Bolton back out of shirt sponsorship deal with payday lender after fan petition

Bolton have reversed their decision to enter a two-year shirt sponsorship agreement with QuickQuid less than two weeks after announcing the deal with the payday loan company. Public outcry and a petition started by fans of the club prompted Bolton's quick rethink.

From the club's official website:

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 Leader of Bolton Council Cliff Morris, will no longer be entering into a sponsorship agreement with QuickQuid. [...]

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.

The petition, which currently has 4,476 supporters, features the following rallying call:

Bolton Wanderers is a family club. It has been at the centre of community life in Bolton for more than 125 years.

That is why so many fans are upset that the club has done a deal with the payday lending company Quick Quid. Payday loan companies charge sky-high rates of interest and are looking to exploit people who have fallen on hard times. In this tough economic climate, that includes many Bolton fans.

Last year, a 36-year-old father from Bolton killed himself by setting himself on fire after being hassled by payday loan companies.

We are asking for the board, and the Chairman, Phil Gartside, to reconsider the club's decision to endorse payday lending by allowing Quick Quid to sponsor the kit.

According to the Independent, Sheffield Wednesday declined a "lucrative" sponsorship deal with a payday lender last month, citing reservations about the company's business model and the belief that "this partnership would not have been welcomed by the majority of our supporters.”

Instead of QuickQuid, Bolton will now have FibrLec, a local sustainable energy company connected to the University of Bolton, as the shirt sponsor for the next two years. Bolton's previous shirt sponsor was an online bookmaker.

In a time when fans often feel helpless to the money hungry whims of club owners, this decision comes not long after another petition convinced Everton to scrap and apologize for widely hated redesign of the club's badge. If supporters shout loud enough, they can still be heard. Unless they're shouting at the Glazers, a Sheikh, a Russian oligarch or Arsenal's board of directors.