New Sponsors Think Of Supporters!
Let´s be honest ... we feared something like "Wonga Bong-Donga For Longer Arena" ... but the new guys have just hit it off with the fans straight away.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley sparked fury in November last year when he revealed that the name of the stadium had been changed to the Sports Direct Arena, after his sportswear company, in a bid to showcase the potential for a ground sponsor.
Fans accused the owner of riding roughshod over the club's history and tradition.
Managing director Derek Llambias insisted the move was born out of financial necessity and could net Newcastle up to £10million a year.
The weekend's speculation prompted an equally vociferous reaction from supporters, and insiders insisted there was no chance that the stadium would take on the Wonga name.
However, while the shirt sponsorship deal was expected, the company's decision to buy the naming rights came as more of a surprise, and their decision to return them to the fans could prove a masterstroke.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed, and nor has that of the arrangement which will see Wonga replace Virgin Money as the club's lead commercial sponsor.
Managing director Derek Llambias: "We are building a club that can regularly compete for top honours at the highest level.
"As everyone knows, a strong commercial programme is vital to this goal and I am delighted to welcome Wonga into the fold as our lead commercial partner, alongside Puma and Sports Direct.
"Throughout our discussions, Wonga's desire to help us invest in our young playing talent, the local community and new fan initiatives really impressed us and stood them apart from other candidates."
Founder and chief executive officer Errol Damelin said: "We are really proud to be involved with Newcastle United.
"It is one of the biggest and most important clubs in the UK by any measure and has a fantastic following around the world.
"We are also really excited about investing in future stars both on and off the field.
"The Academy and the Enterprise Scheme gives us the opportunity to make a big difference."
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