The short-term money lenders have agreed a four-year £24million sponsorship deal with the club and it had been feared that the historic stadium would be renamed the Wonga Arena, but at a press conference this afternoon Wonga announced that the ground would instead go back to its old name of St James’s Park. It became the Sports Direct Arena earlier this year.
The deal is the third that Wonga have agreed; they already sponsor Championship side Blackpool and Hearts in the SPL; however, the sponsorship deal is not without its controversy. Wonga lends cash on a short-term basis at interest rates of over 4200 percent and Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said he has written to Ashley to say that he believes the deal is wrong:
“I am appalled NUFC are in talks with a legal loan shark company,” he told the Daily Mirror.
“This is another example of the club’s profit at any price culture, which is destroying the image of the club and the city.”
However, the initial reaction of the club’s fans on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive following the news that the ground was to back to its old name.