Football League cancel Wonga sponsorship

The Football League has announced it is ending its sponsorship deal with high cost credit provider Wonga, ahead of an attempt by football supporters to campaign against legal loan shark advertising in the game.

Northampton Town supporter Bob Ward has submitted a motion to the 8 July meeting of the Football Supporters Federation, calling on advertising from the industry to be rejected until proper regulation is introduced.
Stella responded to the Football League’s announcement by saying:

‘I’m pleased to see the Football League listening to fans by giving a red card to Wonga. I urge the football community to go further to protect their fans from these companies – there is already a ban on alcohol and gambling companies advertising on merchandise for under 18s which should be extended to these firms too – we want to make sure all football grounds in the UK are completely legal loan shark free. We will also continue to press for caps on the total cost of credit to give British consumers the same protection that others enjoy across the world from these firms. Today shows that just because the Government refuse to act to tackle legal loan sharking it doesn’t mean we can’t do something to check their growth. We also have more campaigning planned for this summer to make sure they get the message from the British public loud and clear that standing by and letting these companies prey on our communities isn’t an option.’

 

Campaign actions:

Please help us show that just because the Government won’t act against legal loan sharks, we can together take a stand. Ask your local football club to commit to rejecting all sponsorship or advertising approaches from these companies until they are properly regulated by a cap on the costs of credit. If you receive a response from your local football club in support of this position please do let us know.

Please also let the Football Association know you support our call for them to extend their current ban on alcohol and gambling adverts on merchandise for those aged under 18 to include high cost credit companies. You can do that by emailing David Bernstein, the Chair of the FA on Info@thefa.com – please make sure you mark the subject header as “FAO: David Bernstein”. Below is a suggested text to use to highlight to Mr Bernstein your support for this campaign and request to the FA to help limit the presence of these companies in football.

Suggested text to send to David Bernstein, the Chair of the Football Association. 


Dear Mr Bernstein
I’m writing to you as a football fan to ask you to show your support for the ‘red card for Wonga’ campaign. Please help make football free from legal loan sharks by extending the Football Association ban on alcohol and tobacco advertising to include these high cost credit companies.
Targeting communities struggling to cope during these difficult economic times, these companies charge extremely high rates of interest for loans in a UK credit market which has little regulation to protect consumers from the problems these cause. With one in three payday loans taken out to pay off another payday loan it is clear they can often lead to financial problems for those who use them. Whilst other countries have introduced legislation to cap the charges these firms can levy, the UK has no such limits.
Please support this campaign by joining me and other fans in calling on clubs not to take advertising or sponsorship from these companies until the UK introduces a cap on the costs of credit. This would give British consumers the same protection from these companies others around the world enjoy. Furthermore, I applaud the strong stand the FA has taken on alcohol and tobacco advertising on merchandise aimed at fans under the age of 18. I urge the FA to extend this ban to these companies too until they are properly regulated in the UK by a cap on the costs of credit.

I look forward to your positive response to this request and supporting protection for football fans from the problems these companies cause. Please acknowledge receipt of this correspondence.