Bolton Wanderers Football Club have today announced their new principal sponsor. After much online speculation the club today confirmed their new shirt sponsor will be pay-day loan company QuickQuid.
The two-year deal reached between QuickQuid and Bolton Wanderers will see the payday lenders logo on the club’s new kits and training wear as well as significant involvement in the football clubs training camps, ground and other community and sport based programmes on the part of the finance company.
Both club and lender said they were excited about the deal and the firm’s commitment to invest in community projects such as the Bolton Wanderer’s Community Trust active families programme, and to extend its sports participation scheme to include an expanding range of sports.
However the announcement has not been welcomed by all Boltonians; Bolton West MP Julie Hilling described it a “sad day” for the club and called on bosses to reconsider associating with “such a company”, she said the industry “exploits vulnerable people who need ready money”, while Bolton South East MP, Yasmin Qureshi, said: “It’s completely wrong. These companies prey on the vulnerable and they should be illegal.”.
In March this year the Office of Fair Trading criticised many leading payday lenders for “irresponsible lending” & “aggressive or unsatisfactory debt collections practices” including industry leaders Wonga and QuickQuid, making it all the more important to choose wisely when selecting a payday lender.
A proportion of fans are also upset by the move, comments by fans on the club’s Facebook page included “embarrassed to be a Wanderer”, “disgusting decision” and calls to boycott buying the shirts and season tickets. but for the many the emotional ties to their club will likely prevent this. A good deal of fans, however, are less concerned with many pointing out that Hearts, Blackpool and Newcastle are all sponsored by Wonga, some say they have taken payday loans out at times and used them responsibly and been very grateful for the simple quick access to emergency funds, whilst the majority seem to feel that payday lenders are no better or worse than online betting companies and are probably significantly better than Cash Converters.
Bolton Chairman and spokesman, Phil Gartside, said “QuickQuid has also made a commitment to invest in its community initiatives and bring some real fun to matchdays.
“Their energy and enthusiasm to help develop initiatives in collaboration with the Community Trust, and to support education and other sporting opportunities in and around Bolton has been extremely refreshing.”
QuickQuid spokesman and head of partnerships, Greg Hohnstein, said: “We are excited to be part of a strong partnership as it develops over this period to help bring success on the pitch and positive results and opportunities in the wider community.”
A spokesperson for the Consumer Finance Association, the body that represents the interests and industry of payday lenders including QuickQuid, said: “Payday loans are a positive choice for people from all walks of life as they meet the needs of consumers in the post credit crunch era.
“They are an extremely flexible and simple way of borrowing small sums of money without a long-term commitment. However not all payday lenders are the same. Responsible lenders meet high standards and are fully accountable.”