Call me cynical, but I don’t believe anything the papers say, and that includes their coverage of current events. I simply do not trust journalists, I may be an aspiring writer, but I am not a journalist, as I believe they are nothing but parasites, lurking to hear snippets of information so they can sell their grubby little chip wrapping to the gullible public. Bit harsh? Perhaps. Untrue? Not on your life. So it is with this deep rooted cynicism that I aim to tackle the issue of the Cisse-Wonga row.

It has been announced that Cisse has “pulled out” of the pre-season trip to Portugal due to the on-going row over the Wonga sponsorship deal, and that his refusal to wear the Wonga sponsored shirt threatens to end his 18 month spell at the club if the two parties cannot come to a suitable arrangement.

However, nowhere has Cisse been quoted as saying that he is refusing to go on the pre-season tour. The club have not released a statement, and until either party breaks the silence, this is merely the media making a mountain out of a molehill.

The media do not mention that the likes of James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Massadio Haidara, Gael Bigirimana and Remi Streete have also been left at home and have not joined the squad on the pre-season tour, yet I would think these players are very much in the plans of Alan Pardew for next season. Could it be that these players, along with Cisse, have been left at home to work on their fitness? Bearing in mind that Cisse had international duty during the off season, could it be that he came back to the club in a worse physical shape than was anticipated, and that Pardew, who decided to chose his “fittest” side against Motherwell in our first pre-season friendly, has simply decided that Cisse is not fit enough to be of any real use to the team in this pre-season tour, and it is beneficial for all involved if he works at home?

I can understand why the media would run with the story they decided to, because my version of events does not sell papers, however, given how neither version of events has any sources from either the club, or the player, they are as equally as valid as each other.

The media cite the fact that Cisse is a practicing Muslim as the reason why Cisse would wear the Wonga sponsored kit as Muslims disagree with the principle of charging interest for lending money, yet the media also fails to mention that Newcastle United have a number of practicing Muslims within the squad who have no such issue with the sponsorship. The likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara, Mehdi Abeid and Mapou Yanga M’biwa have all trained in the Wonga kits, and M’biwa even captained the side against Motherwell while wearing the Wonga kit.

Now it would be unfair to claim that because other Muslims have no issue with Wonga, then Cisse should not have an issue, and that Cisse may be more strict when it comes to the practice of his religion and may strongly disagree with the practice of charging interest for lending money, and if this is the case I would understand. However, if Cisse disagreed with the principle of charging interest for lending money to such an extent that he would not wear the jersey that is sponsored by such an institution, then why has he been wearing Virgin Money as a sponsor for nearly the entire time he has been at the club? I am not trying to compare Virgin Money and Wonga in a practical business sense, or a moral sense, but when it comes to the point of principle which Cisse disagrees with, they are inherently the same.

Some might take the argument to the point that it is not the practice of charging interest, but rather usury, the practice of lending money at extremely high interest, that Cisse may take exception to, and while I can see the merits of this argument to a point, I do not see how one can make the argument that he refuses to wear this kit on this basis, as he has joined a team in a country in which such practices exist, he has joined a league which is sponsored by a money lending institution, and has even once before, wore the jersey of a money lending institution.

Now let’s for a second entertain the notion that Cisse is disgruntled with the Wonga sponsorship (which was announced in October of last year, giving him ample time to seek a move, or declare his annoyance) and that the media are in fact telling the truth. Is the case as simple as it may seem? Is it merely a case of Cisse being so disgruntled that he refuses to go on a pre-season tour in order to sort the problem out? I fear not, my friends, because as far as I am concerned, if Cisse is displaying annoyance at the sponsorship deal, I fear it is merely a ruse in order to engineer a move away from the club. I think he has had his head turned by some “bigger” teams on the continent, and in kicking up a fuss, he will force the club’s hand, it looks much more forgiving than handing in a transfer request doesn’t it?

Like I said though, this could all just be one big storm in a tea-cup, propagated by a blood hungry media who will say anything to sell papers, and we may still see our No. 9 don the famous black and white stripes, Wonga and all, and fire us to…well mid table mediocrity probably.

I will leave you with this, as a famous man once said, “whoever controls the media, controls the mind”, don’t let your mind be controlled.

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  1. dave morris

    Call me cynical, but I don’t believe anything the papers say, and that includes their coverage of current events. I simply do not trust journalists, I may be an aspiring writer, but I am not a journalist, as I believe they are nothing but parasites, lurking to hear snippets of information so they can sell their grubby little chip wrapping to the gullible public. Bit harsh? Perhaps. Untrue? Not on your life.
    I totally agree add to this politicians, corporate entities, most of us who work for them and anyone with a vested interest – that just about includes us all, never believe anyone not even yourself as we all have an agenda even if we do not know it.
    Let the facts speak for themselves – if you can somehow find the facts – lets remember the media is here to engineer compliance and sell chip wrappers.
    Not sure I could handle the truth anyway.
    TA

    Reply
  2. gav

    i think along the same lines concerning this issue, i think your spot on mate. also i think ramadam was also a factor in him staying behind. but i expected him to join up with the squad later. this didnt happen so im at a loss at whats happening now. i personally think he should stay at the club.

    Reply
  3. nat

    I really do resent the poor communication between the club and fans. I'm certainly not jumping to conclusions on wongagate. I am surprised that Cisse hasn't made a public statement on the matter. I'm pretty alarmed because I would imagine that if the 'story' isn't true the club/pardew/anyone would debunk it. The silence at Newcastle is deafening.

    Reply
  4. Stewie

    It might be as simple as Cisse going through Ramadan as to why he was left at home. It might be more plausible that he is a stricter practicing Muslim and the other muslim players might not follow this.

    Reply

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