor) or to gamble online (Stoke City, etc.).

If any deal benefits the club, indeed my club, then I am all for it.

Football lost its soul a long, long time ago and the fact that Newcastle United have been subject to a ridiculous amount of criticism from gaudy journalists is downright disgraceful.

The deal helps Newcastle United work towards a healthy financial future, while also pushing for progress on the pitch.
An extremely wise deal on NUFC’s behalf, and in football, I’m afraid that is all that matters.

Written by freelance journalist Kevin Doocey. You can check out his Newcastle United Blog, or follow on Twitter: @KevinDoocey and @Soccerlens.

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Comments (2)

  1. Finally someone with some sense

  2. I agree, the hypocrisy is staggering. Just look at the FA’s sponsors; Budweiser, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Visa. Then there is Barclays who sponsor the Premier League who got caught fixing the LIBOR rate.

    I would love for there to be some ethical and socially responsibility in football. But I afraid the moral compass in the game has not been calibrated for a long time.

    Maybe it’s time we all put morality before money, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.