Alan Pardew defends Wonga sponsorship

Alan Pardew
© PA Photos
Alan Pardew insists that Newcastle United's new sponsorship deal with Wonga will help the club challenge for a Champions League place.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has claimed that the club's new sponsorship deal with Wonga will help boost their chances of a top-four finish.

The four-year agreement, worth around £8m per year, has come under criticism due to Wonga's operations as a payday loan company.

"As manager of this football club I can only say that to have the best sponsorship deal we've ever had is a good thing," said Pardew.

"It's about building the first team and it's about having the financial muscle to start improving the academy – that's an area where we've lagged behind some of the senior clubs. Now there's no reason why we can't be one of those top-four clubs, especially on an organisational front.

"I listened to the owner and their customer satisfaction levels are higher than any other bank or lending facility. When Wonga have been involved in football clubs they've been very successful."

Pardew recently signed an eight-year contract extension with Newcastle.

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