Many are convinced that national football is no longer a game, but a business, both for the clubs and the sponsors. Newcastle United has a new sponsor – the short-term loan company Wonga. Wonga has sponsored other clubs in the past – Blackpool was the first English club that Wonga sponsored, and the Scottish Premier League club Hearts is another.
But Wonga has endeared itself to Newcastle fans by giving them back the name of their grounds – St. James’ Park – and in return the players will wear the Wonga name proudly. Clubs cannot survive without funding, and when the choice is between their soul and their striker, it is not a hard one to make.