While many Premier League clubs and lower division English clubs are struggling financially since the COVID-19 pandemic, the clubs are set to face another hit soon as the UK government is preparing to ban betting sponsors.
BBC has recently reported that the UK government is close to banning gambling sponsors on the shirt. According to that report, this ban proposal has been included in a draft white paper.
The English football clubs and betting sponsors
Half of the present Premier League teams have betting sponsors on their shirts. Meanwhile, last season, 15 Championship sides partnered with gambling companies. Out of those, six teams had betting sponsors on their shirts.
In the meantime, EFL (English Football League) is maintaining a sponsorship relationship with SkyBet since 2013/14. Their present deal will continue till 2024 summer. In 2020, the EFL chief Rick Parry claimed that the removal of betting sponsors could threaten the financial future of the clubs that were already struggling since the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the proposal of banning gambling companies on the main shirt gets passed, the clubs may have to find alternative deals ahead of the 2023/24 season.
According to Daily Mail report last September, Premier League and Championship clubs’ deals with betting sponsors for the 2021/22 season were worth around £100m.
It is believed that the removal of the gambling sponsors on the shirt could be the initial stage of stopping gambling promotion through English football. We may later see the ban of gambling sponsors from advertising hoardings to sports stars’ advertisement deals.
Premier League clubs’ recent approaches with gambling sponsors
While the Premier League club Crystal Palace have recently replaced the online gambling company “W88” logo with the car insurance firm “cinch” from their chest shirt sponsor, Newcastle United are rumoured to move away from their shirt sponsor (chest) “FUN88”, an online sports betting and casino platform.
On the other hand, Everton have just signed a club-record deal with Stake.com (the leading casino and sports betting platform) for the front-of-shirt deal. While they have been criticized for this deal, the club could be forced to drop this plan if the UK gambling law changed soon.
Recently, some footballers have criticized sports gambling by opening up the issues of betting. Some of these footballers were even badly addicted to sports gambling, which cost them a lot of money.