LONDON: Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse will receive full support from the players’ union if he refuses to wear the club’s new shirt with the logo of principal sponsor Wonga.

The Senegalese striker, who made an outstanding start to his St James’ Park career in January last year, is a devoted Muslim and is reportedly concerned that the deal with the payday lender will compromise his believes.

Now PFA deputy chief Bobby Barnes has offered his backing. He said: “We’re all aware that clubs need to generate revenue and sometimes have to use a wide range of companies.

“However, if someone feels very, very strongly that it’s not compatible with their beliefs, then some sort of solution should be found.”

It was announced last October that the high-interest payday lenders would take over from Virgin Money as Newcastle’s new shirt sponsor from the 2013-14 season, in a contract thought to be worth around £8m a year.

Barnes added: “He’s been fantastic player at Newcastleand I’d like to think they would want to do as much as they could do for him to continue scoring the goals without compromising his beliefs.”

Newcastle secured the sponsorship deal with Wonga in 2012, in a deal worth a reported £8m a year that saw the club revert the ground to its traditional name. However fans reacted badly to the club entering a deal with a payday loan lender who have high-interest rates.

Cisse’s situation is not the first of its kind, with Frederic Kanoute covering the logo of betting company when he was at Sevilla.

Kanoute was eventually given a customised shirt without the firm’s logo on it.



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