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Everton blasted as ‘tone deaf’ after announcing a gambling firm as their new shirt sponsor

Everton was criticized as ‘tone deaf’ after announcing a betting company as their new shirt sponsor…with a £10million-per-year contract announced with Stake.com, despite government proposals to ban such deals

Everton have been labeled ‘tone deaf’ after announcing a gambling company as their new shirt sponsor.

The Toffees have signed a club record deal with Stake.com worth over £10 million a year.

That’s despite a ban on Premier League betting shirt sponsors being included in a draft government white paper to be published later this month.

Everton will be sponsored by Stake.com next season after betting company Cazoo .  has replaced

Everton will be sponsored by Stake.com next season after betting company Cazoo . has replaced

The Toffees announced the deal, reportedly worth £10 million per season, on Thursday

The Toffees announced the deal, reportedly worth £10 million per season, on Thursday

‘Sponsorship of games of chance is unpopular, unhealthy and on the way out of football. So for Everton to announce this partnership now is a huge tone of deafness,” said James Grimes, founder of campaign group The Big Step.

Government sources also described Everton’s decision as a “strategic mistake” as they prepare to announce plans to reform the gambling industry.

The announcement comes just two years after Everton’s chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale told the club’s AGM that “in an ideal world” they would prefer a “different type of sponsor” to a gambling company.

It arose out of concerns that gambling companies were not doing enough to reduce the social cost of gambling amid the proliferation of betting and sponsorship advertisements in English football.

The Toffees were sponsored by Kenyan betting company Sportpesa between May 2017 and May 2020, but that £7m-a-year deal was terminated two years earlier following a strategic overhaul of the club’s commercial operations.

They declined an extension of the two-year partnership with Cazoo seeking a more lucrative deal.

Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said in 2020 the club would no longer partner with gambling companies 'in an ideal world'

Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said in 2020 the club would no longer partner with gambling companies ‘in an ideal world’

The Goodison Park club narrowly escaped relegation from the Premier League in 2021-22

The Goodison Park club narrowly escaped relegation from the Premier League in 2021-22

Everton’s commercial deals were impacted by sanctions imposed on USM owner Alisher Usmanov in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

With immediate effect, the club has suspended sponsorship agreements with Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota.

A club statement read: “Everton Football Club has confirmed a club record lead partner agreement with Stake.com.

“The multi-year partnership with the leading casino and sports betting platform kicks off on July 1 and is the most valuable deal in the club’s 144-year history.

“As Everton’s primary partner, the Stake.com brand will be featured on the men’s and women’s jerseys, as well as screens and media backdrops in Goodison Park and Finch Farm and on the Club’s digital platforms.”

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