One of the most interesting stories in the papers at the minute is Papiss Cisses stance on refusing to wear the Newcastle shirt with their new payday loan sponsors. It is an interesting example of principles in an industry that seems devoid of them, and I wondered what Everton fans would think if one of our players took a similar stance.

I liked Cisses actions for several reasons. Firstly it seems to have some form of morality behind it. Ethics and football seem to be diametrically opposed these days, and it is regrettable that most footballers are assumed to have no principles whatsoever beyond the principle of making the most money in the shortest amount of time.

Secondly payday loan companies are scum of the lowest order, and the fact that Premier league clubs are letting them sponsor them is depressing, particularly at a time when the clubs themselves are awash with money from the TV deals they have just signed. I heard that half of payday loans are taken out to pay back payday loans, so that clubs see nothing wrong with taking their money for spreading their message shows that they have no morals whatsoever. Would Everton behave any better? Id like to think so, but how much of that is wishful thinking?

That brings us on to an interesting point. To what extent do we expect to see our club behave ethically? Personally, it is important to me that I can feel pride in our club, and I would struggle to feel as proud as I do of our club if they were to behave in the same way. Rightly or wrongly I attribute most of Evertons failings as a club to a mixture of incompetence and egotism, rather that the kind of crass immorality that is involved in these sponsorship deals.

Obviously my own principles are a little grey in places and another reason I like his stand is that, to some degree my enemys enemy is my friend. Especially after the ironic, another league comments by Pardew, anything that goes against Newcastle goes in my favour.

Bizarrely, the press has chosen to explain his stand by referring to his religion. This is offensive on many levels. Its depressing to think that the only reason they can think of someone having principles is if they are religious. There is a clear inference that there is something a bit weird about having any sort of principles. Also why is his behavior being contrasted with that of his teammates who are also Muslims? Why anyone should think that Muslims are any more likely to have principles than Christians is beyond me.

Neville Southall still gets stick on here for his half time protest when Everton started going downhill in the late eighties/early nineties. At the time I was all for it, although having just looked it up it seems that he wasnt protesting about the mismanagement of the club at all. Nevertheless at the time I thought the idea of protesting at the way the club was being run seemed like the right thing to do. Should more Everton fans be protesting now, even with the arrival of Martinez, or perhaps because of his arrival (if you dont regard him as being up to the job)?

If Cisse would come to Goodison would you welcome him? Or is his protest self indulgent and petty? If Everton signed a payday sponsorship for twice the money they are getting from Chang would you welcome it or would it be a step too far? What should we expect from our club, our manager and our players? Is there such a thing as club principles? If Everton has an ethos what is it? Nil Satis Nisi Optimum? Its difficult to relate to that when we are selling our best players each season.

On the plus side Moyes seemed to be an honourable man, and people speak encouragingly about Martinez in that aspect. As well as that, most of our players have for the most part behaved reasonably well, and even if our Chairman lacks business sense his speech at the Hillsborough memorial shows some emotional sense. So, what are our principles? Is Martinezs appointment a sign of a return to our footballing principles? And off the field does the club have an obligation to act honourably or is that something that died out when the money took over?

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Laurie Hartley
1 Posted 21/07/2013 at 01:41:56
I admire this man's stand however he will pay a price. Unfortunately throughout history men and women of principle have been punished and persecuted for standing by the principles. It is therefore unlikely that Cisse will remain at Newcastle. For me the big question is how will the Geordie fans react to this.

Would I welcome him at Goodison? Yes, if he was good enough to get into the first team and didn't mind wearing a shirt that promotes a company that manufactures and sells alcohol.

I am very proud of the way EFC conducts itself (Everton in the community) and they way it looks after its ex-players.

I think you might have started something here Gavin.

Seb Niemand
2 Posted 21/07/2013 at 02:18:20
Islam, of course, strictly prohibits usury. Newcastle are making money off the back of such gombeenery. Clearly he wants no truck with people who offend such a basic tenet of his religious principles. Bully for him.

So, if he came to Everton, would he not have a similar problem with our sponsorship by a brewery? Boozery is just as frowned upon as usury, after all.

Christine Foster
3 Posted 21/07/2013 at 02:46:49
Rather a good post. In this day and age, it's common to see morality and principles sold at the altar of greed. Sadly, we ourselves tend to bend our principles because of what we see as practicality and often just common sense. In a world where governments lie to you, employers mistreat you, and partners cheat, it's really hard to instill in your children a sense of morality and adherence to principles.

Principles are fine to have from a position of wealth or status, but almost impossible to live with if you're downtrodden and penniless.

So, whilst Cisse may believe he is sticking to that particular principle, how difficult would it to be to do so from a Rooney from Croxteth given an opportunity of a lifetime?

My mind is always drawn to remember a line from "Boys from the Blackstuff" where Chrissie tells a dole investigator, "I wouldn't BE you".

Somewhere along the way, principles are watered down because it's easier to go with the flow, there are somethings in life we would never be, somethings we would always say no to... principles are a necessity for, without them, we cannot aspire to better things.

Paul Andrews
5 Posted 21/07/2013 at 07:14:17
The payday loan companies should be treated with contempt. They were set up with the idea to entrap people struggling to make ends meet in day-to-day life. Working class people targeted with the easy availability of these loans.

In most inner city areas you will find a "money lender"; if they were arrested and found guilty of charging the knock-on rates these payday loan companies charge, they would go to jail.

To answer the question,they should not be allowed to sponsor shirts.

Peter Warren
6 Posted 21/07/2013 at 07:46:48
Lot of questions to answer. Would I welcome Cisse-yes for the right place as I think he is quality.

Do I agree with his stance - in principle, yes. But personally&I know little about him and could be totally wrong but sounds like a load of bollocks to me and u think he just wants a move for more money!!! NUFC sponsored by Northern Rock, then Virgin Money who took over .... To now say I'm not wearing Wonga's shirt seems contradictory to me.

EFC's principles - I believe our foundations are built upon it - we do have class in this regard with work we do for past players, schools, kids and people of all ages with disabilities. Whilst big business and whilst I'd love a zillionaire I would not like us to be like Chelsea.

Steve Cotton
7 Posted 21/07/2013 at 08:09:07
There is a joke doing the rounds saying Cisse has been fined 500 for refusing to wear a shirt with the Wonga name on it. The initial fine is 500 rising to 47,987 if he hasn't paid by Friday....

sums up the whole evil advert-based money-lending problem I think..

Matt Traynor
8 Posted 21/07/2013 at 08:42:55
A bit odd when you bear in mind Everton use the corporate-equivalent of pay-day loans companies with the Vibrac loans secured against our future TV revenues... The original securitisation against future season tickets etc...

I think it's hypothetical, but I'm sure he'd be fine at Everton. He could wear the Chang Soda shirt (the one marketed to kids, supposedly) and the Premier League would have no issue with that.

Without wishing to enter a debate here, Islam is a religion full of contradictions, something that the 40k a week striker should remember...

Ged Simpson
9 Posted 21/07/2013 at 08:36:35
As someone who advised people in debt for many years for the CAB, I fully back Cisse's stance. These leeches bleed the most vulnerable mercilessly. The problem has always been for government and the judiciary to implement an existing piece of legislation that allows a challenge to extortionate interest. Believe it or not these rates are not viewed as such.

I understand your point, Christine, but makes me wonder why there are not more players publicly backing Cisse. Many players will have seen high interest loans causing misery in the communities they come from. Sadly players are more likely to back each other after racist comments or a bit of premier biting.

But wouldn't it be funny to see MotD/Sky pundits exploring the issues of extortionate credit. They probably have Wonga shares

Matt Traynor
11 Posted 21/07/2013 at 09:30:32
Ged #342, there are loads of valid points in what you, and others are saying, but it's just possible that Newcastle are making a stand here to avoid it being the thin end of the wedge.

Compromising ones principles and beliefs is often necessary on the route to such riches. I wouldn't be surprised if amongst the myriad of clauses in his contract he signed, there's something akin to "wearing the shirt which will contain any sponsor's logo that the club enters into an arrangement" etc. etc. in exchange for 40k a week minimum.

I do agree there's an issue with pay-day loan companies (they have an appalling failure rate on repayment but still make a packet - proof positive they target the most vulnerable), but whilst they are legitimate businesses they should be permitted to market themselves in this way.

Remember Papiss would have no doubt objected to the first sponsors we ever had - even if the idea of a Senagalese striker at that time would've been... somewhat alien to the spectators.

Mike Green
12 Posted 21/07/2013 at 09:17:10
In essence I totally support Cisse on this one.

There are a lot of potential grey areas / double standards / hypocrisy as pointed out by Seb and Peter but maybe there are certain things Cisse could live with - banks - and others that he couldn't - glorified loan sharks.

About 20 years ago I literally got through the month by being able to cash cheques with a money lender a week before payday for a fee of about 20% because it was a service which suited me at the time. It is undoubtedly a slippery slope if your not careful though, as was illustrated by one of my mates who got himself into thousands of pounds of debt, and the immorality probably rests with the lenders not only knowing that but depending and thriving upon it.

I've dealt in business with a firm who run car park management - to the uninitiated they're offering a service, to the experienced theyre glorified car clampers and when you get to know them, they are the scum of the earth. Horrible, horrible people and I imagine Wonga are no different.

So - all in all, well done Cisse. Stick it up 'em.

Mike Green
13 Posted 21/07/2013 at 09:38:06
Oh - and as my old man taught me many years ago - principles are great, but they can be expensive so make sure you can afford them before you make a stand on them. And I reckon Cisse can afford this one, so good luck to him.
Wayne Smyth
14 Posted 21/07/2013 at 09:10:30
I think if you dig a bit, most companies leech the "vulnerable" in some ways. In the case of Wonga and payday loan firms its just a bit more obvious and in our faces.

What about clothing companies making use of very cheap and sometimes child labour? Drinks companies leeching off the alcoholics? Multinationals who artificially move their profits around the world to avoid paying taxes, which increase the burden for all of us, including the very low paid?

If its not simply personal morals, but religious grounds that are the tipping point for Cisses stance, then as Seb points out many other more traditional sponsors would fall foul too.

Given that probably a sizable number of newcastle fans may well be customers of pay day loan firms, what does cisse think about his extortionate 60k / week paid for in large part by those very fans quite a few of whom are struggling on the bread line?

For many, football could be considered similar to religion. Its tribal and people have grown up for generations wanting to be part of the tribe. Except since the advent of player-power, in order to be part of the tribe they need to pay extortionate fees to watch their team so a handful of very rich individuals like cisse can get richer.

If you're in a very highly paid job and not giving a lot of that money away to those less fortunate - especially when the less fortunate directly contribute to your vast wealth - I personally think its difficult to take a public moral stance such as this and be taken seriously.

Tony Marsh
15 Posted 21/07/2013 at 09:47:59
Cisse would not come to Everton as we have borrowed huge sums from some Mickey Mouse offshore company so we can survive. What is the difference?

It's a load of bollocks to be honest, it's just a way out of the back door for Cisse. If it is Islam that he is using then he would not be in the country at all. The whole of the UK is run on borrowing from banks and secondary lenders. How many Muslims have a mortgage? These companies that fleece the public are scum but they are legal at the moment so what can any of us do apart from not use them?

Cisse should be thankful that Newcastle gave him a chance in this country, never mind judging them. None of us like the Wongas of this world but let's not kid ourselves that footballers and there agents are not greedy bastards who fleece the fans at every opportunity. Cisse included.

Mike Green
16 Posted 21/07/2013 at 09:51:06
Wayne - really good post but in life we have to make compromises and I think this was one he probably wasn't willing to make. You may say it's hypocrisy, which is fair enough, but I think he's done it honestly and perhaps he see's Wonga as evil, rather than a necessary, or minor one. If not, we'd all be walking around in shoes made from hay, eating nothing but porridge and being persecuted by a minority of bad bastards who had no moral scruples.

You've got to make a call on things, some you get wrong, some you might be weak on but I wouldn't criticise Cisse for making a stand on a principle, even if it might be contradictory. Like I said though, thought your post was really good.

Peter Warren
17 Posted 21/07/2013 at 10:30:36
Good points, Mike.
Paul Gladwell
18 Posted 21/07/2013 at 10:41:18
It's hard to take a football player seriously though these days as they mostly have hidden agendas, I cringe at Pienaar and his God T shirts weeks after getting caught for drink driving, they are mostly full of shit.
Paul Andrews
19 Posted 21/07/2013 at 10:51:54
Matt 345,

A little bit disturbing, the last paragraph of your post.

Ernie Baywood
20 Posted 21/07/2013 at 10:55:41
It's all very grey. People talk about principles and then criticise the club's commercial performance. Surely you're either in the business or not?

Nothing's off limits in football anymore for me, and I consider myself a highly principled person. I make many decisions on a moral/ethical position but supporting my football club isn't one. Football sold its soul many moons ago all I want now is good players and good football. I'm numbed to this stuff.

Mike Green
21 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:01:16
Paul #360 - having said that God probably drink drives and beats up his missus, who's to know? :)

In all seriousness I try to give them a bit of slack. They're young men, sometimes not particularly well rounded ones, living a bit of a surreal existence - and the papers revel in revealing their misdeamours but rarely report the good they do (Craig Bellamy I thinks quite a good example).

Also, I regard myself as a good man with a strong sense of justice etc which I follow but when I look at some of the things I've done in the past the media would have a field day with me had I been a professional footballer.

Barry Rathbone
22 Posted 21/07/2013 at 10:50:54
Trouble with principles is they are entirely subjective and consequently change with the times.

I recommend the synopsis of our club and LFC's creation as an indicator:

Compare and contrast the original EFC model with today via this excerpt:

"Houlding had exclusive rights to sell refreshments at the ground, although no alcohol had ever been sold. The selling of alcohol was opposed by many on the Liberal minded Everton FC Committee. With many members in temperance societies, a liquor license application by Houlding was feared. .....
The club being financed by a brewer was an uncomfortable situation to be in. Houlding's nearby Sandon Hotel being used both as the clubs unofficial headquarters and a changing area for the team on match-days was also an emotive issue for the Everton FC Committee. The affair caused the Everton FC Committee to re-assess the principles on how the club was to be run. The root crux of the matter was:

The Liberal minded Everton FC Committee wanted a more democratic structure of a wide spread of shares amongst the fans. They saw the club as central to the community and an influence in behaviour and sobriety.

Houlding wanted a small group of owners, owning the majority of the shares giving returns in the corporate model. The control would be in the hands and dictates of a few people."

We now sell booze and live in a tin-pot dictatorship.

Matt Traynor
23 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:10:27
Paul #362. We were sponsored by a bacon firm. The league didn't have many foreign players, much less those from the African continent. Everton didn't have any black players, and were infamous for being a bit proud of that. What's disturbing?

I guess my whole point is that footballers live a privileged life, are massively paid, and part of that fortune derives from increased sponsorship payments. Although the league are happy for a compromise, his employers, Newcastle, seem like they're refusing to budge. Therefore the best solution all round is if he moves on. Sorry, but half of these pricks are fortunate to have the talent to earn a fortune - if it weren't for their footballing skills, they'd likely be regular customers of Wonga and their ilk, ironic.

Mike Green
24 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:13:54
Barry #366 - what a brilliant post.
Paul Andrews
25 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:15:57
Thanks Matt,

I knew what you meant re Hafnia.
The pause........ after "would have been somewhat alien to the spectators" was pretty stereotypical.

Paul Andrews
26 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:19:20
I agree with you re the character of a lot, but not the majority, of today's footballers by the way Matt.
Brent Stephens
27 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:14:25
Of course such companies have a right to market themselves. The point at issue here was whether a player had any right to take a stand against that marketing.

I admire his stance, whether its from a religious or humanistic basis. I would guess that all religions have their internal contradictions so people takes their pick in terms of principles.

Paul Gladwell
28 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:26:18
Mike, I do myself mate especially like last year when every Tom Dick and Harry got on the anti football player bandwagon with the Olympics, even my wife piped up and I reminded her of that again last week with the drug cheat scandal, but As I said, you take them with a pinch of salt, you get your few good ones like Cahill but a large amount of them are bell ends, Suarez being the latest one to use bullshit to hide his agenda.
Paul Andrews
29 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:31:21

The media only report the divvys mate.
The ones doing the good things don't make the headlines.

Laurie Hartley
30 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:20:01
Gavin, one of your questions was "If Everton signed a payday sponsorship for twice the money they are getting from Chang would you welcome it or would it be a step to far?"

Here in Australia we have a mob called "Cash Converters". I detest this company because its shops are full of stuff that people have sold in desperation. It reminds me a of a pawn shop. I would never buy anything from one of its shops.

So if Everton signed a sponsorship deal with Wonga yes for me it would be a step too far. Perish the thought the club would loose its soul.

Mike Green
31 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:45:37
I was just thinking whether there's a sponsor who I would take a similar stance to Cisse's if I was in his position.

I loathe Google, Amazon and Starbucks for tax evasion but use two of them constantly, I hate what Tesco have done to independent traders and suppliers but shop there all the time, I am sickened by profits made by the oil companies but drive daily and though I regarded tobacco companies as amongst the most unethical companies in existence I used to smoke 20+ a day. Thank God I don't live in the US, I would almost certainly own a gun.

All the more to respect what Cisse's doing, in my eyes.

Kev Johnson
32 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:42:49
Brent - you're right when you say "Of course such companies have a right to market themselves". In which case, would it be OK for teams to be sponsored by (legally acceptable) porn sites? I think most of us would be uncomfortable with that, wouldn't we? Yet, frankly, it seems the next logical step. Or, to take it down a level or two, have Durex ever tried to get their name on a football shirt? Would that be OK? Yes, in a way, but it's a slippery slope ("Ooh, matron!").

Personally, I think I think it's horrible that Wonga and the like are allowed to flaunt themselves on the radio, TV and on footy shirts - but then again, I also feel uncomfortable with all of the gambling companies that feature as football sponsors. Alcohol manufacturers don't bother me, but then again, maybe they should.

Mike Green
33 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:01:49
Kev #380 - and to take that a step further should we then allow Gold and Sullivan to buy a football club off the back of porn profits?
Brent Stephens
34 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:00:28

I was really picking up on a previous post that said it was acceptable for such companies to market themselves and wanted really to provide a counter to that by saying, well yes, but a player has the right to oppose it.

But I agree on your point, while it might be acceptable for Wonga etc to advertise (?) that doesn't mean we'd be happy to see our players wearing Durex (!! - the mind boggles - images of David Cameron as portrayed by Steve Bell).

Karl Masters
35 Posted 21/07/2013 at 11:41:49
Great thread this one.

On the subject of the morals of Everton, I think we are dodgy ground if we try and make ourselves out to be whiter than white so to speak.

Charging families in inner Liverpool 50 for a home shirt and about 100 for a kids kit including numbers and EPL badges etc is disturbing enough, but then factor in that the kids or poorly paid workers in the third world who produced it won't have been paid 10p leaves that one aspect of Everton's activities alone open to question.

It all comes down to what people will accept and most of us opt for a quiet life. Putting your head above the parapet can be a dangerous game, just ask that Evertonian who had the temerity to criticise the Everton Free School! Banned from Goodison for life and hounded by the police!

And then there is the question of the web of deceit surrounding who actually owns the club and who is benefitting from its version of payday loans from Vibrac.

I think you'll find football is pretty well rotten to the core morally. As for Cisse I applaud him, although sad to say part of me can't help wondering if it is just a convenient way of engineering a transfer and another payday!

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:06:01
... and Roberto shouting to Peanuts to pull that Durex down further over his ears.
Matt Traynor
37 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:05:12
Kev #380, sponsorship deals are subject to regulatory approval. Tobacco is now widely banned from sports/event marketing (even though Philip Morris tried to introduce a fragrance and a table water to get their brand out, it didn't work).

I'm pretty sure the regulator would block a porn site being the main sponsor. Would bring a new meaning to 3 at the back...

Incidentally some of those teams with perimeter advertising including Asian bet sites is causing all sorts of ructions in the overseas TV broadcast markets in certain countries - which now have access to all 380 games in a season. Wouldn't surprise me if clubs get banned from accepting their advertising deals.

Mike Green
38 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:07:37
Karl #384 - take a bow! :)

Right, I'm off to watch Dr & The Medics in a field - very questionable behaviour.

Fantastic thread, Gavin with great contributions by all. At least we're thinking about it if not necessarily doing anything about it. :)

Paul Gladwell
39 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:09:31
Karl you are dead right, 3.80 for a sausage roll and how much do they charge us for that vile nectar at Half time knowing we would drink anything as long as its alcohol?
Kev Johnson
40 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:09:29
Sorry, I got hold of the wrong end of the stick there, Brent.

I strongly recommend this piece on comically bad football shirt sponsors:

Brent Stephens
41 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:13:57
Matt - "Would bring a new meaning to 3 at the back..."

Including Heitinga wearing his Dutch cap? (now I know why we call him Johhny!)

Kieran Fitzgerald
42 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:07:04
I think that what Cisse has done is simply the exception that proves the rule.

What Mike @379 admits to doing, we all do. The night before we go on holiday, my wife and I always have McDonald's for our dinner. It's part of our holiday at this stage. I'm sure McDonald's isn't the healthiest food to eat and their corporate strategies are probably shady as well. But we do it and will continue to do so.

As fans, we are happy to also get sponsorship form an alcohol company. If Starbucks or Google offered us ten million a year for sponsorship, would we demand that the club turn's it down?

A lot of my clients in work are in the early stages of Recovery and I've seen the damage addiction can do for the client, their family, their opportunities in the future, the stigma of addiction and everything else. Am I then a hypocrite for not complaining about Chang's name being on my favourite team's kit?

Shirt sponsorship is just another example of consumerism. If we are going to be moralistic about Wonga, then why not complain about Chang, or Budweiser sponsoring the FA Cup, or Barclay's Bank's sponsorship of football because of the banks' role in the recession. Why not complain about how mortgage interest rates are legalised extortion and boycott that sponsorship as well.

We could complain, at times we feel like we should, but in the end we won't. We like Starbuck's coffee, we like the internet and how Google helps deliver it. We like our football as escapism. Nothing will change.

Kev Johnson
43 Posted 21/07/2013 at 12:45:08
What an abysmal attitude, Kieran. You're entitled to your opinion and to do things as you see fit, but please don't make out you're speaking for anyone else. Spare me the "We this... we that..."

People can and do complain about things - that's how they change!

I know a number of people who won't use Starbucks or Amazon because they don't pay the proper corporation tax! They are exercising their power as consumers, and good luck to them. Personally, I was so impressed with the six women who (illegally) climbed The Shard in London a week or two ago as a protest about that oil-drilling in the Arctic that I signed up with Greenpeace. People CAN make a difference.

Alan McGuffog
45 Posted 21/07/2013 at 13:04:25
I have to admire his principles... though I wonder, does he observe all the other tenets of his faith?

On a different kind of tack, I was always rather cynical when the artist who was known as Cat Stevens converted and moved to Brazil. Brazil mind... not Saudi or Iran. Just sayin'...

Phil Sammon
46 Posted 21/07/2013 at 13:05:38
I think this berating of Starbucks / Amazon is a bit rich. We all use far less ethical companies every day. Starbucks / Amazon are out to make a profit. If there are gaps in the law that they can exploit, they should do so. They owe that to their shareholders. The fault lies solely with the lawmakers whose incompetence has cost the country millions.
Kev Johnson
47 Posted 21/07/2013 at 13:16:43
"If there are gaps in the law that they can exploit, they should do so. They owe that to their shareholders." Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Phil! Unfettered capitalism-a-go-go, eh? The exploited can like it or lump it, eh?

Where's Paul Ferry when you need him? Up the workers!

Ernie Baywood
48 Posted 21/07/2013 at 13:31:32
Nothing wrong with tax avoidance as opposed to tax evasion.
Kevin Tully
49 Posted 21/07/2013 at 13:34:56
When politicians are elected on the basis of policies they have no intention of EVER implementing, Groucho always springs to mind: "I have my principles, and if you don't like them.... well, I have others."

Money & power in football only lead down one path, corruption. Look at Fifa, the most powerful body in world football and the most corrupt,morally destitute of all sporting bodies. Bribery is rife, and guilty parties are not even prosecuted when evidence is readily available.

I gave up worrying about these issues a long time ago.

Phil Friedman
50 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:08:59
If he'd play in a shirt advertising beer, I'd trade him one up for Jelavic right now.
Daniel Starkey
51 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:04:48
As far as I know, Muslims are against usury or riba as they call it, that means any form of loan where interest is charged not just the excessive interest that companies like Wonga charge. So why did Cisse sign for a club in the Barclays Premier League and why does he wear the Barclay logo on his shirt?
John Keating
52 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:23:29
Cisse two-faced prick! Not complaining about the loot he gets. Should give it all to charity and keep his trap shut!
Phil Sammon
53 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:25:59
Muslims are seemingly ok to relax these principles when it comes to getting a mortgage. Allah can turn a blind eye to that one.
Kieran Fitzgerald
54 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:24:46
I wasn't speaking for you Kev, it was the general use of the word we, I was referring to joe public and society in general. Get over yourself.

What was meant was that people in general do seem to have a more lax attitude towards stuff like this than they should. And I do include myself in this. Should I be more discerning, yes. Am I, no. This doesn't mean I don't have a conscience.

If you do avoid using some of these types of companies then fair enough. I genuinely give you credit for that. But don't bite my head off for saying what I think. I wasn't lecturing you, don't lecture me.

Ross Edwards
55 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:39:36
This is what I don't get about extremist Muslims, they forbid money lending and drinking alcohol as they are against their Shariah Laws etc, but yet they seem content to make people's lives a misery by causing war and committing horrific atrocities all over the world to make a sacrifice to Allah.

If Cisse was so upset by wearing a shirt with a money lending company, he'd also give his wages to charity wouldn't he? Isn't greed against the Muslim Shariah Laws as well?

If anyone reading this does get offended, I will apologise right now. These comments weren't meant to offend in any way.

Kevin Thompson
56 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:42:30
Name one sponsor pass or present, you could not object to.Barcelona had Unicef, but how much donated to Unicef goes to charity and how much to administrators. You could find some sort of objection for any product, such as McDonalds and Coke as unhealthy.

Lots of multinationals have used cheap labour, parts made in China with oppressive human rights. We have a drinks company on ours, hardly a good advertisement for children. Banks and financial institutes preying on the poor. Plane companies who burn large amounts of fossil fuels. Gambling sites preying on fools with more money than sense.

Phil Walling
57 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:36:07
When it comes to football, most of us leave sense and reason at home and truth, morals, principles and all those other high-faluting matters usually stay with them.

I hate the preachers of whatever faith, race, colour or creed who seek to impose their `beliefs` on others but who might well be seen by those they target as less than perfect in their own lives.

As far as I know, young Cisse is not seeking to impose his views on his team mates but feels offended enough to make a personal stance against the money lenders. But that, in itself, begs the question why he`s happy to ply his trade in the Barclay's Premier League in the first place, given that this sponsor is a far bigger exponent of the 'sin' of usury than the embattled Wonga company.

Get my drift?

Ross Edwards
58 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:00:03
If he goes to somewhere like Russia, he'll have to deal with racism.

What would he prefer, constant racial abuse, or wear a shirt with the logo of a pathetic money lending firm on it?

I'd pick B...

David O'Keefe
59 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:54:02

GCSE RE here for you giving away a portion of your wages to the poor is one of the pillars of Islam (Cisse's charitable donations are his business). Wearing a shirt promoting a legal loan shark every week sort of chafes against that pillar. Islam is also against usury charging excessive interest on loans.

Linking Cisse to extremist Muslims is rather crass and offensive. I mean really Ross, I'm not a Muslim or someone with a great deal of love for Islam, but there's a billion Muslims in the world and not all of 'em are committing horrific atrocities. Its almost as offensive as basing your views of Evertonians on the output of BlueKipper!

John Keating
60 Posted 21/07/2013 at 14:59:33
This has got piss all to do with He had a shit last season and will be angling away for a big money move away total arsehole!
Daniel Starkey
61 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:04:53
David (#423),

They are against interest full stop not just excessive interest, so why no protest against Barclays?

Ross Edwards
63 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:09:06
David, I wouldn't dream of comparing Cisse to an extremist Muslim. Extreme Muslims have criticised him for having links with the shirt, which is why he is refusing to wear it.

I fully realise that not all Muslims are extremist, but it is just sad that this sacred religion is being tarnished with this "terrorists" tag.

As you so correctly said David, there are billions of good Muslims in the world, but the religion they follow is being tarnished by the actions of a minority group.

Once again, apologies for my first post.

Paul Kelly
65 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:08:42
Think John @ 424 has hit the nail on the head.

He's realised he's at a shit team and wants out. He can sugar coat it all he wants. Hiding behind his 'beliefs' without asking for a transfer, smart lad.

And if it is to do with 'beliefs', well more fools them (Newcastle) for putting up with it.

David O'Keefe
66 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:19:46
Taking the religion out of the debate: Bolton Wanderers fans protested against the club's sponsorship deal with Quick Quid a few weeks ago. So Cisse's action religious or not is not taking place in a vacuum.

John Ford
69 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:33:14
Wonga's core business is pretty rotten and they trade on people who are often already in difficulty. If you take it as a question of degree then they are firmly towards the shitty end of the spectrum. Good on him for taking this stance.
Jay Harris
71 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:32:16
It is said that money is the root of all evil.

But without money we cant survive so in essence we are all evil.

Try and find an answer to that in the Koran or the Bible.

Humans have been established on hypocrisy.

It is not OK to kill a human being (except in war!!) but it is OK to kill a pig or a cow.

It is not OK to experiment on humans but it is OK to mutilate rats and monkees.

We march for peace and then throw petrol bombs at police and loot shops.

Life is full of breaches of morality and principles otherwise we wouldn't need police, armies and judges.

Phil Sammon
72 Posted 21/07/2013 at 15:49:11

Why is interest prohibited in Islam?

Zaid Omar
73 Posted 21/07/2013 at 16:48:59
Phil, thanks for your question... See article below for a detailed overview of reasons for prohibition and similarities with original scriptures of other faiths. Very interesting read if you have time:

Phil Sammon
74 Posted 21/07/2013 at 16:55:25

I was more hoping for an answer from yourself rather than a link to a website.

From what I can gather, a Muslim should earn their money rather than accrue it with little to no effort.

It's hard to fathom how anyone could live by those principles in this day and age - particularly a grossly overpaid individual. A Muslim should not hoard or take more than he needs. What's he on, 40k p/w? Then he drops to his knees to thank Allah after hitting the back of the net and claiming a 5k goal bonus.


Brent Stephens
75 Posted 21/07/2013 at 17:19:19
Is there also something about a rich man entering the Kingdom of Heaven, in the Christian faith? So... Pienaar?

Eugene Ruane
76 Posted 21/07/2013 at 17:30:58
Matt (341) - "Without wishing to enter a debate here, Islam is a religion full of contradictions".

Not like consistent 'an eye for an eye'/'thou shall not kill' Christianity then.

Ross (418) - "This is what I don't get about extremist Muslims, they forbid money lending and drinking alcohol as they are against their Shariah Laws etc, but yet they seem content to make people's lives a misery by causing war and committing horrific atrocities all over the world to make a sacrifice to Allah."

Sorry, I have no idea why you have mentioned 'extremist Muslims'.

What's the difference between extremist muslims and extremist Christians?

Extremists of EVERY 'religion' have bombed, killed and caused misery and suffering for others in the name of their ludicrous gods for centuries - seems a little (too) selective pointing the finger at Islam, imo.

Paul Ferry
77 Posted 21/07/2013 at 17:28:51
If there are gaps in the law that they can exploit, they should do so." (401)

Dear Lord. The moral judicious and fair corporate route to the better and more even-handed existence.

Yes let's let these corporate monsters Starbucks and Amazon have been chucked in the hat exploit all the loopholes that they possibly can because they can and that is a more lofty morality than say a porous set of laws.

God help us one and all.

They are perfectly reasonable, Mr Sammon says, to exploit loopholes like the ones that let them exploit hard-up workers getting paid bare minimums for working round the clock.

Mr Sammon, have you seen documentaries about, for instance, Walmart or Amazon? Hey let them exploit loopholes and places that have not seen robust regulation. After all, they are probably Mexicans and we got more than a few loopholes to exploit with that lot.

Perhaps Mr Sammon you can have a word in the ear with our director Green who just scopped a 280 million windfall through tax dodges? Good luck to you Greeny, eh, exploiting loopholes in dodgy laws. Nothing wrong with what he did eh Phil, and perhaps he might give the club a few of his shameful sponds.

Morals, fuck who needs morals when there are leaky laws to bend. Good on ya Amazon and your fair-minded treatment of your packers.

Unfettered and unbrbidled exploitation is fine because the law is a mess. What a disgusting unprincipled and yes immoral point of view. Let's let the boardroom bastards piss all over decent workers because, well because they can.

So, Mr Sammon, will you be campaigning hard to reform the law and plug gaps so Green and his cash-carressing cronies will no longer be able to sidestep the law and shun morality?

Up the workers.

Eugene Ruane
78 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:04:01
By the way Gavin, great thought-provoking post.
Phil Sammon
79 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:03:31
Paul Ferry

What a terribly constructed, incoherent post.

If you're searching for examples of corporate immorality, look no further than the trade union you are most likely a member of.

Why would a company ever pay more than it has to?

Zaid Omar
80 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:06:49
Phil 456, what difference does it make if I pointed you to an article which clearly and thoroughly deals with the issue or if I tell you in essence the exact same thing????

Phil, let's not cloud issues.. Do you have an issue with Cisse or with the prohibition on interest in the Islamic faith????

If you have an issue with Cisse take it up with him, cos he is not a flag bearer for the Islamic faith. Also, do you know personally what he does with his wealth???? How do you know that he hoards??? Or what proportion he gives to charity?? So don't judge ...

With regards to how anyone can live with those principles in this day and age , there are a lot of people ..... I for one thank God every day for that fact that I am not involved in any way with interest .. And to tell you the truth , I'm getting along very very fine thank you.. . And there are millions like me.. Work hard with the correct intention and God will provide.. So don't undermine millions of Muslims who practice on the pure teachings of the faith...

Paul Ferry
81 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:26:12
A pathetic response Mr. Sammon, I was hoping that you might be able to do better than that, but no.

Poorly constructed! Ha. What a devastating riposte, just devastating: "If you're searching for examples of corporate immorality, look no further than the trade union you are most likely a member of".

There's no way back from that one is there? Simply devastating and prosaically perfect and perfectly constructed.

White flag.

You're right, I'm gonna go out right now and find an elderly minimum-wage worker to kick like a football.

Down with principles and morals.

Up the workers!

Patrick Murphy
82 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:23:16
That though Phil is the moral dilemma should it pay what it legally has to or should business have a social conscience? We all behave badly at times, we all want things cheaper and quicker with as little effort as possible. Somebody somewhere has to pay the price for our laziness and greed, sometimes it's the bloke next door, sometimes it is someone further afield that gets the rough end of the stick.

Most of us suffer in one way or another due to the lack of moral fibre of a few, but many of us let it slide as we can't see a way of organising our society to be fairer. There will always be fluctuations of behaviour from outright greed to philanthropic generosity and generally there is an acceptable level of fairness, but sometimes like recent history suggests there is a gulf between what the ordinary person sees as fair and what huge corporations see as fair - this issue has to be addressed in order for society to function in a peaceable way.

Paul Ferry
83 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:31:18
I have to say that Phil Sammon's attitudes towards Islam and corporate exploitation have been consistently shallow all the way through his too many contributions to this thread.

His attitude towards Zaid is shameful.

Ben Dyke
84 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:29:25
We have no idea what Cisse's true motivation is, nor whether his stance is borne out in the rest of his life. Its easy to pick holes from where we are standing.

There are many things in normal Western European life that are opposed to Muslim principles, not just usury, of which payday loan companies are a particularly gross example, but there are also different expressions of faith hence why other Muslim players are OK wearing the shirt. And there is room for all of that in the Premier League.

I don't think he is angling for a move with this, I really don't, but I presume at some point he decided that was a price worth paying. I think it must be hard to uphold all his muslim principles and live in the Western system without some compromises.

@Jay - 442 - the Bible says 'The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil', not money itself and thats a very important distinction.

Phil Walling
85 Posted 21/07/2013 at 19:09:33
Last time we visited this subject it was about the prospect of signing Joey Barton. Fortunately there was no `interest` in him!
Phil Sammon
86 Posted 21/07/2013 at 18:55:07

I have said nothing disrespectful to Zaid so you can get off your high horse with that one. If he or you choose to be offended by my opinions on religion then that's your problem. Likewise, you are entitled to your own views.

The point I initially raised was that you cannot expect a massive company to operate ethically. They answer only to shareholders and lawmakers. The former wants to see profit and rarely questions how it comes. So long as its legal, the former and the latter are satisfied. The solution is simple. Don't rely on morality when it comes to taxation.

I have never set foot in a Starbucks in my life because I strongly oppose their aggressive business model. I have morals, I'm not the shallow beast you seem to be trying to portray. I pick and choose where I spend my money. The thing I can't understand is people expecting a huge corporation to have the same morals as their own.

Paul Ferry
87 Posted 21/07/2013 at 19:17:53
Fair enough Phil (487), a much more measured and articulate response and I take back the shallow depiction.

Good on ya re. Starbucks.

Nice to see middle ground there and that not everything in this world is rigid polarity.

Phil Walling
88 Posted 21/07/2013 at 19:15:30
Paul @ 469: I guess if Greeny lobbed a bit of his `tax exempt` millions Everton`s way, you`d be manning the barricades in protest?

Just asking like.

Raymond Fox
89 Posted 21/07/2013 at 20:12:47
On the point about gambling, everyone gambles, what about house and car insurance, what do you think that is, your betting your premium in case an event happens!
The insurance companies are bookmakers, in all but name.

Moneylenders, banks, building societies we all use them, its just a matter of degree.

Kevin Tully
90 Posted 21/07/2013 at 20:39:48
Forget about Starbucks, Amazon, Google et al, read "The Smartest Guys in the Room" or watch the documentary.

You will see hoe real corruption works in the good ole' US of A.

Matt Traynor
91 Posted 21/07/2013 at 20:49:33
Eugene #467. my statement about Islam, which whilst slightly generalistic, was borne out of some knowledge. Through work I have had the opportunity to work in some Islamic places, and whilst in the "sanctity" of Singapore, took the opportunity to try to understand more.

My "contradictions" statement is my view alone. But it's far less extreme than the view of the UK Media or EDL. (Yes, I put them in the same bracket).

I apologise Eugene if you mis-construed what I was saying - I purposely said I didn't (and don't) want to get into a debate here.

BTW the most interesting religion I ever came across on my travels was Caodaism. Went to their main temple in Vietnam and it was eye-opening (watching from the balcony). We could all learn a lot... (Wish I wasn't a $cientologi$t now).

Zaid Omar
92 Posted 21/07/2013 at 20:36:46
Phil, everyone is entitled to their opinion. And I didn't take offense to what you said... I heard a lovely saying recently which went like this "in life we barely find enough time to love, where do we find time to hate?"

I am not referring to you, but in general people create perceptions regarding the faith of Islam based on the views and actions of less than half a percent of the Muslim population world wide. What about the other 99.5 percent of the Muslims following the teachings of the Holy Quran. Yes we are all are not perfect, and we all will make mistakes and falter as we go through the trials of life , but why don't we focus on the positives .. Again, I say this, read the Quran in its entirety and your view will change. Don't make a judgement based on what you hear in the press or based on the actions or statements of terrorists

I visited Goodison last year for the Derby, and was so impressed by the lengths that the club went to to accommodate my religious needs as simple as they were. Hats off to all at Goodison , including Graeme Sharp and security stewards who went out of their way find a room for me to perform my prayers during the game ( we pray 5 times a day , and one of those prayer times was during the game) With regards to negative statements regarding Steven Pienaar and his drinking , yes he may not be perfect , but I know him personally and he is a really good guy at heart and he is doing a lot of good work back at home for charities etc.

I am from South Africa and a few years back Hashim Amla took a similar stance against Cricket South Africa. He refused to wear the Castle sign on his cricket gear as Islam prohibits alcohol. Cricket South Africa chose to embrace his religious views and today Hashim is without a doubt one of the most respected sportsman in south Africa amongst Muslims and non Muslims. He stood by his principles and he was respected for it by both Muslims and non Muslims including Castle Lager.

Again, focus on the positives and not lets not focus on the faults of others when they are trying to stand up for what they believe...

Mike Green
93 Posted 21/07/2013 at 20:57:10
Phil #987 - 'you cannot expect a massive company to behave ethically'.

Excuse me.....? Why not?

The company I work for turns over 9 billion p.a., is the second largest employer in the country and continually gets amongst the highest scores in the UK for corporate and social responsibity.

To say it can't be done is either ignorance, a cop out, or the root of why we're up a moral shit street nowadays.

Phil Sammon
94 Posted 21/07/2013 at 21:36:18

I didn't say that it couldn't be done. I meant that you'd be very naive to assume a huge company has the same morals that you hold dear.

Mike Green
95 Posted 21/07/2013 at 21:47:00
Matt Traynor
96 Posted 21/07/2013 at 21:42:26
Mike #512, without outing your company, you need a dose of realism Sir. CSR is all corporate bullshit for 99% of companies to make their annual report compliant.

Now whilst I'm sure your company is one of the 1% (it isn't), the real root of the problem is they are only driven by one motive - maximising shareholder value. The root of all corporate evil lies with satisfying shareholder demand. In my Utopian view, shareholders role is to provide cheaper loans than the banks, once that's done, get rid. Sadly too many companies start being driven towards strategies to maximise profits, not "welfare" or what they were set up to do.

At least I've taken this convo off religion.

Mike Green
97 Posted 21/07/2013 at 21:55:59
Matt #520 - so young, and yet so cynical.
Phil Sammon
98 Posted 21/07/2013 at 21:54:01

Because it doesn't happen. They get to the top by trampling the competition. They may throw some money at starving kids in Africa and get a few choice photos in the paper, but its all a front.

I think you need a reality check.

Matt Traynor
99 Posted 21/07/2013 at 22:01:30
Mike #523, I'm 42. But yer right on the second part...!
Mike Green
100 Posted 21/07/2013 at 22:11:11
Phil and Matt - we'll probably have to agree to disagree else we'll go around in circles.

All I can say is I know it can be done and I've seen it done. It brings with it it's own problems too but there we are.

I respect your views though, genuinely, and I too at 40 Matt am as cynical as the best of them :)

Have a nice evening.

Steve Carter
101 Posted 22/07/2013 at 04:18:19
My God, there's some moralistic and patronising claptrap/ coffee shop philosophy on this thread. Wonga operates a business that it is lawfully entitled to operate in the UK. Moreover, it does so openly in a highly regulated and visible industry. And, if it doesn't lawfully operate its business as so regulated, then, no doubt, it will be prosecuted by the authorities and ordered to compensate those 'people struggling to make ends meet in day-to-day life' and the 'working class people [it targets] with the easy availability of these loans' (as one gibberer put it) that it wrongfully acts in relation to.

It's this simple: if you don't or aren't prepared to accept the (lawful and above board) terms of loan, then don't apply for it in the first place. It is absurd to contend, as some seem to be, that people have to loan, or are forced into these loans, from Wonga through no choice of their own or as a consequence of matters entirely out of their responsibility, influence or control.

Those who agree that Cisse's motive is to obtain a release from Newcastle are entirely correct. Hypocrisy of a fairly high order: he's happy, as someone pointed out, to reap the rewards of playing in a league sponsored by a major userer. His objection to Wonga therefore is no more than it is a 'bigger' usurer than Barclay's insofar as the former charges more interest than the latter (apparently); although the latter surely obtains far more money from usury than the former (including from 'working class people' whoever or what it or they is or are these days). Great point of principle that.

Pat Finegan
102 Posted 22/07/2013 at 05:12:28
Jay, 412, "It is said that money is the root of all evil."

Not money but the lust thereafter. I Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Currency is, as a matter of fact, unavoidable. Greed is what's bad.

If Cisse is actually concerned about the morality of the sponsor's who pay him, the difference between Wonga and Barclay's is that Barclay's is not unethical in its essence. Though there may be corrupt individuals within such a corporation, the idea of western banking is not essentially corrupt. A payday advance company is borderline thievery.

In communication theory, it is believed that each individual has a range of acceptance regarding opposing beliefs. A Norwegian woman was recently sentenced to jail time for reporting a rape in Dubai. That event is outside of my spectrum of acceptance. My western morals don't go along with ideas such as forcing women to wear head coverings but jailing a woman for reporting a rape is a step too far against human rights. Perhaps Cisse sees Wonga's involvement with Newcastle in a similar way. Western lending practices aren't okay with him but he'll roll with it to an extent. Payday loans are just a step too far.

Odds are, he is just trying to get away from Joe Kinnear, who isn't exactly the model of western morality (or any morality) but it's a more interesting discussion if you give him the benefit of the doubt.

Mark Stewart
103 Posted 22/07/2013 at 06:44:58
It might have already been said on here but no-one heard a beep out of Cisse last year when he wore a shirt with Virgin across the front of it..

Just saying

Mike Allison
104 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:03:41
Many question in your post, I'll try to give my answers as clearly as possible:

"To what extent do we expect to see our club behave ethically?" I'm not sure its possible to explain an 'extent' but I definitely expect us to act ethically, more so than other clubs. I want my club to be something I can be proud of.

"Also why is his behavior being contrasted with that of his teammates who are also Muslims? Why anyone should think that Muslims are any more likely to have principles than Christians is beyond me." I'm not sure you're quite up to speed on this. Islam specifically prohibits lending for profit. Muslims are told they must earn their money in an honest way. If Cisse feels he is earning money from Newcastle, who get some of it from a payday loan company, who earn it 'dishonestly', then he feels he is directly contradicting a religious law, and so the link between his stance and his religion is clear and explicit. Therefore to compare it to other Muslims is natural. Freddie Kanoute initially refused to wear Seville's sponsor a few years ago as it was an online casino and gambling is also 'haram' for Muslims. The club allowed him to wear a plain shirt for a while, but eventually he, and whoever advised him on his religion, decided that he wasn't doing anything wrong himself, and that as an employee of the club he simply had to accept the situation. This sentiment is echoed by most Muslims, and Ali Al Habsi explained it in the recent BBC documentary The Muslim Premier League, as Wigan were also sponsored by an online casino last year.

"If Everton has an ethos what is it? Nil Satis Nisi Optimum? Its difficult to relate to that when we are selling our best players each season." Maybe that is our ethos, but it doesn't have to mean the best at football. To be honest, our latin motto is a bit of a pain in the arse. Its a bit of 19th century bravado from the people who set up the club, but some people seem to take it to mean that if we don't win the league every year or a player decides they'd rather be at another club with more chance of success we must wail and gnash our teeth bemoaning our lot in life. Its a nice sentiment, a bit of tradition, but we must stop using it as a millstone around our necks preventing us from enjoying being anything other than the actual best football team in the world. Your article is about ethics and principles, I'd rather we aspired to be the best at that.

Overall I'd say everyone and every institution in the world has an obligation to act honourably, Everton is no exception, and as I said before, I want us to be noticeable in actually keeping to it, even when perhaps others don't.

Mike Green
105 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:02:01
If Cisse is using it to engineer a transfer out of Newcastle, why wouldn't he just put in a transfer request instead?

The only reason I can think of is if he expects to go on a free as a result - which would make a transfer both easy and highly lucrative for him.

I can't see any suggestion of this though and I think he's agreed to play for the club but won't wear the logo (something the sponsors have understandably rejected), which all pours cold water on the idea that he's not serious about the principle, doesn't it.....?

Mike Allison
107 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:21:30
A couple of responses to early replies. A Muslim would not object to advertising Ham or even beer in the same way as money lending from what I can tell, as these are not dishonest professions in the same specific way that money lending is, although I suspect the very idea of assuming all Muslims would respond in the same way is the problem here.

Someone mentioned that as they are currently legitimate companies, payday loan companies should be allowed to market themselves in this way. However, tobacco companies are legitimate companies and are not allowed to market themselves in this way, so there is at least a precedent for preventing them, although I don't see it happening.

Peter Barry
108 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:42:20
Muslim Banks and financial Institutions do not charge interest instead they add a 'Service Charge' to the loan which , surprise surprise, is the equivalent to what you would pay if you paid interest. So what Cisse is trying to defend is Islamic hypocrisy.
Andrew Laird
109 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:50:58
"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it." Christopher Hitchens.

Andrew Laird
110 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:51:46
Mark Stewart 571, maybe Cisse got himself another 71 Newcastle shirts with Virgin as the logo, he could then store them in a room entitled "paradise" on the door.
Mike Allison
111 Posted 22/07/2013 at 08:31:35
"How many Muslims have a mortgage?"

Tony Muslims have special banks for specifically this reason.

"Charging families in inner Liverpool 50 for a home shirt and about 100 for a kids kit including numbers and EPL badges etc is disturbing enough" Sorry but I've never agreed with this. Nobody has to buy them. Families in inner Liverpool or anywhere else for that matter need to take responsibility for managing their own money, rather than trying to blame someone else. If no-one paid the 50 the price would come down.

I have to say I'm slightly disturbed by some of the anti-Islamic sentiment coming through in a few posts. I definitely didn't think that's what we're about. Why would we doubt whether Cisse follows the rest of his faith? What position are you in to speculate about that?

Ross' post @ #418 is typical of some of the ignorance on here. Cisse does give at least 2.5% of his wages to charity as required by Islam, all Muslim players do. This is called Zakat and is one of the absolute minimum requirements of being a Muslim. Muslims would ordinarily make further contributions beyond this as well. (I've since read your apology Ross so please don't worry, I picked yours as an example but there are plenty of others).

Jay #442 I think others have dealt with the initial main problem but I think that's one of the worst posts I've ever read. I don't think you make a single valid point.

"Those who agree that Cisse's motive is to obtain a release from Newcastle are entirely correct." Breathtaking that you have the arrogance to feel you 'know' that. How could you know that?!

Mike Allison
112 Posted 22/07/2013 at 09:23:51
Andrew please don't base your religious/philosophical views on Christopher Hitchens - a professional WUM who died still professing in public that the Iraq war was the right thing to do. Even the people who started it aren't so sure now.

'Religion' to try to take it as an abstract noun, has developed essentially as a way to try to formalise human decency and encourage and motivate everyone to have it. The fact that it doesn't always work doesn't necessarily mean its a bad thing, or that religious people should all be tarred with the same brush as the worst members of their religion. The situation is so much more complicated than that.

Phil Sammon
113 Posted 22/07/2013 at 09:25:58
"How many Muslims have a mortgage?"
Tony Muslims have special banks for specifically this reason.


Mike - They word it differently but they have mortgages and pay interest just like the rest of us.

I have to say, I don't think there's been any 'anti-Islamic' sentiment on this thread, bar a poor choice of words from Ross, who has since apologised.

There's been a fair amount of questioning of Cisse's morals. That would be happening regardless what religion he chose to follow (or not follow).

Andrew Ellams
114 Posted 22/07/2013 at 09:38:10
Haven't read the whole thread here so apologies if somebody has mentioned this already, but I would be interested to know where Papis Cisse does his personal banking and whether or not he accrues what would be a sizeable amount of interest from his enormous income.

My guess is that he is just trying to engineer a move and if that is so and he is using his religion to do this then he should be shunned by all the top clubs and people within his religious community that genuinely live their lives through their faith.

Eric Myles
115 Posted 22/07/2013 at 10:47:33
Mike #576, Newcastle could just declare that none of the sponsorship money is used to pay players wages and then there'd be no problem if it was only a money issue.
Andrew Laird
116 Posted 22/07/2013 at 11:03:12
Mike 588, it was a quote and not a statement of what I live my life by, I am well versed on many religions and their origins which are in the main plagiarism and tweaks of earlier faiths. The same type of cherry picking which still exists today among faiths.

I think you might learn just how erudite and educated the man was if you read through some of his essays which are not about religion, Mark Twain or Karl Marx for instance. I think you are doing one of the finest writers of the last 50 years a great dis-service, he was far more than a WUM!

By the way can you actually argue against the quote?.... I didn't think so.

Laurie Hartley
117 Posted 22/07/2013 at 10:13:59
Getting back to Gavin's post he said:-

"Bizarrely, the press has chosen to explain his stand by referring to his religion. This is offensive on many levels. Its depressing to think that the only reason they can think of someone having principles is if they are religious."

I hear where your coming from Gavin - for example you might want to make a stand on pay day loans because you are a socialist or perhaps you are philanthropist, or even "an Israelite in whom there is no guile".

It seems during the course of the thread we may have fallen into the "religion" trap. This of course diverts us from the real issue - as human beings how far are we willing to compromise the truth that is written in each of our hearts?

Speaking for myself - too far - too many times. But I'm working on it.

So back to the question of lending money to desperate people at exhorbitant interest rates. My dad ( god rest his soul) was a socialist ( and a one eyed Evertonian). When I was a little boy (about 55 years ago) he gave me a book to read entitled "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists". I remember in particular one section which referred to a thing called "the great money trick". It is worth reading.

Brent at 458 : The gospel of St Matthew 19:24. "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Like I said Gavin - I think you have started something here.

Laurie Hartley
118 Posted 22/07/2013 at 11:26:41
The great money trick link in my post was wrong.
Paul Andrews
119 Posted 22/07/2013 at 11:40:09
Phil Sammon,

I am seeing a clear image of your character from the posts above.
Blunt Yorkshireman?
Calls a spade a spade?

Phil Sammon
120 Posted 22/07/2013 at 11:43:30

I've no idea if that's how I come across Paul. The Yorkshire bit is right of course.

Kev Johnson
121 Posted 22/07/2013 at 11:55:28
Great post, Laurie - and thanks for the link. Interesting.I knew of that book, but have never read it. Maybe I will.

Ciarn McGlone
122 Posted 22/07/2013 at 12:17:52
AHHH...Robert Tressell in a ToffeeWeb thread...

Makes the heart fond..

As for the substantive issue - Objection is a long a hard won tradition..long may it continue.

PS . and that goes for those who object to the objection!

Laurie Hartley
123 Posted 22/07/2013 at 12:29:33
Ciarian - where your heart is there will your treasure be also.
with an Irish flavour:
Kevin O'Regan
124 Posted 22/07/2013 at 12:48:52
I think you've started a debate here which could break all boundaries ie. could go on and on due to the number of topics mentioned and which will come up...

When it comes to principles, it's difficult to judge someone one doesn't know sometimes even difficult to know why you yourself would do something or oppose something, never mind someone else. I have no reason to doubt Cisse's principles and even if many such issues in Islam are interpreted differently in various cultures and countries of Islam, it's still nice to see people standing up for their beliefs.

Of course it gets difficult if you get personal in terms of scrutinising people's lives to see who they are to make such a claim to moral high ground in which case, no-one is clean or can thrown stones. Nonetheless, I can't come to work for a company who make microelectronic chips and after 2 weeks tell them I don't agree with their environmental policies... or move to the airport region and join an anti-airport expansion group...

It's an interesting debate but also an endless one.

Mike Allison
125 Posted 22/07/2013 at 13:46:26
Andrew I thought it was clear that I wasn't trying to argue against the quotation but expand on its rather simplistic sentiment.

As for being erudite and educated, those aren't good things in and of themselves, only for what they are intended to lead on to.

You may be right about Christopher Hitchens' other work, but he seemed happy to gain fame, notoriety and, presumably, money for talking and writing some absolute garbage.

Ciarn McGlone
126 Posted 22/07/2013 at 14:04:08

Interested to know what parts of Hitchens work you perceive to be 'absolute garbage'?

Perhaps your thinking of his erstwhile brother...who does inded talk and write absolute garbage most of the time..

Mike Allison
127 Posted 22/07/2013 at 14:14:16
No, it is Christopher Hitchens I'm thinking of. Peter may well be worse but he's less also intelligent and important.

What's absolute garbage? I'll settle for his ideas on religion, his attempt to create the term 'anti-theism' and pretty much anything he ever wrote about the Iraq war or the general simplistic thrust of his reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

He's part of the Dawkins-inspired anti-religion movement which seems to have appropriated atheism and is intolerant of any form of reasonable dialogue about what religion actually is as an expression of humanity.

For a start he treats 'religion' as an abstract noun as a coherent concept in itself, when in fact the word refers to any number of different ideas and is open to all kinds of interpretation.

But if you write something simple, which enough people agree with, and can make them feel intelligent for agreeing with you, you're onto a winner.

Matt Traynor
128 Posted 22/07/2013 at 13:06:55
Kevin #627, thanks for saying so eloqunetly I was struggling to say.
Ciarn McGlone
129 Posted 22/07/2013 at 14:45:04

If anything your analysis appears to contradict the narrative of God is not Great..

The subtext of that book is certainly not one of 'intolerance'..

He certainly doesn't hold back when it comes to the misappropriation of altruism by modern organised theism...But that's a well founded and cogent argument.

To lump him in with Dawkins is frankly lazy..

Kevin O'Regan
134 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:00:46
Lads, remember this is a footballing website FFS - gone a bit of the topic me thinks. Wonder what Blue Bill thinks about Morals in Football these days...
Colin Glassar
135 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:10:13
I agree Kevin. I haven't read any of this thread but guys, ffs, more important things are happening in the world. I've been glued to the telly all day waiting for the birth of the royal babby. I've got a fiver on it being a girl and it getting called Elizabeth Diana Charles William Katherine Camilla Duncan Ferguson Windsor.
Andrew Laird
136 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:14:21
Mike, I think you have said everything for me.

Kevin O'Regan, you are of course right but this website is unique amongst it's peers which is one of the reasons why it excels. I love football and Everton of course but this website is about so much more than that to me, it's a revelation (no religious pun intended).

Andrew Laird
137 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:38:32
I hope the baby has Charles' ears Colin, I had 5 on that. I also had 5 on the
'royal bint' to be too posh to push and have a caesarean.

Come on Kate, keep those legs closed!!!

Colin Glassar
138 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:48:59
Charles's ears and Camilla's jaw would be a nice combo. I wonder what the odds are on it being an Evertonian?
Patrick Murphy
139 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:52:56
I read today that a Lady and her horse pulled into a well known drive thru food restaurant and allegedly the bloke at the window said 'Hey Luv! Deliveries are round back!"
Only some of that story is true.
Mike Allison
140 Posted 22/07/2013 at 16:59:00
"To lump him in with Dawkins is frankly lazy.."


I'm not saying that they necessarily argue the same thing all the time, but they certainly belong in the same general category. I'll call it militant atheist fundamentalism.

As you can probably tell, I have not read God Is Not Great, but it was quite a big deal so have come across much of what he has said, watched him in debate and so on, so I can only talk to you about his ideas in general, rather than speak with authority about the specifics of that book.

As is the modern way, I've now looked at the summary on Wikipedia and started looking at some critical reviews. I'm not starting to feel stupid or out of my depth yet.

Brent Stephens
141 Posted 22/07/2013 at 18:35:10
Kev #615, depending on your politics, "The Ragged..." (that's an ellipsis not a cucumber) is a great read.

Laurie #608. Point of interest, Robert Tressel is buried in a Liverpool cemetry.

Paul Ferry
142 Posted 22/07/2013 at 18:54:25
5-Live currently reporting that the royal sprog is going to be named, get this: Everton Alex Young Sheeds Vernon Sager Howie Part 1 Labone Toffee Naismith Tricky Dixie Mountbatten Windsor.

This, apparently, is the mother's idea who turns out to be a rabid blue; the father, we know, is a Villa fan.

Exciting news, there are, apparently, 7 Evertonians born every two hours.

Colin Glassar
143 Posted 22/07/2013 at 20:17:57
Great news Paul. His daddy might buy us if he's a good boy. I suppose BK would claim to have blue blood though and so we'd have to keep him on the books as butler or something.
Patrick Murphy
144 Posted 22/07/2013 at 20:48:22
Colin I've always the Chairman more akin to a Dumb Waiter as opposed to a Royal Butler.
Colin Glassar
145 Posted 22/07/2013 at 20:51:40
I'm sure he'd find a way to hang around, in some capacity, like some unwanted poltergeist Patrick.
I think it's bad form that TW haven't acknowledged the birth of the royal kid in some form or other. Even ssn had it on the sodding banner!!
Patrick Murphy
146 Posted 22/07/2013 at 21:10:05
Colin there are plenty of outlets falling over themselves to drench us in all news Royal, this is a welcome oasis for the Royal Blues.
Colin Glassar
147 Posted 22/07/2013 at 21:22:45
Hear, hear Patrick.
Alan McGuffog
148 Posted 22/07/2013 at 21:35:56
Both Peter and Christopher owe an immense debt to their father Gerry, a most under rated centre forward for England and, I believe, Villa.
Andy Crooks
149 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:28:22
Wonga is a perfectly legitimate business that in many cases exploits the desperate. Their jolly ads and their sponsorship of Newcastle are, in my view, cynical efforts to portray them as a friendly uncle one can turn to in hard times.

Some are cynical of Cisse's stance and point to his vast salary. So, what exactly is the maximum one can earn and retain some morals? Are footballers not entitled to a social conscience? It appears that wealthy actors are.

Si Cooper
150 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:45:33
Agree with Mike Allinson's posts on militant atheism; impossible to have a rational debate on the subject these days without it quickly degenerating to 'you're just superstitious, gullible idiots'.

The 'rich man / eye of a needle' allegory is all about degree. If all you care about is the money that you have accrued then it is a bad thing, but earning lots of money is not intrinsically a bad thing and can be off-set by the way you then use that money. I have heard that 'eye of the needle' was a term for pedestrian only entrances in ancient middle eastern cities. Generally, it was difficult for camels to squeeze through them (especially if laden with goods) but not necessarily impossible.

I also think there is a distinction between 'Cash Converters' / pawn shops and the extremely high interest charging loan companies. Selling excess possessions when you need the money for something more crucial can be useful and shouldn't be likely to drag you into a spiral of rapidly-increasing debt. It may be taking advantage of someone else's misfortune, but it is not actually adding to it.

I think it is sad that people think that the only corporate model is the one that automatically goes for the jugular. I blame this attitude for the modern curse of poor quality managers who are actively depriving their workers of the more benevolent work conditions they enjoyed themselves purely to protect their own interests. There is actually room in a capitalistic system for everyone to take a share of the profits as long as the most powerful do not get too greedy.

There should be balance in all aspects of our life and that is what I expect from 'my club'; the intent to be as successful as we can be without resorting to the lowest denominators evident in society.

Pat Finegan
151 Posted 23/07/2013 at 05:30:50
I agree with Mike regarding Hitchens and militant atheism. It is a massively flawed way of thinking. Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, etc. attempt to use science to answer questions that are philosophical in nature. Then they go a step further and act like belief in god is an illegitimate belief and people who believe in god are stupid and gullible.

Now, this might be a bit of a bunny trail here but Hitchens wasn't far from the truth in God is Not Great. The basic premise of the book was that religion corrupts man. That is close but not dead on for 2 reasons.

It isn't just religion that should have been the target but rather any ideology that attempts to explain the existence of human life. The Nazis ideas about eugenics were a perversion of Darwinism in the same way that suicide bombings are a perversion of Islam or indulgences were a perversion of Christianity.

Flawed human nature corrupts these ideologies, not the other way around. I'm not saying we are essentially bad. I'm saying we understand the consequences of doing good and doing evil. If someone like Hitler can pervert a peaceful ideology to provide incentive people to kill each other, people like Hitler can use such perversions of ideology to gain power.

Christine Foster
152 Posted 23/07/2013 at 06:00:04
Si, people spend their life trying to attain a balance between something and nothing. Capitalism is not about balance, it is about the accumulation of wealth and power. There is no balance in society (Western) because we are always chasing an impossible state. In home we try to balance work, love, finance and dreams, I have learnt that there is no balance between all four, only a decision that impacts on the status of others. It is the acknowledgement of a lack of balance that gives you the opportunity to understand what is important to you and make a choice.

Phew.. Ok.. Crisse made a choice but did not balance his principles, merely decided the priority of importance at this particular time. He does so from a position of strength and financial security having balanced his risk. He is lucky to have that choice.

Paul Gladwell
153 Posted 23/07/2013 at 07:02:05
And so Cisse is in the papers gambling in a casino, never took long did it, full of shit.
Andrew Laird
154 Posted 23/07/2013 at 08:49:18
I think you are getting the wrong end of the stick Mike, Si and Pat or "The trinity".

They will (or would of in one case) all happily tell you they have NO answers to some questions, religious cults claim to be infallable, that is the difference.

They subscribe to the ethos of "Only a fool knows everything, a wise man knows how little he knows" I personally cannot see anything wrong with humility but if your beliefs directly go against someone else's then people begin to take it personally instead of subjectively, that is why there is no chance for debate in my opinion.

I can see that you are all open to the debate which you claim is not possible because of "militant atheism", a term not unlike one which Mike pulls Hitchens up for, hypocrisy?

Ciarn McGlone
155 Posted 23/07/2013 at 09:34:13
Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, etc. attempt to use science to answer questions that are philosophical in nature


What questions are those Pat?

Laurie Hartley
156 Posted 23/07/2013 at 10:08:18
Si @ 782

I found your comment about "degree" quite thought provoking it took me back once again to Gavin's original post and the question in it "to what EXTENT do we expect our club to behave ethically?

I hope you understand where I am coming from. You went on to say about Cash Converters and Pawn Shops - "It may be taking advantage of someone else's misfortune, but it is not actually adding to it."

I can say with absolute certainty that I would never ever buy anything from cash converters - and I'll tell you why - it's taking advantage of someone else's misfortune.

So in answer to Gavins question - I would like Everton Football Club to conduct its business as a Premier League club in such a way that it would attract the attention and support of men and women of good will throughout the world.

Eugene Ruane
157 Posted 23/07/2013 at 11:48:48
Royals AND religion eh?

Go TW!

Funny because this morning (on youtube) I was having a Doug Stanhope session and heard him talk about both (and I agreed with every single word).

By the way, if Doug died tomorrow, in 30 years he'd be revered in the same way as Bill Hicks is now..imo.

Eugene Ruane
158 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:29:28

Shane Corcoran
159 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:31:18
He may well be Eugene. Very similar although not as funny I feel and maybe a bit of a rip off of the great man.
Kevin Tully
160 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:26:59
I hope anyone who defended Cisse has the good grace to admit they were completely and utterly wrong.

Blackjack and a footballer - who'd have thought it?

Maybe people can begin to understand, that after the large scale scandals we have witnessed in EVERY church,large corporation and government, why people like me laugh when being lectured by these lying, two faced, corrupt kiddie fiddlers.

To me, religion is a form of child abuse.

Andrew Laird
161 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:55:56
Put your tin hat on Kevin!!!

It's now plainly obvious that Cisse is using his cherry picked beliefs of Islam to engineer a move away from Newcastle instead of handing in a transfer request and thus waiving his right as an employee to lucrative fees which would come his way with a move. The perfect ambassador for religious ambiguity.

Will someone have the guts to stand up for him?

Ciarn McGlone
162 Posted 23/07/2013 at 13:10:43
Playing a bit of blackjack hardly invalidates anyone taking a position on socially pernicious loan sharking!

No tin hat required.

Eugene Ruane
163 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:54:51
Shane (830), the rip off accusation in my opinion, simply not the case.

Hicks was absolutely superb, but if you suggest Stanhope (or Louis CK for that matter) are involved in some sort of 'rip-off' then (format-wise) the same could be leveled at Hicks re George Carlin (and possibly Richard Pryor)

I have listened to (and read) everything that exists from all the comedians I've just mentioned - there's no 'rip-off' at all, just funny.

Hicks in death has now (possibly as a result of students needing angry, contrary messiahs) achieved saint-like status, but Stanhope and Louis CK are, every year, producing a ton of hilarious, clever, thought-provoking, funny and original comedy.

(you might have had a point had your accusation been leveled at Denis Leary).

As for 'not as funny', again disagree.

I thought Bill Hicks was amazing, but if I put aside the sainthood aspect (and I do) Stanhope and CK are providing just as many laughs (imo).

Kevin Tully
164 Posted 23/07/2013 at 13:19:33
I see now Ciarn, Cisse is one of those 'selective' sort of Muslims, they can pick and chose which part of their faith they want to live by.
Eugene Ruane
165 Posted 23/07/2013 at 13:45:56
There are (very) roughly 600m catholic males on the planet and for all of them, masturbation is a sin ("And to knocketh one out is to spilleth the seed of life or..something" - yes, I'm paraphrasing).

Question - how many of these males are NOT sinning in this way?

My guess is you could count them on the fingers of one mitten.

Doug Stanhope is right, most of those that have a religion actually DON'T have a religion, simply their own user-friendly version of it.

"Yeah well obviously it doesn't LITERALLY mean...."

Kevin Tully
166 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:01:42
Eugene, does it make it any more of a sin if it's over a blackjack table?
Kev Johnson
167 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:00:55
Cisse aside (but distantly related to the comedians riff that is developing), check out this link... It's a beluga whale making "human-like sounds" which, to begin with, are not a million miles from the proud chant "Ever-ton, Ever-ton, Ever-ton" He then goes into a medley of "We're gonna win the cup" and "[Everton FC] We're by far the greatest team the world has ever seen". By the sounds of him, he'd had a few bevvies like. Remarkable, quite remarkable.

Kevin Tully
168 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:11:40
Brilliant Kev, I thought it was more of a 'If yer know yer 'istory' personally.
Ciarn McGlone
169 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:26:56
I see now Ciarn, Cisse is one of those 'selective' sort of Muslims, they can pick and chose which part of their faith they want to live by.


That's a different argument. I've yet to see anything from Cisse on his stance being related to his religion..

Maybe he just think Wonga are a bunch of cunts..

As for selectivism... I think that's pretty much the MO for the human race...

C'est la vie..

Tony J Williams
170 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:32:17
"Maybe he just think Wonga are a bunch of cunts.."

That would be my thoughts......If I wasn't so cynical and think he is doing it for a move away without losing any "loyalty" bonus

Loyalty??? Don't make me laugh!

Mike Allison
171 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:32:30
Hard to know where start, as there are now several good conversations going across each other here.

Pat #795, I agree completely with your third paragraph. Its any ideology that can convince someone that they're 'Right' and that their 'Rightness' and ideology is more important than human welfare that will cause problems.

Ciaran #811, the questions are things like "How should we behave?", "Where did we/the world come from?" and "Why are we here/what purpose is there to life?". These questions may not have an answer, whereas scientific investigation is intended to deal with things that do have an answer. Its a distinction made clearly by John Polkinghorne and is his own way of defending religious faith.

I personally see religion as fulfilling various roles for human beings, one of which is that it means they don't have to think about difficult philosophical questions and can just accept a ready made answer that someone else has prepared for them. In a way I see it as being to philosophy what McDonald's is to food.

Eugene #861, I think that's where you and I see religion differently. Many people seem to see it as a bunch of rules that everyone in a religion must follow to the letter or they're not a member. I'd say we ALL, atheist and believers alike, have a user friendly version of some kind of code of beliefs that suits us. To quote a great philosopher I once read: "As for selectivism..I think that's pretty much the MO for the human race..."

Religious people are just signed up to an older, more traditional code of beliefs with more physical rituals than most of us, probably, ultimately for the Freudian reason that they feel a bit safer doing so. We shouldn't think of them as gullible, simple, stupid or be angry with them for doing so.

Matt Traynor
172 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:39:52
Tony #868 you are bang on. One of my (many) bugbears about the football industry is out-dated contractual nuances. The bonuses they are "entitled" have no reason to exist in top flight football, probably top 2 divisions at least.

I also have a dichotomous opinion when it comes to players wages. Yes they're obscene, but if they were only earning a "basic" wage, where would the money go? Owners pockets. My arl fella still regales me with tales of being on the bus going to matches, with a player stood behind him, boots slung over the shoulder.

I know a few football agents, and others in the biz, and at one time I was thinking of setting up a gossip website. I said earlier on this thread that half were thick as pigshit, lucky to be earning what they get etc. and was called out on it. There are some great guys out there, but there also are some seriously horrid individuals.

Eugene Ruane
173 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:35:58
Kev (864) - Incredible!

Maybe Whales are only a few years off doing standup themselves.

Cut to Beluga in a bow-tie resting a flipper on a mike-stand.

"My missus, nag nag nag, once she over-inflates the vestibular sac in her blowhole, she won't shut up".

Matt Traynor
174 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:57:50
Eugene #873, you are a psychotic genius. I hope that doesn't offend!
Mike Allison
175 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:50:20
Andrew #810, I missed you out there, sorry. I'm glad you put the question mark on "hypocrisy" as I don't think it is. I don't know but I suspect Hitchens, Dawkins and the like would be perfectly happy with title of militant atheist. I certainly didn't invent it and its been used many times to describe them.

As for defending Cisse, if he's really just been caught gambling then there's no way to do that is there? However, another philosophical point (maybe Ciaran can back me up here) is that just because you assumed 'x' despite having no evidence, and 'x' turned out in fact to be true, you weren't necessarily right to assume it.

Kevin Tully #838, I considered ignoring your ill-thought out post, but I thought I'd give this a try. You yourself point out that religion, corporations (presumably business) and government are all susceptible to lying and corruption. This seems to be a point that religion itself is not the problem, but powerful and hierarchical corporate power structures of any nature, and maybe especially the type of men who succeed in rising to prominence in them, whether religious or not.

You are again treating 'religion' as if it is one single, coherent entity. It isn't. 'Religion' is just as much little old ladies turning up to make tea for homeless people, or volunteers changing the lives of entire communities in African townships as it is Catholic arch-bishops covering up child abuse. And it is myriad things in between. We use the word as its convenient, but don't get confused and conflate everything that could be referred to as 'religious' in together. You're a football fan, does that make you responsible for or connected to all the worst things any football fan has ever done?

Kevin Tully
176 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:13:28
Alternatively Mike, you don't have to label goods deeds as 'religious' at all, do you?

Are you saying people cannot be the most wonderful human beings, yet have nothing to do with religion, or any other ancient beliefs?

It's my children's choice whether they want to believe in a certain faith, and I believe it should be the choice of every person when they are old enough to make that decision for themselves.

I can take any religion in the world, and give you many reasons why indoctrinating children is wrong.

Religion & royalty go hand in hand, they only exist because of power, money, greed, and lies, not because they help humanity. Good people help humanity.

Is Scientology going to be seen as mainstream in 100 years?

Ancient religion is just a cult that has morphed into what the masses would like to hear, tailored to suit those in power.

The cult of Bill Kenwright will soon be upon us!

Ciarn McGlone
177 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:34:56
Apologies for the language above...I did in fact blank out all the letters...
Ciarn McGlone
178 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:35:55
That would be my thoughts......If I wasn't so cynical and think he is doing it for a move away without losing any "loyalty" bonus


You can be cynical and still accept the premise of his stance ... It wouldn't matter if he was Harold Shipman .. the issue of Wonga stands on its own merit.

I don't think there's any need for inquisition beyond that...

Ciarn McGlone
179 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:39:22
"How should we behave?", "Where did we/the world come from?" and "Why are we here/what purpose is there to life?".


The point I would obviously make in regard to this position - is why does science have no place in the potential answers?

In my opinion that's the true arrogance...simply labelling these as answers that are beyond science and matters of philosophy (which has far more in common with science than religion) pre-empts the answer.

There were many questions that were considered as singularly matters of theism even a couple of hundred years ago - now they are well grounded in science..

I'd even go so far to suggest that science is well on the way to explaining the questions you ask above... 'No gold in china' and god of the gaps - isn't really an answer..

Scientific investigation is CERTAINLY NOT designed to deal with things that 'have an answer'..that's a misunderstanding of science..

It's about finding answers through empiricism...and that's something that's had the churches worried for a long time..

Andrew Laird
180 Posted 23/07/2013 at 16:00:15
Ciaran #852, my "tin hat" response was about Kevin's last sentence in his post, although I do agree with the premise!!

Mike #875, that's fine although I do not agree with you.

Ciaran #887 "The point I would obviously make in regard to this position - is why does science have no place in the potential answers?

In my opinion that's the true arrogance...simply labelling these as answers that are beyond science and matters of philosophy (which has far more in common with science than religion) pre-empts the answer"

Nail on head. Out of interest do you at all know any works by the majestic Philosopher Anthony Grayling? you certainly seem well versed!

Ciarn McGlone
181 Posted 23/07/2013 at 16:26:47
I'm aware of Grayling but I can't say I've read any of his stuff.

This most pertinent story I would suggest reading in regard to this whole argument of ethics/morality/science and religion... Is that of the great George Price - whose mathematics on altruism and it's potential mirror image led him to suicide..

Andrew Laird
182 Posted 23/07/2013 at 16:36:39
AC Grayling's work is very accesible and engaging I cannot recommend him highly enough. Thanks for the Price tip off.
Mike Allison
183 Posted 23/07/2013 at 16:42:02
How about Alain De Botton and Atheism 2.0? The bonus there is you can watch the basics in a 20 minute lecture.

I'm still stuck on disagreeing with you about the type of question that science can answer. Surely science must strive for objectivity, it is this I'm referring to when I say it 'has an answer', whereas questions of meaning and purpose can only be subjective. Even if we found an 'objective' meaning/purpose of life (we kind of have haven't we? To replicate one's own genes) we could disagree with it, dislike it, ignore it or contradict it if we so chose.

By the way, I'm not saying science has no place in the answers, it is absolutely vital in increasing our knowledge in order to think in a more informed way. Nor am I advocating the 'God of the Gaps', far from it.

I actually wrote my dissertation on evolutionary ethics, including George Price's ideas which feature in a book called The Darwin Wars by Andrew Brown, which is basically a summary of evolution has affected moral philosophy.

Kevin, "Alternatively Mike, you don't have to label goods deeds as 'religious' at all, do you?" No. That's absolutely my point. People do the good things, people do the bad things, 'religion' doesn't do any of it.

"It's my children's choice whether they want to believe in a certain faith, and I believe it should be the choice of every person when they are old enough to make that decision for themselves." I hope you don't apply that to football. My 3-year-old will chant "Everton" on command and asked if we could play 'Everton' in the garden the other day. She's fully indoctrinated.

Michael Kenrick
184 Posted 23/07/2013 at 17:42:57
Ciarn, since we're covering so many interesting topics on this thread, let's talk about this belief that switching out the letters of a naughty word renders it 'acceptable'.

I think it's a cop-out.

If you choose to use the word, I think you should at least have the courage of your convictions to spell it out as our good Anglo-Saxon ancestors intended (if only they could write!).

This business of blocking out letters is fundamentally disingenuous. I think a case can be made that, if you can't look at the word as she is wrote, then you should not be using it.

Shane Corcoran
185 Posted 23/07/2013 at 17:53:40
Michael, words I've used on TW that I've typed have been censored before. Why is that?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
186 Posted 23/07/2013 at 18:02:43
Shane, I can only see one post of yours on a Deulofeu thread that was held back, more for being OTT and off-topic. One option we have used is to change 'cunt' to 'twat' or 'tosser' on the questionable basis that it might be considered less offensive. Is that what you are referring to?
Shane Corcoran
187 Posted 23/07/2013 at 18:45:47
I'm afraid I can't actually remember, but I do think it was in jest and so maybe you thought it was OTT. But it was the "swear words" that were cut and not my full post.
In relation to the word 'cunt', questionable is surely an understatement considering what I think you're saying here.

Anyway, just wondering what the score was. Not really any clearer. Stay on topic, don't say 'cunt' especially not more than a couple of times.

Lyndon Lloyd
188 Posted 23/07/2013 at 19:08:26
MK (928): One option we have used is to change 'c**t' to 'twat' or 'tosser' on the questionable basis that it might be considered less offensive.

I realise that, particularly where the first two words are concerned, there are regional differences over which word is deemed more offensive but given our international audience, I would argue (and, indeed, as a father of two girls, would agree) that the word c**t in particular is offensive and grossly gratuitous.

As a nod towards decency, in the interests of the standards we aim to uphold around here, and with the fact that we do have minors reading the site in mind, I don't want the word on my site. I often remove excessive uses of the word fuck in some submitted comments as well for the same reason. It just loses its power of emphasis and just becomes gratuitous after a while.

Yes, there is the argument that "it's nothing you won't hear at the match" but a) we're not at the match and b) that doesn't make it any more acceptable for a broad audience such as ours, in my opinion.

Shane Corcoran
189 Posted 23/07/2013 at 19:35:30
It's your site Lyndon, so your opinion counts. Personally the overuse of the word fuck is no worse than the overuse of it's sometime substitute feck, or maybe that's just where I am.

I see decency in the meaning behind the word, and granted such words are often used to insult, but not always.

What an enlightening thread this is.

Pat Finegan
190 Posted 23/07/2013 at 21:31:55
Ciaran (811) Science can't give a satisfactory answer for how everything started. Hypothetical syllogism anyone? Well here you go:

Everything event has a cause, therefore, every event exists within an infinite causal chain.

In order for any and all causal chains to begin, there has to have been at least one uncaused event.

Therefore, there has to be something supernatural, an unmoved mover whose existence is independent of any sort of time-space continuum.

I'm not saying there isn't a refutation to that argument. I am however saying that almighty science can only offer a very limited rebuttal. I feel therefore, that it is appropriate to lump Hitchens in with Dawkins and even with theists who believe that science is the best way to answer the question of where we came from.

Thanks to our good friend, Monty Python, this all does relate to football:

Michael Kenrick
191 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:01:53
Pat, there's a couple of books you need to read:
  • Steven Weinberg The First Three Minutes
  • Lawrence Krauss A Universe from Nothing
They're both a wee bit heavy on science, but they clearly demonstrate there is absolutely no need for any supernatural causation.

It is very far removed from what you mistakenly call a "very limited rebuttal". The second book is particularly brilliant.

Oh, and the Afterword by Richard Dawkins is one of the most stunning pieces of prose I've ever read.

Michael Kenrick
192 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:16:03
I disagree with Lyndon on this point,

The English language is a fantastic instrument for communication, and any censorship of its words should be resisted. To write c**t instead of cunt... I mean who the fuck is fooling who here? Grow a pair of balls and either use the real word or if you don't like it then don't use it. But to block letters out in some prissy pretence that this now renders the word acceptable is complete and utter nonsense.

Ciarn McGlone
194 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:57:39

I used the word because I couldn't think of a more appropriate word to describe Wonga... I blanked it out the very reasons Lyndon articulates above..

Personally I think it's a crackin word... there's no other word like it in the dictionary. But I understand some people don't agree and therefore use it under caution..


Your argument which regresses to a designer on what appears to be nothing other than a failure to understand the mechanics of the universe is utterly unconvincing...

To be honest the suggestion that science has little to rebut this position is not only a fallacy, it's an absurdity in terms of rebuttal, physics and mathematics have made massive steps in areas such as infinite universe theory and string theory they are in their infancy, but that's not bad for an organism who only discovered the double helix 60 years ago..

The absurdity in your position is that you are asking science to rebut something which you've presented as an a priori fact via the blunt tool of 'causation' a posit for which you demand no empiricism... Why demand proof from science, whenever you fail to ask it of god?

Michael Kenrick
195 Posted 23/07/2013 at 23:38:19
Ciarn, I'm intrigued with the magical effect that blocking or disguising some of the letters is supposed to have. I mean what percentage of readers do not mentally insert the full word in all its glory? So there is no real protection offered to the reader through his ridiculous mechanism.

I think I hate it because it is a form of censorship. And it's something the trashiest newspapers have glommed onto as a way of adding to their shock appeal.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
196 Posted 24/07/2013 at 00:02:36
It should be noted that I intended to put the full word in my comment above but our auto-correct inserted the asterisks... for want of a better alternative, really.

When it comes to the English language as a "fantastic instrument for communication", I think you should be able to manage to communicate effectively with the other 249,999 other words available and the restriction of one word (which is deemed highly offensive by some) shouldn't be such cause for consternation.

Again, it's all about decency, not censorship.

Pat Finegan
197 Posted 23/07/2013 at 23:33:55
Ciaran (37) The syllogism I provided above doesn't necessarily have to prove the existence of a god in this case. It just shows that science can only be used to a point. Not everything is empirical in nature.

The tone of your response is emblematic of the Dawkins/Hitchens model of "militant atheist fundamentalism" while Michael's response is an example of someone who strongly but respectfully disagrees. The argument that I posed was first penned by Thomas Aquinas and labeled the cosmological argument. A more modern scholar who held a similar view was C.S. Lewis. A version of the cosmological argument can be found in his book, Mere Christianity. Both of the aforementioned gentlemen had a much better understanding of the mechanics of the universe than you or I do.

With that, I am done arguing. Whether I'm right or not, I'm not educated enough on the matters at hand to sufficiently articulate my point. I would recommend reading the works of C.S. Lewis and William Lane Craig. They lay out some of the same arguments I would but they do so in a much more comprehensive manner.

Michael, I am somewhat familiar with Lawrence Krauss' work though I haven't actually read his book. I didn't bother reading it because from what I gathered, it was an explanation of how matter could have formed out of nothing. I am more concerned with cause and effect and finding an original cause than with what theoretically happens in a vacuum. If you think Krauss or Weinberg were able to find an original cause of sorts, I'd be interested to read what they have to say. Let me know what you think.

Pat Finegan
198 Posted 24/07/2013 at 00:16:41
What other football site would you find a thread like this on? No one on CaughtOffside is going to recommend a Lawrence Krauss book to me. ToffeeWeb is brilliant.
Ciarn McGlone
199 Posted 24/07/2013 at 00:11:30
Indeed Pat..

Science does have a limit.. And that limit is our capacity to understand our surroundings..

Im also well aware of the ontological argument.. I find it a truly amazing piece of man made frippery..

For your information, im not actually an atheist.. I would class myself as a pantheist. But nice to know I would be classed with the 'fundamentalists' for questioning your position.

However , I have enjoyed the debate - despite the allegations of belligerence..

Pat Finegan
200 Posted 24/07/2013 at 01:46:07
Ciaran (82) Oh no, the ontological argument. Is that the one where people believe that because we can comprehend the existence of a god then a God must exist? I heard that in an actual university level philosophy class one time. I found it to be quite shocking that someone smart enough to be considered a respected scholar came up with that. Maybe I just don't get it but it seems like absolute drivel to me. And I might be wrong but I think I remember hearing the the strongest proponent of the ontological argument in modern philosophy converted to atheism.

If you intended your post to be polite and it just came across as harsh, I apologise for making that assumption.

My personal beliefs by the way are just Christian enough to not be considered agnosticism. I think there are a lot of things that we think we know but we really don't. The agnostic side of that is likely down to my distrust of empiricism.

Si Cooper
201 Posted 24/07/2013 at 01:06:23
Just a couple of points:-

A vacuum is not the same as what existed before the big bang, because we have no way of removing forces like gravity which did not exist before the event itself. Therefore, all experiments that show the creation of matter within a vacuum within an existing universe are fundamentally flawed and not the proof of principle they are being promoted as. As a scientist I am acutely aware of the problems with over-extrapolating from limited data - ultimately you end up with things that are a matter of 'faith'.

The simple problem with demonstrating that a supernatural entity isn't a necessity for natural phenomena is that it doesn't actually exclude the possibility that a subtle, omnipresent and omniscient being could still use those natural phenomena without anyone being aware of it.

Having the humility to admit that you don't have all the answers (that is why it is called faith) applies to both sides of the divide. I find Richard Dawkins a supercilious prick because he routinely plays up the lunatic fringe as typical and avoids engaging with moderates. Consequently a lot of not very bright individuals these days think that they are showing great sophistication and scientific awareness when they dismiss the notion of a creator out of hand.

Mike Allison
202 Posted 24/07/2013 at 08:23:56
"...because he routinely plays up the lunatic fringe as typical and avoids engaging with moderates."

In one of his documentaries ("Root of All Evil?" Later re-named to accompany his book "The God Delusion") he even interviews an Anglican vicar or bishop, and just as the guy begins to explain an intelligent moderate position he is faded down and a Dawkins voice-over inserted over the top dismissing the position he hasn't even allowed to be explained. Its one of the worst pieces of television I've ever seen.

I absolutely am an atheist, if we're talking about religion from an objective, absolutist point of view, and our definition of God is at least close to that represented in the Abrahamic tradition. I just don't think we should look at religion in that way. I also accept that there might be something I might sensibly call 'God' although I don't believe it would have will, intention or the kind of consciousness that would make sense to us. We could even refer to the entire universe.

This is my main problem with Dawkins and Hitchens and their ilk. They make/made money out of keeping the debate on the lowest possible level. The more subtle, intelligent and sophisticated positions won't make a book that can sell a million copies, so no-one is going to get to read/hear them.

As for science and the origins of the universe. Stephen Hawking this year has attempted to explain the Big Bang through quantum randomness, and although its quite an exciting idea, he still doesn't address the question of why there was anything there in the first place.

Much of this can be watched on YouTube, I forget the name of Hawking's programme but it wouldn't be hard to find, and I'll recommend Alain De Botton and Atheism 2.0 again as that's a 20-minute lecture that's easy enough to find on either YouTube or Ted.

Mike Allison
203 Posted 24/07/2013 at 08:35:32
I've just noticed the Wonga ad in the middle of the homepage.
Ciarn McGlone
204 Posted 24/07/2013 at 09:05:08
Mike - As I recall that documentary is actually Rowan Williams..And the reason that Dawkins was becoming so exercised is because Williams admitted that man was created by evolution - but then simply kicked the argument on down the road by stating that god created the conditions for evolution to occur..

I certainly can't agree that Williams was promoting an 'intelligent moderate position'..The problem with these arguments is that faith can't be reconciled with science..It's an argument stopper..

While I don't always agree with the way Dawkins approaches the subject, and his opponents - I can certainly understand his frustration whenever someone manipulates scientific knowledge to promote a faith based posit... It's an infinitely circular argument.

Ciarn McGlone
205 Posted 24/07/2013 at 09:12:24
The English language is a fantastic instrument for communication, and any censorship of its words should be resisted. To write c**t instead of cunt... I mean who the fuck is fooling who here? Grow a pair of balls and either use the real word or if you don't like it then don't use it. But to block letters out in some prissy pretense that this now renders the word acceptable is complete and utter nonsense.


In essence I probably agree... Put it down to me liking my new found freedom and wanting to keep the hosts happy.

Ciarn McGlone
206 Posted 24/07/2013 at 09:33:19
As a scientist I am acutely aware of the problems with over-extrapolating from limited data - ultimately you end up with things that are a matter of 'faith'


A very important point Si... even Susskind openly admits that the application of maths to the real world is simply a postulate. Mathematics in this context is not a fact.. leaving the likes of string theory open to ardent attacks..

The mathematical model certainly appears to fit ... but the beauty of science is that it knows what it doesn't know...Religion on the other hand, claims to know...

Matt Traynor
207 Posted 24/07/2013 at 09:44:39
Talking of shady money lending, I see the Vibrac loan Fulham had has been repaid in full. Read more here

Apologies in advance to those who boycott the Sun. I will not be using the website myself once their paywall goes up next week.

Ged Simpson
208 Posted 24/07/2013 at 09:50:23
I have just realised the best way to read long threads is from the end and then backwards.

No site apart from TW will have a footy matter lead to the following comments:

" absolutely am an atheist, if we're talking about religion from an objective, absolutist point of view, and our definition of God is at least close to that represented in the Abrahamic tradition."

"While I don't always agree with the way Dawkins approaches the subject, and his opponents - I can certainly understand his frustration whenever someone manipulates scientific knowledge to promote a faith based posit"

"even Susskind openly admits that the application of maths to the real world is simply a postulate. Mathematics in this context is not a fact.. leaving the likes of string theory open to ardent attacks.."

Hats off to you. But can you express mid match anger in such beautiful language ? I look forward to it !

Phil Walling
209 Posted 24/07/2013 at 10:25:59
Going right back to the subject of this thread is one allowed to do that? I have just read that Cisse is regularly seen in a Newcastle casino. The owner of this establishment has said, "Papaas is not a big gambler". However, a Muslim councillor has warned him that he "can`t pick and choose which teachings to comply with."

If that`s the case, I've decided against becoming a Muslim!

Simon Lloyd
210 Posted 24/07/2013 at 10:29:35
I heard that Richard Dawkins was on a walking holiday in America recently. He was out on the trail one early morning when he met with a huge bear who clearly had designs on him for breakfast.

Fearing for his life Dawkins shouted "Oh God" to which (much to his surprise) he heard a response from on high "yes my son?"

Dawkins, still not believing, said "if you really exist then turn this bear into a good Christian."

Eager to oblige God accedes to Dawkins' request.

At which point the bear drops to it's knees, places it's paws together and raises it's eyes to heaven saying;

"Lord, for what I am about to receive....."

Laurie Hartley
211 Posted 24/07/2013 at 10:59:30
I've followed this thread from the start and have read with interest how the the various arguments have evolved for and against the question of a creator of the universe. I have a position on this but felt reluctant to try to express it in words on ToffeeWeb - it's a very serious matter. Then I remembered seeing this chap on YouTube in an open debate with Richard Dawkins.

His name is John Lennox. His credentials are pretty impressive.

In this interview he addresses many of the issues raised in this thread.

Back to Gavin's original post. Would I want Wonga or any other loan shark as a sponsor of Everton Football Club - definitely no.

Perhaps Michael - you could run one of those online surveys that you do like "should we sell Nimrod to Mugsborough Wanderers"

Mike Allison
212 Posted 24/07/2013 at 15:19:47
Ciaran I'm referring to the former Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries. Dawkins doesn't become exercised, he just fades the guy's audio down and talks over the top before his point is even made.

There's an uncensored version on YouTube where you get a sense of what is really being put forward.

Ciarn McGlone
213 Posted 24/07/2013 at 16:36:58
Cheers Mike..

Not a big fan of the Dawkins approach to be honest. He has no need to adopt a 'shout the loudest' strategy..

Raymond Fox
214 Posted 24/07/2013 at 17:10:12
I cant see how science will ever be able to rationalise the universe.

As far as god is concerned, I think the worshipers of the sun were close to the money.

If you must have a god, energy fits the bill, everything in the universe is full of energy, its the driver of all things!

Laurie Hartley
215 Posted 24/07/2013 at 21:36:26
Raymond, Einstein had a good crack at it. E2 = M2C4
Raymond Fox
216 Posted 25/07/2013 at 19:05:07
Laurie, he might have had a crack at it, but how can you solve, the unsolvable!
Mike Green
217 Posted 25/07/2013 at 22:22:26
Late to party again but I agree with Lyndon that there are standards and levels of decency which should be upheld and I think that overall this site is pretty liberal in how far you can go, and credit to it for that.

I also agree with Michael in that people should take responsibility for what they are posting and if the mean something they should say it and not hide behind a watered down version which essentially cops them out but still leaves a mark.

Both stances I believe, used together responsibly, can ensure the site remains open, accessible, true and responsible.

So - for me, having two editors with different perspectives on this strengthens the quality of the site, it doesn't diminish it.

Karl Masters
218 Posted 28/07/2013 at 00:53:18
It's amazing to think that when I have been at the match, that I have been surrounded by people grappling with whether there is a God or not. Clearly I am operating on a different ( although that doesn't mean inferior ) intellectual plain to many of my Evertonian friends. I pray for a last minute winner, up pops Ossie with a goal and I believe in God! ( that last sentence was a joke by the way )
Laurie Hartley
219 Posted 28/07/2013 at 10:11:56
Raymond, rationalising the universe is one thing, solving the unsolvable is another matter altogether.

I think the answer to your question is "it can't be done". It's a bit like Pi. It's a number but nobody has been able to say what it is "in its entirety". That doesn't stop us using the number though - which I think is rather interesting.

Gavin, you started a very enjoyable thread here - I think most would agree on that. You put to us a number of very interesting questions - I for one would like to see what you made of our responses.

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