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How Wonga rate against Newcastle’s previous shirt sponsors

| 09.10.2012

Newcastle have agreed a four-year deal for Wonga to replace Virgin Money as the club’s sponsor at the end of the season, with the partnership unlikely to sit well with supporters already having their issues with Mike Ashley.

Below is how they stack up with previous Newcastle sponsors and why it may not all need to be doom and gloom at the Toon in the coming seasons, with 5/1 the price they finish in the top six in the current campaign.

Newcastle Breweries

Funds were tight in this period for Newcastle, even if the likes of Peter Beardsley, Kevin Keegan and Chris Waddle could be seen strutting their stuff.

Newcastle’s first sponsor were even in place to see a promotion back to England’s top table under the guidance of Arthur Cox in 1984.

Greenall’s Beers

Arguably the least successful of all Newcastle’s sponsors as their four-year stint coincided with the club going through somewhat of a transitional stage, including a relegation to the then Second Division.

McEwan’s Lager/Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle’s third beer sponsor survived the whole decade of the 1990’s and have come as close as any to helping Newcastle to a Premier League title.

Newcastle were close to relegation to the third division in this period until new chairman Sir John Hall and Kevin Keegan saw their climb back up the football pyramid.

Recruiting Alan Shearer for a then world record fee of £15m was done with the help of Newcastle Brown Ale and their tenure ended on a slight high as the club lost the 1999 FA Cup final.


NTL almost took over as sponsor at the optimum time and had their name on the club shirts in the most successful period in recent memory. The telecommunications firm almost joined at the same time Bobby Robson returned as manager of Newcastle and oversaw a degree of success.

In NTL’S four years, Newcastle twice qualified for the Champions League and were in the qualification rounds for another.

Northern Rock

Credit has to be given to Northern Rock for their loyalty, either if they were paying far less to sponsor a Premier League club than those in agreements with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

They oversaw a change of chairman, countless comings and goings of managers and a relegation to the Championship.

Virgin Money

Virgin’s takeover of Northern Rock in a way meant that they also acquired the sponsorship more through situation over choice. Effectively, the deal between the parties will last for only 18 months and Papiss Cisse is the only real acquisition that has been signed in this period.

Richard Branson has seemingly done little to promote the club either and walking around with ‘Virgin’ on their shirts is not something that would have ultimately appealed to supporters.


Walking around with Wonga on their shirts will hardly please fans any more than Virgin, but Wonga have made a promising start to their attempt to get the fans onside by reverting the stadium name back to St James’ Park, while the deal in place suggests that they will be more active than previous sponsors.

Money is to be invested into important club projects on the side, including the youth academy, while logic would indicate that more money will be available to improve one of the smaller squads in the Premier League.

From a negative standpoint, many fans will see it as unforgiveable to be associated with a company that charges astronomical interest rates of 4,214 per cent, while the fact that they are just a UK brand may have repercussions on the club’s global standing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.