The Only Way Is Ethics

by • July 17, 2013 • NewsComments (35)1822

It is difficult to get a handle on what is happening with Papiss Cisse and the Wonga branded

Cisse1kit but what I do know is we have one decent striker on United’s books and he is now potentially in dispute with the club as we start preparing for the start of the new season.

It is appalling how the interests of Wonga are now being placed above the football team we support.

What Wonga want, it seems they get and if that means our No.9 doesn’t take part in pre-season training with his team-mates, that is what happens! Does it mean we will be forced to sell Cisse, against the interests of the team and the wishes of the manager in order to keep Wonga sweet?

Whether this dispute is being used as cover for something else we don’t know. There are those who suggest Ashley will want to make at least one big sale this window in order to fund any new purchases we may or may not make. That could be Cisse though there has been constant speculation about Cabaye, Krul and Ben Arfa. I do think part of Kinnear’s brief from Ashley will be to sell players at a profit. This could be part of that. Or it may not be.

There are those said to have contacts close to Cisse that insist to us he has not refused to wear Wonga branded kit but wishes to discuss it with the club but the club has refused to even speak to him and his representatives about it.

There are those who wonder at the apparent moral relativism of Cisse given he plays in the Barclays Premier League and has previously worn Virgin Money-sponsored kit. This is a fair point but we are all compromised in some way or another and Papiss might just find Wonga morally questionable as so many of us do even though we have mortgages, loans, shares and all the rest of it.

Naturally, the club has not saw fit to tell us what is going on but the basics need to be answered:

Has Cisse refused to wear the Wonga sponsored kit?

Has Wonga refused to accept he could wear a shirt sponsored by a charity next season?

Has United banned Cisse from the pre-season trip to Portugal?

Has Cisse refused to travel to Portugal wearing the Wonga kit?

Who is going to sort this out?

This latest saga isn’t the only reason why we shouldn’t have had any truck with Wonga but it further adds to the pessimism around the club at the moment following a summer in which the grotesquely ill-qualified Joe Kinnear has been appointed Director of Football and left us speechless with a series of wild claims to his achievements that read like something from Fantasy Island, saw the resignation of Derek Llambias as Managing Director, dealt with the potential departure of Chief Scout, Graham Carr, witnessed a complete radio silence from anyone in any authority at St. James’ Park and got used to some crazy media releases from Sports Direct about our club.

We should be looking forward to the new season but those of us scarred by the mismanagement of United over many years are experiencing a kind of dread.



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35 Responses to The Only Way Is Ethics

  1. You ask some very relevant questions here . Normally I am a bit of a smart arse but have to admit I am here . The followers of the Toon are used to being used and abused by the powers to be at St James Park but the recent shenanegins and double speak emminating from the toon have all fans in a spin , what the f**k is going on at our beloved club ? its baffling . I was / have not been a huge fan of Pardew since the bewildering removal of our last manager and the installation of Pardew even when he took us to the lofty heights of 5th place . He has always been suspect and so it proves but he is our manager and is being kicked in the nuts I fear . Wonga is the absolute pits and we the fans were sold short as I predicted , Pity we didn’t have the same bottle that Bolton showed . Where do we go from here ? I dont really know but we deserve much much better . Answers on a post card . Toon for ever.

    • David Chapman says:

      Why can’t he just wear a plain shirt like Kanoute did at Seville a few years back? oh yeah because that would mean he could stay and our owners wouldn’t be able to cash in, its all very simple really.

    • Peter says:

      Um, regardless of religion (I hate all religions, by the way), he is being paid by THE FANS to play for us and to wear apparel appropriate to his profession, i.e. our kit. It just happens to have the name of a legal bandit on it (which I don’t care about; if you use Wonga you are just plain stupid, given that the high street is full of other pay day loan companies. You make your choice and pay the interest).

      Just shut up and get on with it.

  2. Sean Robson says:

    If it is a case of him simply refusing to wear the kit, then Cisse is in the wrong, regardless of his personal beliefs.

    It’s probably not that simple though, it’s NUFC after all…

  3. c peat says:

    In all areas of employment you have to show respect to peoples religious beliefs hopefully kinnear will come out and say something which is politically incorrect and we can get the mouthy idiot out of the club on these grounds. The club would sell more shirts without wonga emblazoned on it anyway I for one are backing Cisse on this matter he hasnt shown to be a trouble maker he just has strong religious beliefs which should be respected. New web page looks good good luck to all at tf.

  4. dave hetherington says:

    if we end up buying that pig loic remy,my head will honestly explode,out of all the turmoil at the moment my worry is NUFC will buy him,especially after what he did ( I know,most of them are like that),he’s not even at the club…………yet and he’s pissing me off,

    Davey h

  5. Thanks Colin – and all the best to everyone at Northern Threads mate.

  6. Dave, you mean after what is alleged don’t you? Yes, you do, thanks.

  7. Splendid David, I knew that’s what you meant and I’m glad we’ve got it cleared up.

  8. Matt Flynn says:

    This time last year (when the club were installing a prayer room at the training ground) Pardew was more than happy to talk to the media about how “we look after the players and their religious backgrounds” – eager to inform us that “whatever the religion, we take care of it and understand it”..

    One year (and a new sponsor) later and he doesn’t seem so keen on talking about how the club is embracing the whole cuddly progressive religious diversity stuff. Funny how quickly things change.

  9. Sean Robson says:

    What if this was the 80s/90s and a player was refusing to play with the blue star on the shirt because they were against alcohol?

    I personally hate all that payday lenders stand for, but there is a double standard here.

  10. STEPHEN B says:

    Never mind what’s on the shirt, we’ve started playing matches and we have not got a Black and White shirt to wear, call me a nit picker but we are NEWCASTLE UNITED AND WE WEAR BLACK AND WHITE.

  11. Paul H. says:

    Good article and I like the new site. Please don’t do what the Chron and other sites have done and only allow comment through Facethingy. I personally am on Cisse’s side. Our sponsors are one those organisations that may be legal but are morally reprehensible. I believe we (the supporters) have missed a great opportunity to show Ashley that this is our club by refusing to accept W*ng* as a sponsor. None of the Cockney Mafia shit but genuine moral indignation. The Bolton supporters had the right idea and we should have responded in a similar manner. I will never condone boycotting the club or withdrawal of support but I will never buy or wear anything endorsed by W*ng*

    • Well said Paul. With you all the way on that one.

    • Steve P says:

      Wonga took the heat out of their dodgy practices and expected vitriol by asking the hierarchy to ‘revert’ St James’ Park to err St James’ Park.
      I assume by doing this they were attempting to look like dashing white cavaliers, here to save us (the supporters) from a branded stadium etc.
      That sort of got them onside to start with, so any criticism in the future wouldn’t be felt by Wonga to be too negative or obstructive to them.

      Like you, I don’t want anything wonga on my black and white shirts, so I won’t be buying anything over the period of their tenure.
      I wonder if we could get Puma to release a non sponsored version for sale?

  12. Lee Spence says:

    Although I have nothing but disgust for companies like Wonga and their ilk I’m finding it difficult to side with Cisse on this one. As far as I’m aware, his religious beliefs state that profit cannot be made from lending money. It does not state that ‘profit cannot be made from lending money, well, go on, only a little bit but not too much’. Virgin Money might lend you some money and make 50 quid, the Wonga sharks may make 500 quid on the same amount. But isn’t this just a question of degree? It’s still profiteering from money lending. So since Cisse was fine with wearing Virgin is he just being massively hypocritical, or does this mean it’s not really, deep down, anything to do with his profound religious beliefs? We have been fed this ‘Cisse refuses to wear Wonga due to religious beliefs’ by all of the papers in the last couple of days. This can’t be the full story, there must be something else behind these shenanigans. More money or a transfer would be my uneducated guess…

    • Keith says:

      It could also be that he could stomach Virgin, but Wonga was crossing a line for him. It’s all just guesses like, but it doesn’t have to be as simple as ‘well he wore one he should wear the other’, people’s views and beliefs change and develop. Some clarification from him or the club would go a long way though…

      • Lee Spence says:

        I agree with you Keith, but religious doctrine doesn’t tend to change and develop. These are (apparently, I’m no expert) the rules of his religion and are not based upon whether one sponsor is more ‘ethical’ than the other. I don’t think there is a cut off point whereby the interest rates charged, and the practices adopted, suddenly become unacceptable.

        • Keith says:

          Absolutely, but his own understanding of the doctrine can change and develop over time as can his commitment to it. Again, all just speculation to distract from the heat, but I’d be inclined to hear him out. Virgin is a credible part of mainstream culture, however wrong or right that is, its sponsorship didn’t come with controversy and media attention. He may have just taken that sponsorship as part of life in English football, whereas the controversy with Wonga pushed him to have a look at what it was. Maybe. Who knows! Let’s ask Joe…

    • Tom says:

      Id simply ask whether there is ANYONE among us (the fans) who consider a company like W*nga to be the same as Virgin Money or Northern Rock?
      There was a massive negative response all round when the new deal was anounced,unlike when Virgin took over.
      Why should Cisse feel any different?
      The precedent has already been set with Kanoute at Seville….
      W*nga have missed a trick publicity wise…how good would they look saying to the club…allow Cisse to wear a shirt with the SBR Foundation on instead…better publicity than they are currently getting!

  13. Ant says:

    TBH whether I side with Cisse or not is irrelevant.

    All I know is that NUFC, once again, have been embroiled in a massive fiasco through a combination of greed, stupidity, lack of foresight and long-term strategy. After all, never mind the moral issues: is W**** really the way to grow the NUFC brand?! ManU, Arsenal, etc have deals with world class companies, recognisable by affluent viewers/customers all over the planet. What does our sponsorship say about our place in the world? To be even more crass, how do you sell NUFC shirts at £50-£60 a pop in Dubai? Oh no, hang on: we have ceded this market to the proper Premiership teams; we are too busy warming up for a season in the Championship with JFK at the helm. Sorry, I am angry.

    Individuals should not be blamed for reacting with confusion and anger when there are so many organisational issues (whether it’s Cisse refusing to wear a W*** shirt or Kevin Keegan walking out rather than having to deal with D**** W*** ).
    We’ve got problems guys – instead of getting on players’ backs we need to do something practical to take back our club. I know that “boycott” is considered a dirty word in some quarters, but what else is there?

  14. Graeme Pringle says:

    Both sides are in the wrong in my opinion:

    I didn’t think Ashley could stoop lower, but he somehow managed when he accepted Wonga’s millions.

    Cisse – Yet another foreign mercenary with no real commitment to our club, just like the rest of them. Happy to take the money, but on this occasion seems to have a problem with the originating source of a fraction of it. After all, Barclays sponsor the Premier League which is the source of most of the money and we all know how reputable they are!

    Llambias – I never thought I’d be sorry to see him go, but fair do’s, if he resigned over the appointment of JFK, then at least he had some principles.

    We’ve never been in a worse position and as for debt, we’ve still got plenty. We just owe it to Ashley rather than the bank. I’m not sure which is worst.

  15. Lots of good and fair comment being made by all the previous contributors and all are entitled to their various stances on this issue . However we are all agreed , that its us, the fans of NUFC and our club are been made fools of by someone . Its the club that is suffering and Ashley and company are like Nero standing by fiddling and watching Rome burn , in our case the toons credibility. We are starting to look third rate on and off the pitch. Someone needs to start getting a grip on things before its too late.

  16. steve McGill says:

    it must be me – but i admit that i just dont get how angry everybody is about Wonga.

    they represent the only valid option that somebody who is strapped has – unfortunately – short term finance from most Banks isnt available in the same form. Interest rate figures are largely immaterial – this is short term ‘payday’ lending – so the maximum that anybody should have it is about 14 days. if i borrowed £100 for 14 days – i dont think i’d baulk at paying back £120 – £130 – and they are the figures involved. Somebody who needs that type of money would be told to fuck off by the banks anyway (it takes a fortnight to organise an appointment with the twats).

    wheres the harm?? – ask anyone who’ll admit that they’ve used it if he /she considered it to be a rip off – i’d bet that they found it to be invaluable.

    unfortunately – you’ll always get the micey knob who borrows for a night out then doesnt pay it back on time. If i was on the breadline i’d be grateful to know it was there as a back up if needed.

    just making a point like

    • Ant says:

      Steve – I agree with your points. W*** is a legitimate business and, let’s face it, they are successful for a reason. I am not into moralising or patronising those who use W***’s services; Goodness knows, I wasn’t always as lucky as I am these days and I am not about to commit hubris.

      My objections are to do with the image that the club might want to project (see my points above).
      Also, how on earth does every other club in the Premiership manage to sign better contracts than us? Tottenham didn’t have to bow to their sponsors when their player had an issue with them- we obviously signed the sponsorship deal with our eyes shut and our fingers crossed. Also, I cannot think of another Premiership club that would have let this issue escalate and spill into the public domain.

      It’s easy to blame foreign mercenaries, agents, etc but I honestly think that there are serious problems with the club and its direction. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Hi Steve , think you missing the point mate . If my pal was desperate for £100 Quid on a mon , dont know how he would pay back £120 0n fri .He would have to be in a dark place. Would not look to screw him, get it back when he ok …. Not moralising . What we talking about is a totally different issue , we talking about our football club and its future . The top clubs , and we SHOULD be one of them judging by the numbers through the gate every week dont endure the shit we do. As for the religion issue , couldn’t give a shit about someones religion , more interested in their principles. Never mind mate nice to hear your views. Toon for ever.

  17. David says:

    Assuming the story is true, why didn’t Cisse kick up a fuss when the deal was announced months ago – why now?

    I know people hate Mike Ashley and the Wonga deal but looking at this situation objectively Cisse could have (and should have in my opinion) made his point when the deal was announced rather than just before pre-season.

    I think he’s angling for a move as I think he knows he won’t win the argument with Mike Ashley – assuming the story is true of course.

    • David Chapman says:

      The players have as much idea as we do, I for one thought the Wonga deal had fell through ages ago, its been very quiet after all, until now. Those boards all over the side of st James park are going to look lovely with Wonga all over them though…….

  18. rich says:

    I agree with Davids post, why now? its not as though it has just been announced. With regard to sharia law it is quite clear that no profit shall be made from money lending. It doesn’t state if the APR is under 20% then thats ok. If he has an issue with wonga then he should come out and say it is on ethical or moral grounds rather than religious. Does he keep his wages under his bed or is it paid into a bank where he gains interest??? Too many double standards to go playing the religion card for me.

  19. Niall Fleming says:

    Congratulations on the new site, looking good.

    IF there was a coherent transfer strategy then we would be looking to trade up and move Cisse on, great moments of individual brilliance but not, in my view, a top six striker. This would apply to a number of players, such as Jonas, Tiote and so on. The problem is that there isn’t a coherent transfer strategy in place and there must be a better than even chance that if Cisse is sold he won’t be replaced by anyone better. Thus we all get in a panic whenever any mention is made of issues with any of the existing squad.

    This is the way that Ashley operates in life, if there is a a convention, stick two fingers up at it. Wonga would actually appeal to him. If Cisse complains, he is a “cry baby”. He would rather run NUFC with one hand tied behind his back (Kinnear) than run it in a thoughtful and sensible way. He wants to be an outsider.

    Sometimes it works, he certainly stitched the city suits after the Sports Direct float. Fair play some would say. His staff have benefited from an amazing share bonus. I wish some other companies would do the same. BUT he will never operate to the kind of ethics that the thinking fans (and I mean the vast majority) want to see.

    So it goes on.

    However much you feel like a Russian dissident up against Putin, keep up the good work TF, it keeps us sane.

  20. Nigel Pearson says:

    By refusing to discuss the subject it seems clear to me that the club are actively backing Cisse into a corner with a view to selling him. Add to that the mooted sales of Cabaye (PSG), Krul (Arsenal) & Ben Arfa (Liverpool) it would appear that our chairman is cahing in his assets. Why ? Perhaps he has found a prospective buyer for the club & is beefing up balance sheet like fattening a Turkey for Xmas whilst at the same time getting his revenge on the Toon Army by leaving us high & dry without a team worthy of the name on the very eve of the new campaign.

  21. Tony says:

    He is in England on a work visa, if he refuses to work for the company he should have this cancelled … just as us proles would if we went to work in a non EU country but then refused on the basis of some questionable principle.

    He has also recently been going to the press stating which exact position he wants to play, in my mind he seems to think he can dictate to his employers.

    To add to this apart from putting the ball in the net when its given to him on a plate he isn’t that good.

  22. Mikey says:

    So now Cisse has been pictured gambling, and everyone is up in arms because of the double standards …i.e islam teaches not to gamble etc, he has to live with that…actually the bigger picture is Wonga and the club…football in general because this will be a hollow victory as no-one really wins from this …Newcastle march on with with a horrendous backer…Cisse gets crucified for double standards …Is this really where we are circular 2013…A decent player getting slaughtered in the press by the pitchfork mob …A dodgy loan company…A graspy club with no meaningful structure …meanwhile in the real world …every other team prepares for the coming season…I am nearly at that stage where it`s get those jumpers for goalposts out and start from the beginning

    • Keith says:

      I’m inclined to think there’s something to his argument as he simply wouldn’t need to make up an excuse to leave. The mess of the club is reason enough, I certainly wouldn’t begrudge him wanting nothing to do with Ashely, Kinnear et al.