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Anger at Newcastle Wonga deal

Newcastle United's decision to agree a sponsorship deal with payday loan company Wonga has prompted an angry reaction in the North East.

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Unite union: Wonga 'preying on the poor and desperate'

Unite, which has mounted a campaign against payday loan firms, attacked the deal, claiming it was being used to "normalise legal loan sharking".

Regional secretary Karen Reay said:

This is the day when Newcastle's owners sold this city's great footballing name for 30 pieces of tainted silver.

Payday lenders are preying on the poor and desperate in the North East, which has some of the highest levels of debt and borrowing in the country. Newcastle United is now being used by Wonga to normalise legal loan sharking.

Newcastle fans, who could be borrowing up to £325 per month just to get by, let alone get along to a game, will feel sickened that the club they love will now be associated with the extortionate rates of credit that make their lives a misery.

Unite urged the club's owners to reconsider the deal, warning it will "tarnish" the city's footballing and community culture.

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