The number of instant cash loan adverts being displayed on football club websites need to be reduced or eliminated, says a new coalition of fans.
18 football clubs have gotten into hot water with their fans for carrying adverts for no credit check short term loans on their websites, with a group of fans led by Dan Ward and his grandfather Bob, both Northampton Town supporter encouraging fans of another 60 football clubs to not stand for the adverts either. An open letter recently sent to the Guardian by the group of fans that they took issue with the adverts from payday advance firms not because they are conducting business illegally but because there are not enough regulatory measures restricting payday lenders in the UK.
The football clubs are being asked by their fans to seek advertising revenue from other sources instead of payday lenders, who are suspected of ‘dubious activities’ in regards to their business practices. If football clubs truly wish to run adverts for short term loans for club fans encountering financial difficulties, fans say a better, more responsible way would be to advertise for local credit unions instead of payday lenders.
There are around 200 payday lenders currently being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading after attracting criticism from borrowers and ministers alike. Consumer groups and MPs have accused instant cash loan providers of targeting low income earning households who quite often cannot afford to repay payday lending, leading to large interest fees and finance charges upon rolling over the loans at the end of their term.
The elder Ward, the founder of TMCCL, an aluminium manufacturing company that sponsors a display board at the Sixfields stadium in Northampton, originally approached his own club over the issue of payday lenders advertising with it, only to be told that the Football League sells advert space to major international and national firms such as large-scale payday lenders. Clubs can, individually, request a given advert to be blocked, said Mr Ward, but face losing out on any revenue generated by the advert.