A SCATHING town hall attack has been launched on Blackpool FC sponsors Wonga.
Blackpool Council’s deputy leader Ian Fowler admitted he “cringed” when he saw the Seasiders run out with the loan company’s name on the club’s famous tangerine shirts.
The attack came as the council debated how to protect resort residents from the clutches of either high interest lending companies or doorstep loan sharks.
Wonga provide short-term loans of up to £1,000 at an annual percentage rate (APR) of 2,689 per cent – something councillors believe is sending out the wrong message to residents in the resort.
The lender has been the shirt sponsor of Blackpool FC since the club won promotion to the Premier League.
But Coun Fowler could not hide his feelings about the association telling fellow councillors: “I cringe when I see Blackpool run out with Wonga on their shirts and I think it’s not right.”
The council is now calling for the Government to put an interest cap on firms offering loans.
Coun David Owen said the Government should support people who are tempted by quick cash from either registered firms or illegal money lenders only to be saddled with a high interest loan.
He said: “We need to step back and realise Blackpool is a very deprived community. Unemployment is rising as the latest figures show and the quality of housing for most of our families is at rock bottom. I do hope we can influence legislation on this matter.
“Loan sharks are seen as bully boys, but it’s the larger credit companies we should be chasing.”
Seasiders’ chairman Karl Oyston today defended Wonga, describing them as very professional and responsible lenders.