Newcastle & Wonga.com: An Idiot's Guide To Morality In Football

The world erupted in rancour at the news that Mike Ashley has signed a deal with the glorified loan sharks. But come on, is it really any different to the collection of charlatans and shite hawks who sponsor our clubs?
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The world erupted in rancour at the news that Mike Ashley has signed a deal with the glorified loan sharks. But come on, is it really any different to the collection of charlatans and shite hawks who sponsor our clubs?

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Newcastle & Wonga.com: An Idiot's Guide To Morality In Football...

Oh how simple things were yesterday. When we, the football suffering public, could hold our heads up high and proudly wear our replica shirts knowing that the child who'd stitched it together in a factory outside of Jakarta was delighted to be part of such a morally pristine industry.

But now, darkness has descended, as news reaches these virginal ears that a payday lending company is going to have its name visibly displayed on a Premier League kit as of next season. They already sponsor teams in the Championship and Scottish Premier League apparently, but this revelation is almost certainly much worse.

How long ago the days seem when we could take our irritating sons and disinterested daughters to a game, safe in the knowledge they'd only be exposed to clubs sponsored by betting agencies, breweries, and investment banks which totally aren't in any way being investigated in the distribution of weapons in African coups. Listening to fat blokes screech about the opposition's race, mother and sexuality just won't be the same without little Timmy repeating it on the way home. Damn you, Wonga.

Does nobody have a conscience any more? What's the point in brining in billionaire chairmen from countries besieged by mob rule, or that still employ capital punishment, if they won't take a hard line stance on internet based lending companies who pray on people who can't be bothered to save up for their new tele.

We've managed to get the match-day pie to within touching distance of a fiver, and we've made sure that the chickens that went into it will never have to suffer the aching torture of sunlight.

What do we have to do to get through to these monsters? I'd cancel my subscription to the coverage, but I wouldn't want the massive multi-national currently under investigation for unfathomable levels of corruption and civil liberty abuses, to suffer unnecessarily. I'm also not sure how long I could last without seeing my beloved millionaire, playboy, vacuous, adulterers elbow each other in the face, or showcase their new range of £50 flat-peak caps on light entertainment shows. I'm only human.

I thought we were in a happy place now. We've managed to get the match-day pie to within touching distance of a fiver, and we've made sure that the chickens that went into it will never have to suffer the aching torture of sunlight. We're even making away fans shell out enough money that they'll think they're going on a holiday every other week, these were golden times guys!

Football let us all down yesterday though. A company that provides a legal financial service has wedged its cloven hoof in the door and I'm not sure we'll ever convince it to leave again. I despair.

What if it's just me though? What if I'm wrong about all of this? What if, in fact, these legalised loan sharks that I'm so upset about are no better or worse than the other business we've readily allowed to pump obscene sums of money into our game over the last 20 or so years. I couldn't possibly just be being influenced by the recent bad press they've had, could I?

What if I'm only angry because, as someone who doesn't use their services, it's a nice convenient target for me? I mean, I could hardly raise a pitchfork against a company if I was say... banking with them... or wearing their tracksuits, could I?

What if I'm only angry because, as someone who doesn't use their services, it's a nice convenient target for me? I mean, I could hardly raise a pitchfork against a company if I was say... banking with them... or wearing their tracksuits, could I?

Come to think of it, if I'm really so convinced that the likes of Wonga.com are “praying upon the vulnerable in society”, it would be a lot easier for me to declare that the companies themselves are the problem. Rather than the school system that didn't teach them what APR is, or a society that's told them to go out and grab whatever they want, or possibly a government who've taken away the housing benefit and childcare support they so desperately need, and made irresponsible lending an attractive option.

Maybe, just maybe, after never giving a toss about the morality behind the finance structure in football until yesterday, maybe I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

Maybe.

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