League won’t ban Wonga deal

PREMIER League chiefs have ruled out intervening in the row over Wonga.com’s sponsorship of Newcastle United, despite the storm that greeted yesterday’s £24m four-year deal between the club and the controversial payday lender.

Industry experts accused the company of cynically targeting an area with the highest personal insolvency rates in the country, while the Football Association responded to supporter concerns by insisting it would raise the issue with leagues.

The Premier League declined to comment but it is understood that it will not object to the deal, having not done so when Wonga sponsored Blackpool during the club’s 2010-11 season in the top flight. The short-term, high-interest lender still sponsors the Tangerines, now in the second tier, and Scotland’s Hearts.

Wonga is paying £6m per season from next term to adorn Newcastle’s shirts. The deal will also see the club’s stadium revert to its original name, St James’ Park, having been rebranded the Sports Direct Arena 11 in November last year.