Wonga, which has attracted criticism for its high-interest short-term loans
that charge a representative APR of 4,214 per cent, is on the verge of
agreeing a multi-million pound shirt sponsorship deal with
The club are cutting short their current deal with Virgin Money and replacing them with Wonga in a move managing director Derek Llambias has described as "an excellent commercial deal for both parties."
But Ian Lavery, the Labour MP for Wansbeck who is a season ticket holder at St James' Park, has said he will not return to the stadium while the proposed sponsorship deal is in operation.
Lavery described Wonga as "financial predators who make their money from people suffering from unemployment, low wages and in the greatest financial need.
“Newcastle United will be sponsored by the money of deprived people up and down the country," Lavery said.
“If Wonga get this sponsorship through I will not set foot in St James’ Park until it is off the shirts.
"To have those players running around on that turf endorsing Wonga is an absolute outrage.
“I have more and more people coming to see me and saying that as a result of job losses or benefit cuts they are being forced into these terrible but legal money lenders whose interest rates only then trap them into further debt.”
Some Newcastle supporters have also voiced opposition for the deal. Michael Martin, editor of the fanzine True Faith said: “The people who run Newcastle, for the fans, have a social responsibility.
“I would love them to honestly answer one question: Would you, Mike Ashley, seriously recommend borrowing money from Wonga at those interest rates?
"If you can’t answer yes then they shouldn’t be our shirt sponsors.
“Newcastle is being used to normalise their product. It cheapens and tarnishes the Newcastle United brand.
"I wouldn’t want my logo next to them, so what do other sponsors think?"