Premier League clubs are set to BAN gambling companies from being their front-of-shirt sponsors – but will still allow them on sleeves – and teams will get three years to finish their contracts despite government pressure
- Premier League clubs are set to ban front-of-shirt gambling advertising
- The proposal will be discussed at Thursday’s top-flight shareholders meeting
- The government is set to step in if clubs do not come to a voluntary agreement
Premier League clubs are reportedly on the brink of agreeing to ban gambling companies from advertising on the front of their shirts.
The proposal from top-flight clubs will be discussed in a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.
While Premier League clubs are expected to agree to a front-of-the-shirt ban, betting firms are still likely to be allowed on the sleeve.
According to The Times, Premier League clubs will likely agree to the proposal in order to avoid government legislation which would ban gambling advertising completely.
The government will publish a white paper on gambling next month and have suggested that they will not include shirt sponsorship bans if top-flight clubs can reach an agreement by themselves.
Leeds are another Premier League club to have a gambling sponsor on the front of their shirt
It is also being reported that any vote to ban front-of-shirt gambling advertising could be put off until the Premier League’s summer meeting in June.
However, there is a consensus that the majority of clubs would accept the move if a three-year transition period was put in place.
The proposal would not carry down to EFL clubs, given that similar action would likely cause economic issues further down the English pyramid.
Eight out of the 20 Premier League clubs currently have a betting firm as their sponsor on the front of their shirt.
Fulham and Newcastle’s current contracts with their respective betting companies will expire at the end of the season. None of the ‘Big Six’ are sponsored by gambling firms on the front of their shirts.
The Times have also claimed that one top-flight club would see their income cut by £5-10million a season if they agreed to drop their betting sponsor.
While front-of-shirt gambling advertising is set to be banned, sleeve deals are likely to stay
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom has been a vocal supporter of banning gambling shirt sponsors despite amassing his wealth via sports betting.
He said last year: ‘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 the 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.’