11 October 2012

Newcastle count the Wonga

Three Geordies prepare to be declared bankrupt at Newcastle Crown Court.

Earlier this week, Newcastle United announced a four-year sponsorship deal with loan company Wonga.

As part of the deal, Wonga have given naming rights for the Magpies' stadium to the Geordie faithful, meaning that the Sports Direct Arena will return to its rightful official name of St James' Park.

That's good, but overall, the deal doesn't look great from a moral point of view.

The north-east of England has the highest rate of insolvency in the country. Why then, would the flagship club of that region sign a sponsorship contract with a company that offers short-term loans at a yearly interest rate of over 4,000%?

Wonga, who were formed in 2007 before shooting up into prominence, are also the sponsors of Blackpool and, rather humorously, Heart of Midlothian, who cannot afford to pay the wages of their players. Maybe Vladimir Romanov's got a loan with them?

The only reason that Wonga are able to afford the £24million to get this deal done is that they have targeted poor people and made them even poorer with ridiculously high-interest loans. In the end, a portion of that £24million goes into the bank accounts of the multi-millionaire footballers, making thier lives even cushier.

They are stealing from the poor and giving to the rich! They might as well be sponsored by Mitt Romney!

Just when you think Mike Ashley can't drag Newcastle's name further through the mud - he comes up with this.

But then again, this is the Premier League, sponsored by Barclays, who manipulated banking lending rates during the early stages of the recent financial crisis.

Their clubs encourage fans to fly to a state that regularly violates human rights (Fly Emirates, Etihad Airways), do their banking with a company that has strong links to another (Standard Chartered), throw away their money by gambling (Genting Casinos, Bet365, 32Red, SBOBET, 12BET) and then drown their sorrows when they realise they've wrecked their life (Chang Beer).

Still, at least we can start calling the Newcastle stadium St James' Park again! No, hold on, we never stopped doing that.

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