Simon Read: Are The Owls being wise in saying no to payday lender cash?

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The Independent Online

I'm really pleased that the Championship football club Sheffield Wednesday has turned down a lucrative sponsorship deal from a payday lender.

The club, which narrowly avoided relegation this season, was approached by a lender – which it refuses to name – offering around 25 per cent more than the rate the club would expect to get for its sponsorship next season

My research suggests that average sponsorship deals in the Championship are around £250,000 a year. So Sheffield Wednesday's positive stance could have cost it £60,000-70,000.

That's a tidy sum to a club struggling in English football's second tier. And turning down cash is a brave move.

But, in fact, the club has history when it comes to playing fair with sponsorship deals. In 2009 it signed a two-year deal to donate its shirt sponsorship to Sheffield's Children's Hospital.

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric told me: "We take great pride in our standing as a community-focused football club in the heart of Sheffield and believe this partnership would not have been welcomed by the majority of our supporters."

Putting supporters at the heart of their thinking is not something many sports clubs do. Most simply prefer to soak them for every spare penny they've got. So while this decision may cost The Owls, we should applaud them for taking it.

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