EPL Clubs End Front-of-Shirt Gambling Sponsorship

Premier league clubs vote to end front-of-shirt gambling sponsorships
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There may be an exciting finale to the Premier League season underway, but there was big news off the field concerning England’s top clubs. It was revealed last week that Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to end front-of-shirt sponsorship from gambling companies.

In what the Premier League are calling ‘responsible gambling sponsorship’, the 20 clubs which currently make up England’s top-tier league have collectively agreed to withdraw their availability to show Gambling firms on the front of their football kits.

Clubs have until the end of the 25/26 season to adhere fully to the new rules, thereby giving them sufficient time to seek new primary sponsorship deals.

A Premier League statement, which was released on April the 13th, read;

Premier League clubs have today collectively agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of clubs’ matchday shirts, becoming the first sports league in the UK to take such a measure voluntarily in order to reduce gambling advertising.

Almost 45% of Premier League front-of-shirt sponsorship is made up of gambling operators. The remaining 55% is made up of financial services, airlines, IT, telecommunications, e-commerce, and online trading.

8 teams currently have front-of-shirt gambling sponsorships, which include; West Ham, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, and Bournemouth. These teams will be directly affected by the changes. However, it is known that Newcastle United’s current deal with Fun88 is set to expire at the end of the 22/23 season and they are not planning to renew this contract.

Nevertheless, teams will still be allowed to seek front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship deals in the next couple of seasons if they so wish.

It is also worth noting that this agreement only concerns front-of-shirt sponsors. Clubs will still be allowed to don gambling firms as sleeve sponsorship and on LED advertising boards in stadiums.

The deal comes after thorough consultation between the Premier League and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The move also comes amid the publication of the Government’s White Paper on new gambling legislation. It is believed that instead of a full ban being implemented on all forms of gambling sponsorship, this compromise will appease ministers in charge of implementing the new legislation.

Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer, has welcomed the announcement and tweeted;

‘Difficult Decision’

The move has also been backed by Brighton chairman, Tony Bloom, who ironically has made his fortune from sports betting.

From a personal point of view, it’s really important to be aware of children seeing gambling or betting advertising on the shirt in particular, because they buy shirts.
I don’t think having gambling sponsorship on shirts is good, but I understand that for some clubs, particularly clubs down the leagues with much less revenue, the gambling companies pay the best so it’s a difficult decision to turn them down.
Although there is gambling advertising all around, I just think on the shirts it’s the most obvious, so that would give me the most concern.


However, there has also been criticism from certain quarters.

Campaigners believe that a gambling sponsorship bin should incorporate all forms of advertising and not just front-of-shirt sponsors.

James Grimes, founder of The Big Step, a campaign dedicated to ending the historic relationship between gambling and football said,

Although this outcome isn’t perfect, it’s a huge step…

The government and the sport itself now need to wake up to the reality that gambling ads are unhealthy, unpopular and will be kicked out of football. Delaying that moment is risking the health and lives of another generation of young fans.

All eyes will now be on the Culture secretary, Lucy Frazer, to see what gambling reforms will be delivered after this, which does feel like the first step to a radically changed gambling landscape in the future.

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