Bolton scrap sponsorship deal
Bolton Wanderers have cancelled their new sponsorship deal with a payday loan company after it was met with opposition from the club's fans.
The Championship club last week announced that they would be wearing the logo of QuickQuid on their kit in matches and in training, but the decision sparked an outcry among supporters.
An online petition published last week attracted more than 4,000 signatures as the deal was widely condemned.
"It's completely wrong," Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi said at the time. "These companies prey on the vulnerable and they should be illegal."
Qureshi's Bolton West counterpart, Julie Hilling MP, had added: "I fear the sponsorship deal will legitimise payday loan companies and the level of interest they charge really concerns me as these companies exploit the needy and less well off in society."
Bolton chairman Phil Gartside said via a statement on the club's official website: "We don't want our commercial relationships to come between us and our community."
The statement added: "The club have taken on board feedback from our fan base and following discussions between chairman Phil Gartside and several local and national politicians, including the leader of Bolton council Cliff Morris, we will no longer be entering into a sponsorship agreement with QuickQuid.
"The club is proud of its place in the local community and has worked tirelessly for a considerable time to build relationships across a wide spectrum of community projects – in particular the successful education programmes, which have seen over 350 students pass through the club in the last two years, and the continued exceptional work of the club's community trust.
"Whilst we anticipated some negative responses from the initial agreement, we underestimated the adverse reaction to the sector of business in which the sponsor operated. We undertook significant research into QuickQuid and were satisfied that they were a regulated and responsible lender."
Councillor Morris said: "I am pleased with Bolton's decision to reconsider their recent sponsorship proposal."
FibrLec - a sustainable energy company affiliated with the University of Bolton - was also announced as the club's new kit sponsors for the next two seasons.
Gartside added: "We are proud that our club will be working closely with a local community technology company that has grown from the University of Bolton."