PFA Back Cisse in Newcastle Sponsorship Conundrum

June 13, 2013

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) will back Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse if he refuses to wear the club’s new shirt with the logo of principal sponsor Wonga.

The Senegalese striker, who made a storming start to his Toon career in January last year, is a devoted Muslim and is reportedly concerned that the deal with the payday lender will compromise his believes.

Now PFA deputy chief Bobby Barnes has offered his backing. He said: “We’re all aware that clubs need to generate revenue and sometimes have to use a wide range of companies.

“However, if someone feels very, very strongly that it’s not compatible with their beliefs, then some sort of solution should be found.”

It was announced last October that the high-interest payday lenders would take over from Virgin Money as Newcastle’s new shirt sponsors from the 2013/14 season, in a contract thought to be worth around £8m ($12.5m) a year.

Barnes added: “He’s been fantastic player at Newcastle.

“And I’d like to think they would want to do as much as they could do for him to continue scoring the goals without compromising his beliefs.”

Newcastle secured the sponsorship deal with Wonga in 2012, in a deal worth a reported £8m a year that saw the famous home ground reverted back to its original name St James’ Park.

However fans reacted badly to the club entering a deal with a payday loan lender who have high-interest rates.

Cisse’s situation is not the first of its kind, with Frederic Kanoute covering the logo of betting company when he was at Sevilla.

Kanoute was eventually given a customised shirt without the firm’s logo on it.

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