St James’ Park again, thanks to a lot of Wonga!

Game On at St James' Park

St James’ Park once more
And so it turns out to be true after all, although only partially in comparison to what was being reported a few days back.

Newcastle United and “digital finance” company Wonga have agreed a four-year deal which will make the payday lender the lead commercial sponsor of the club.

That part is being reported on the official club website, but the part that isn’t may be of the most interest to you. According to the yellow “breaking news” bar on Sky Sports News and Lee Ryder on Twitter, it appears that Wonga have also agreed to buy the stadium naming rights and have chosen to officially rename the ground…. St James’ Park.

In addition to this it has also become apparent that Wonga will invest money into our youth academy and also into the Newcastle United Foundation Enterprise Scheme which gives youngsters aged 15-16 the skills to find employment through course and initiatives ran by United.

It certainly appears that Wonga are keen to get the fans on side and they haven’t done a bad job of that to start with. Of course to us fans it’s always been St James’ Park, but to now have it back officially and remove any possibility of it being called the Sports Direct Arena again is fantastic. The other initiatives stated by Wonga include setting up a fans forum for discussing ideas of fan involvement in the club, and also getting fans involved in the design of the shirts.

However it isn’t all sweetness and light as far as I’m concerned. I’m not overly happy that we now carry the name of a company that basically extorts people with eye watering interest rates. Granted Richard Branson is no different, but at least he doesn’t charge over 4,000% or whatever it is Wonga charge. Mind you, St Branson has been nudging the interest rate on my Virgin credit card up and up and up for the last couple of years…

On the other hand, Wonga are just offering a service. An extremely expensive service all the same, but all charges and other associated stuff such as interest rates are demonstrated BEFORE anything is agreed. Is it their fault that people then still choose to use their service?

This whole thing has been played very smartly, from both the club and Wonga. Right now they appear to be the shining knights in all of this whilst also paying for a stadium that was pretty much always referred to as St James’ Park anyway. The devil is in the detail however and I’d be interested to see how much the club are receiving for this. Rumours suggest the deal is worth £8m a season but we’ll see I guess.

What do you make of it all?

261 thoughts on “St James’ Park again, thanks to a lot of Wonga!

  1. Coming in late to this one. I’m horrified by this deal; it’s probably wiped £50m of the brand value of the club overnight. Wonga and their ilk represent everything that’s gone bad in society; they are greedy parasites living off the misery of those caught (as I have been) by changing circumstances. Independent research shows the majority of these “pay-day loan” companies regret it. Wonga’s assertion that 80-odd percent are paid off early or on time neglect to mention that that includes those forced into taking another loan to pay off the first.

    These scum don’t help anyone – they don’t prevent problems, they just delay them and make them a whole lot worse.

    I hope the various campaigns work and the government legislates these fucking leeches off the map.


  2. That Independent article is absolute bollocks: his means of justification for everything is to quote something worse; the last bastion of someone with no real case to make. It’s like saying the moors murderers were ok because they didn’t kill as many people as hitler.

    Apart from anything else, this is a huge risk for the club by Ashley. There is a very real chance that the whole payday loan market will be killed off within a couple of years by new (much needed) legislation. We’re surrounded by countries that already have those laws; I’d say the chances of anyone being sponsored by Wonga in 4 years’ time are about zero.

    As I said while I had my junk in a trifle, I’m fuckingdiscustid…


  3. Agree completely with you Whumpie as I have said earlier in the thread. There is no excuse for predatory lending. It should be banned period.


  4. Whumpie-I can see that riled you, appologies 😆

    I can’t really be arsed to go back over it, I just think getting morality involved with football is pointless and saying what businesses are right and wrong is impossible. It’s the system that allows these companies to operate and that’s why they always will, because the world will never be clean.

    Good to see Godwin’s law has finally come into effect too 😆 Is this a blog landmark ❓ ❓


  5. Unbelievable some of the crap I’m reading on here…. How is wonga any different to bet365 or 888 or the other gangster owned gambling companies.? Or alcohol companies…

    People have choice to take these loans… This is simply a business deal.

    I’d rather a loan company than a gambling company but at the end of the day, they are all out to fleece whoever wants to gamble irresponsibly or borrow irresponsibly…


  6. I don’t understand why everyone’s so upset. I’ve used sites like wonga and and I haven’t ended up a degenerate in the gutter! People should apply common sense to these things and the fact is, if they can afford to pay the money to sponsor NUFC then why not


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    October 10, 2012 at 16:53

    Ha Ha Ha!!

    £50m wiped off the brand? We haven’t had a brand worth £50m since this clown brought the football club. Sports Direct have cheapened the brand far ore than WONGA. Which by the way is offering a service that many, many people need and use. Yes some get into trouble by using it but hells bells, there are more people that get into trouble using alcohol and betting slips… Which is probably why some need to go to WONGA in the first place.


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