Premier League Clubs ‘Agree to Withdraw’ Front-of-Shirt Gambling Sponsorships – SportsLogos.Net News

Premier League Clubs ‘Agree to Withdraw’ Front-of-Shirt Gambling Sponsorships

After talking about it for almost a year, England’s Premier League officially announced on Thursday that the logos of sports gambling firms would no longer appear as sponsors on the front of its clubs’ matchday shirts.

This makes the Premier League the first sports league in the United Kingdom to voluntarily impose such a ban on gambling firms as front of shirt sponsors.

“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,” reads a statement on the league’s website.

Players from Fulham (in green) and Newcastle United (in black and white) battle during their match on January 15, 2023. (Courtesy Premier League)

“The announcement follows an extensive consultation involving the League, its clubs and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s ongoing review of current gambling legislation.

“The Premier League is also working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship.”

It’s believed that, if the Premier League hadn’t voluntarily put the ban in place, the U.K. government was ready to outline a complete ban on gambling advertising at football matches in a white paper due this month.

Eight Premier League clubs currently have front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies:

  • AFC Bournemouth
  • Brentford
  • Everton
  • Fulham
  • Leeds United
  • Newcastle United
  • Southampton
  • West Ham United
Players from Leeds United (in white) and Brentford (in black) battle during their match on January 22, 2023. (Courtesy Premier League)

The agreement will still allow betting firms to sign deals to put their logos on the sleeves of Premier League clubs’ jerseys, as well as advertise on pitchside digital boards. The ban won’t affect clubs at lower levels of the English football pyramid, as The Times reported in late March that the U.K. government recognized “the financial hardship it would cause” for those clubs.

To let current contracts run out and help clubs transition away from gambling firms as sponsors, a grace period has been instituted. The ban won’t take full force until the end of the 2025-26 Premier League season.

The U.K. government began floating the idea of banning betting firms from buying advertising space on the front of football jerseys back in September 2021. The recommendation was believed to be part of a review of the 2005 Gambling Act. Premier League clubs have been talking about a voluntary ban as far back as July 2022.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that, in Scotland, the Scottish Professional Football League has “no plans” for a league-wide ban on gambling sponsorships.

A league spokesperson told BBC Scotland that “individual sponsorships are a matter for each club.” They added that, for many Scottish clubs, “sponsorship from gambling companies is a significant source of income which helps to support their business models and enables investment in many of the important community activities which clubs undertake.”

The Scottish Premiership’s two biggest clubs, Rangers FC and Celtic FC, both have gambling firm logos on the front of their shirts.

Courtesy BBC