Not fit for the shirt: Why Bolton Wanderers should shun Quick Quid as a sponsor

Supporting a football team is about more than what happens on the pitch

Share
Related Topics

There are times in the life of every football fan when you ask yourself why you bother. Why you put in all that effort, money and emotional energy into watching your team, only for them to let you down. As a Bolton Wanderers fan, I've had more than my fair share of 'why?' moments.

Of course there is a flip side: victory against Red Star Belgrade; holding the mighty Bayern Munich to a draw; the pride at seeing legends of the game such as Djorkaeff, Hierro and Kevin Davies pull on the white shirt of my beloved team.

But it's not just what happens on the pitch that makes it all worthwhile. It's that feeling of being part of something - that the fans, staff and players are all contributing to a club that is bigger than the sum of its parts.

In the last couple of years we've managed to come through tough times – on and off the pitch - and stick together. Until now.

On Wednesday the club announced that it had signed a deal which meant the payday lending company Quick Quid would become the club's "principal sponsor." This means that not only would the players' shirts bear the logo, but it would be plastered across the stadium, website and training kit.

With a seemingly straight face, Chairman Phil Gartside claimed that "both parties wanted to develop a partnership that engaged with all elements of the football club and community, and as much as anything else, to bring some real fun to matchdays."

I'm all for fun on matchdays. But the first word that springs to mind when I think of payday lenders isn't "fun." 

Not when one in three payday loans are taken out to pay off another loan. Not when some payday lenders were found to have broken 13 of their 14 promises on their 'good practice' charter. Not when a 36-year-old father from Bolton doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire, less than a mile from Bolton's Reebok Stadium, telling passers-by he'd "had enough. I’m in debt and poured petrol over myself."

Quick Quid wasn't one of the companies involved and the coroner declared an open verdict. But Anthony Breeze had received calls and text messages from several payday loan companies on the evening before and the day of his suicide. 

I work on a campaign for change in the payday loan industry run by Citizens UK, but you hardly have to be an expert to see that none of this quite counts as "fun".

This is why I started a petition on the change.org website. I wanted a place where Bolton fans' views on this deal could be heard. I wanted the chairman and board of directors to understand the strength of feeling there is among the fans and the people of the town. But most of all, I wanted this decision to be changed.

Because although I've stuck with my club through thick and thin, there comes a point where you simply have to draw a line and say enough is enough. For better, for worse, but not for this.

Of course, there is still time for the contract to be cancelled. The football club can still do the right thing and live up to its claims to be a "family" and "community" oriented club. But if that doesn't happen, I personally won't be able to attend matches until the club rids itself of this shameful association. We've have been through some ups and downs, and it's been a heck of a ride, but this is one “why?” too many.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently  

Shia LaBeouf to Luis Suárez: Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Ellen E Jones
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin “consciously uncoupled” in March  

My best and worst stories of 2014

Simmy Richman
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015