Wonga... Could It Be Any Wronga?
We're a Premier League club now... at least on the pitch.
Yet again the Pool's Mickey Mouse way of conducting business off the pitch resulted in a PR farce today.
On the day that the club's new home shirt was set to be revealed in the side's friendly against Tiverton, not only was the launch ruined by a careless member of staff in the club shop, but there was widespread disappointment, and in some cases disgust, at the Seasiders' new home kit.
The new strip was leaked online this morning after photographs were taken of it on a mannequin in a club shop.
Whilst clubs like Arsenal organise photo shoots with players modelling the new kit, Blackpool just let fans take their own photos after leaving the kit lying around.
The club did later officially announce the launch of the new kit on the official website with a token statement, but by then the debate was in full swing about the club's new sponsors, no doubt much to the delight of our new sponsors (yes, I'm being sarcastic).
The sponsors in question are Wonga.com. For those of you who do not know who they are, I urge you to Google them. I have to be careful in what I say here in case I get threatened with another lawsuit(!) - all of the comments critisicing Wonga on The Gazette's story about the new strip have been deleted... one for the conspiracy theorists no doubt - but a simple Google search will not only tell you who they are and what they do, but also bring up results such as 'Wonga scam'.
Now I'm not saying they're not a legitimate company, far from it. However, it's clear to see tonight that Blackpool fans are on the whole not happy with the club's new sponsor - even those with tangerine tinted specs are questioning the club's ethics.
Another reason for not being happy with the new sponsor it would seem is the fact that their logo looks garish (and massive!) on the Seasiders' kit - bright blue with tangerine, thanks Karl! Indeed, many fans are saying that a combination of the sponsor and the way the kit looks means that they will not buy the new shirt (myself being one). Fortunately for Karl, it should still sell heavily being our Premier League shirt.
A picture of the new home goalkeeper kit on the official site tonight doesn't look any better, and fans are anxiously waiting to see what the rest of the kits for next season look like, in particular the muted third strip - a blue logo on a blue shirt doesn't sound appealing, does it?
In Wonga's defence, they have decided to sponsor us for the next year - expect new kits next summer, possibly with new manufacturers - in what we presume is quite a large financial investment given the other potential sponsors the club spoke to, and anything that strengthens the club's financial position is obviously gratefully received.
However, when you think about where they got the money from and look at some of the cases reported online involving them, you wonder if perhaps the £ signs lit up too easily in our chairman's eyes.
After all, perhaps the money lost through a smaller sponsorship investment would have been made back with having a more appealing sponsor and a nicer strip, which presumably would sell in unimaginable amounts. Who knows?