Alan Pardew has defended the controversial sponsorship deal Newcastle United have made with money lender Wonga.
The payday loans company has been criticised for its high interest rates, but this was not a point the Toon boss was keen to focus on.
Instead he went on to state that the financial implications of the deal are hugely important for the consistent improvement of the club.
Pardew told The Guardian: “As manager of this football club I can only say to have the best sponsorship deal we’ve ever had is a good thing.”
The importance of building an academy and having more financial muscle to compete with the top four sides was not lost on the former West Ham and Reading boss.
The Newcastle manager was quick to dispel claims that Wonga won’t live up to the expectations of being a Premier League sponsor. He mentioned that fans should contact those of Blackpool, who appear to be settled with having the brand emblazoned upon their shirts.
The manager also referred to as ‘Pardiola’ by some, sees no reason to distract away from the positive moves the club with this announcement. He believes there is a hypocrisy that this deal is being so heavily challenged when people consider other football shirt sponsors.
For this reason he believes that his Muslim players Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheik Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa will not see the deal as conflicting with their religious beliefs, as some quarters of the press had claimed.
Wonga’s decision to buy the stadium rights taking it back to its traditional name of St James’s park seems to have won over several fans. There is expected to be an official renaming ceremony next week.