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Archive for category: John Irving.

Putting lipstick on a pig called “Wonga”

August 23rd, 2013 | 26 Comments |

Wonga loan Shark.
Wonga: Ticking the boxes for fans?
My latest ‘blog on metro.co.uk is now up!

Entitled “Is Wonga really Newcastle United’s greatest ever sponsor after only five weeks?” I reflect on the words of Newcastle United’s Financial Director John Irving, who recently said the following at a meeting to reassure Newcastle United fans about the club’s controversial sponsorship deal with Wonga:

“From a commercial impact, Wonga have had the money on the table and have been a lot more aggressive.

“It’s massively important to have people on board that want to get involved with us in terms of what we do with the fans and the foundation and what we do with the younger players.

“Wonga have only really been here five weeks and they have actually done considerably more than anyone ever has done in terms of investment and support.

“The gates have been unveiled… they renamed the stadium back to St James’ Park. Wonga tick the boxes. (more…)


The lending game: Newcastle United and Wonga

August 14th, 2013 | 34 Comments |

Wonga loan shark.
Wonga: Sinking their teeth into the North East.
A radio programme which is well worth listening to if you’re a Newcastle United fan is BBC Radio Four’s “the Lending Game,” a 40 minute look at Wonga’s controversial sponsorship of Newcastle United.

This is what the online blurb for the programme says:

“As Wonga moves into the mainstream with its sponsorship of Newcastle United, is the so-called payday lender responding to, or shaping, changing attitudes on money and morality? Chris Bowlby goes back to his teenage home on the Tyne to look at the rise of Wonga through the lives of the Toon Army.”

Amongst other things, it contains a fairly revealing interview with Newcastle United financial director, John Irving, who told Chris Bowlby that the clinching factor for working with Wonga was the company’s desire to “work with us on fans, the Academy and the Newcastle United Foundation,” who work with the Wonga customers of the future, youngsters from underprivileged families in the North East. However, the interview with Irving is abruptly halted later in the show by a female press officer (possibly Wendy Taylor) when the interviewer brings up controversial subject of former refusenik, Papiss Cisse, who was still in discussions with the club over wearing the shirt when the programme was being made. (more…)