Controversial online money lender Wonga sealed a four-year deal worth £24million.
And, importantly, the contract also means restoring the name of the stadium to St James’ Park.
But in hard economic times, owner Mike Ashley has been blasted for getting involved with a company which offers loans at an eye-watering representative Annual Percentage Rate of 4,214.
Incredibly, if Wonga loaned a punter £6m — the figure they will give annually to United — the repayment after 12 months at that APR would be £250m.
Ashley sparked outrage last November when he rebranded the famous Geordie ground the Sports Direct Arena.
Even though ‘payday lenders’ Wonga, who also back Blackpool and Hearts, will not appear on shirts until next season, sections of fans are already fuming.
And the deal could also affect Toon’s devout Muslim stars Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa who may refuse to wear any Newcastle shirt branded with the Wonga logo on religious grounds.
Wonga’s controversial payday loan scheme infringes strict Sharia law.
But boss Alan Pardew, who recently signed an eight-year deal, thinks the new money will enable him to sign new players.
He said: “I’m a romantic. The stadium name was one of those business decisions you can’t get your head around, so to have it back as St James’ Park is great.”
Wonga replace Virgin Money as sponsors and will plough £1.5m into the academy and Newcastle United Foundation Enterprise Scheme which helps local kids get a taste for business.
But some are yet to be convinced.
Players Inc fanzine editor Steve Wraith said: “As always with this regime, they create the negatives with every positive. Do they really want to be associated with a company like that?”
Wonga founder Errol Damelin defended a move which city council leader Nick Forbes has branded “appalling”.
Damelin said: “It’s a big club. It fits with our passion and ambition.”
So when the debtors borrow money and default on payment, the players must act as runner and go to their residents and paste O$P$??. Imagine Demba Ba or Alan Pardew was caught splashing paint on debtors' door