Friday, December 2, 2022

Premier League asks clubs to voluntarily drop betting brands as shirt sponsors

The Premier League has reached out to England’s top football clubs seeking support for a voluntary ban on betting sponsorships.

According to Sky News, the top-tier division wants clubs to voluntarily drop gambling brands as their main shirt sponsors to avoid a government-mandated embargo.

Clubs are being asked to phase out such sponsorships over the next three years, though any existing contracts that expire no later than the 2024-25 season will be allowed to run their course.

At minimum, 14 clubs would need to support the proposal for immediate adoption, and have reportedly been issued a strict deadline to respond. One club executive told Sky News that they had only been given days.

This comes after reports in May indicated that Premier League clubs may be forced to drop betting companies as their main shirt sponsors under rumoured government plans.

Reports at the time suggested that the government’s forthcoming White Paper on gambling reform would include a shirt sponsorship ban, but more recent developments indicate this has now been dropped.

Instead, the government is looking to reach a compromise with the Premier League. However, an imposed embargo has not been entirely ruled out.

According to the top-tier English football division, the government will seek a legislative ban if a voluntary agreement is not reached, hence this new proposal.

The long-awaited White Paper is due “in the coming weeks,” and according to one DCMS spokesperson, represents “the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years” to make them “fit for the digital age.”

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