Bolton Wanderers have responded to supporters’ pleas with a dramatic u-turn on the proposed controversial two-year sponsorship deal with payday lending company QuickQuid.
Following strong opposition from fans, the Trotters reversed their decision to instead choose Bolton-based sustainable energy company FibrLec to be their shirt sponsor.
Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside explained the club reconsidered the deal as they were not prepared to sacrifice the bond with their passionate fans.
“We don’t want our commercial relationships to come between us and our community, and neither does QuickQuid,” he told Bolton’s official website.
“We have worked for years to build trust and participation with the community through our Community Trust, education programmes, and other initiatives currently underway in partnership with local and national government.
“We are proud that our club will be working closely with a local community technology company that has grown from theUniversity of Bolton.”
The FibrLec logo also incorporates the University of Bolton crest and will appear on both match and training kit for the next two years.
Bolton MPs Yasmin Qureshi and Julie Hilling both condemned the decision – announced last week – with the former writing to the club urging them to reconsider.
The deal prompted Bolton fan Andy Walton to start an e-petition calling for the club to reverse their decision, attracting nearly 4,500 signatures.
It eventually led to discussions with Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris, who was delighted the club have reconsidered their position.
“We have been in discussion with the club since last week’s announcement to raise our concerns and those of the community,” he said.
“Their response clearly shows the value the club places on the support of their fans and the wider Bolton family.”
Ms Hilling, MP for Bolton West, said it is fantastic news that Bolton Wanderers have found a different sponsor.
“I’m very proud of Bolton fans for their opposition to having a pay-day lender sponsoring our club and very proud of Bolton Wanderers Football Club for listening to their fans and the wider community.
“Sponsorship by FibrLec is in keeping with the great history of the club and the industrial heritage of Bolton and I’m sure it will be a very successful partnership. I’m absolutely delighted”.
The shirt sponsor will not be the only new feature on Bolton’s shirt next season as the club have also redesigned the club crest.
The new badge incorporates the Red Rose of Lancashire, the club’s founding year of 1877 and is reminiscent of Wanderers’ crest from the late 1970s.
The club’s stadium crest with ribbons – introduced following their move to the Reebok Stadium in 1997 – will remain in place.
Image courtesy of Duncan Mathers, via YouTube, with thanks