Bolton Wanderers Criticized After Naming Pay-Day Loan Company As New Sponsor
League Championship side Bolton Wanderers announced pay-day loan company QuickQuid as the club's new sponsor on a two-year deal, according to the PA. QuickQuid "will have its logo on Wanderers' match-day and training kit." The new sponsor replaces online bookmakers 118BET, whose deal with the club expires next month (PA, 5/29). In London, Graeme Yorke reported the news "has raised concerns about what knock-on effects the partnership might have in terms of people getting into debt." Bolton Citizens Advice Bureau has "offered to consult" the club on the matter. Bolton Citizens Advice Bureau CEO Richard Wilkinson said, "The issue with pay-day lenders is one where it is more than just about a name on a football shirt -- the issue goes a lot wider than that, and particularly in a place like Bolton. I was slightly surprised to see that choice of sponsor" (DAILY MAIL, 5/29).
PROTEST PLANNED: The BBC reported the pay-day loan industry "was criticised" by regulator the Office of Fair Trading for "widespread irresponsible lending" and charity Citizens Advice for being "out of control." Bolton West MP Julie Hilling described it a "sad day" for the club, and called on bosses to reconsider associating with "such a company." Hilling said: "I think accepting a sponsorship deal legitimises these companies in a way that's unacceptable." Comments by fans on the club's Facebook page included "embarrassed to be a Wanderer," and a "disgusting decision" and calls to boycott buying the shirts. A protest against the decision is "due to be held at Town Hall Square in Bolton" on Thursday (BBC, 5/29).