Papiss Cisse will refuse to wear Wonga sponsored Newcastle shirt - but seeks a pay rise to stay at St James' Park

Muslim striker seeks a pay rise at St James' while refusing to wear new sponsors' logo

Papiss Cissé is ready to tell Newcastle that he wants a pay rise to stay at the club. The Senegalese forward's future on Tyneside has been cast into doubt, with the player letting officials at St James' Park know that he does not want to wear the strip next season with the sponsorship deal of Wonga on the front.

The Independent revealed in October last year that the £24m sponsorship deal with the payday lending company would cause problems for the Muslim players at the club.

Under Sharia law, a Muslim is not allowed to benefit from lending money or receiving money from someone. This means that earning interest is not allowed. Wonga's deal drew heavy criticism because of an interest rate that, when stretched over the course of a full year, would work out at 4,212 per cent.

Newcastle do not intend to deal with the problem until their players return to training at the start of next month. However, in a new twist, Cissé, who was linked with the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala at the end of last month, is eager for talks to begin over an improved deal to stay.

Cissé moved to Newcastle in the January transfer window of 2012 and signed a five-and-a-half-year contract believed to be worth around £2m per year. The striker now feels his goalscoring record is such that he should be among the top-paid players at the club.

The 28-year-old moved from SC Freiburg for £10m and has scored 26 goals in the 18 months he has been a Newcastle player. After the transfer of Demba Ba to Chelsea for £7m during the last January transfer window, Cissé became Newcastle's main striking option and scored crucial goals against Stoke and Fulham to help keep the club in the Premier League. He also scored four goals in Newcastle's run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

His stance on not wearing a Wonga shirt on religious and ethical grounds is problematic for Newcastle, who are still weighing up their options concerning the situation. The former Tottenham forward Frédéric Kanouté was allowed to wear an unbranded shirt after he refused to wear the logo for the gambling website on religious grounds when he played for Seville.

Wonga is keen to avoid unwanted controversy and in efforts to placate Newcastle supporters unhappy with the sponsorship deal has removed the Sports Direct logo that was on top of the Gallowgate End stand and given St James' Park its original name back after an attempt to call the ground after owner Mike Ashley's sportswear chain.

Newcastle believe criticism of the deal is unfair, given that they were previously sponsored by Virgin Money and Premier League clubs have deals with financial organisations and betting companies have also featured on shirts in the past.

Wonga already has sponsorship deals with Blackpool in the Championship and Hearts in the Scottish Premier League, but its four-year agreement with Newcastle – the away shirt with Wonga on the front has already been released – has provoked the most controversy.

Newcastle have two other practising Muslims in their squad in Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tioté, but so far neither of those players has expressed a desire not to wear the new shirt next season.

Club officials were delighted with the size of the deal with Wonga, which is substantially bigger than the previous sponsorship contract with Virgin Money. Part of the increased finance will go on squad development and may also be significant as Cissé seeks an improved deal.

Fabricio Coloccini remains the club's best paid player on more than £60,000 a week, significantly more than Cissé. Newcastle have proved in the past they will not be swayed on their own player valuation. Their manager, Alan Pardew, admitted at the end of last season that he wants two new strikers at the club for the start of next season to support Cissé. Andy Carroll, whom Liverpool are eager to offload, remains a potential target.

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star