Newcastle United have announced a new kit sponsorship deal with Wonga.com that will see the latter replace Virgin Money as jersey sponsors beginning the 2013/2014 season. The four year strip sponsorship deal, which also includes stadium naming rights, will earn Newcastle an estimated £24m ( over the entire duration) and will also see Wonga pump in £1.5m towards the Magpies’ academy and Foundation Enterprise scheme. The news hasn’t been received well in the North-East, with many dubbing Wonga to be “loan sharks” because of the high rate of interest they charge ( APR 4,214% for short term loans)
Wonga have however chosen to change the name of the Sports Direct Arena back to St.James Park, which has to a certain extent helped to soften the hostility towards it.
Another problem Newcastle could have is that their Muslim players ( Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote- all regular starters for the Magpies) may opt not to wear the Wonga sponsored jerseys as earning interest from lending money is prohibited under Sharia Law.