Owls get it right off the pitch as attention turns to improving the front line not the bottom line

editorial image

What price do you put on a conscience in football these days?

Quite a high one if you are Sheffield Wednesday and maybe now the same is true of Bolton after their U-turn to follow the Owls in refusing to accept sponsorship from a payday loan company.

I understand the offer Wednesday refused was worth 60 per cent ABOVE their expectations from such a source. It is said to have come from QuickQuid, the same firm who then scored with Bolton only to be driven out by a public backlash.

Wednesday’s target from the shirt package is around £250,000. I believe the offer they turned down was for up to £400,000. Except it amounted to more trouble than it was worth, as their Championship rivals were to discover.

For the Owls, it was an ethical stand.

Although no-one should ever have to put a price on morals, this was an outstanding example of the way football can eradicate its reputation for knowing the value of nothing except hard cash.

Newcastle’s deal with Wonga is the most notorious in this respect.

Good to see that star striker Papiss Cisse, a practicing Muslim, is refusing to wear a shirt bearing wonga.com on religious and ethical grounds.

Such embarrassments can and should be easily avoided. Football is already accused of fleecing the fans. Climbing into bed with high rate loan companies adds insult to injury.

Perhaps even better than the stand Wednesday took is the fact that nearly everyone knows about it and rightly so.

More of the same please... because less sometimes adds up to so much more.

As for striker targets, the Kevin Davies interest has hardened, Wolves’ Sylvan Ebanks-Blake still figures and if Dave Jones sweeps the lower leagues then Nahki Wells (26 goals for Bradford) is among those to be worth a check.

Congratulations to Sheffield referee Craig Pawson on being promoted to the £75,000 a year select group of England’s match officials.

Craig, 34, impressed on his Premier League bow last season and maintains the city’s proud refereeing traditions in following the likes of Keith Hackett and Uriah Rennie.