Premier League clubs have been set to ban gambling firms from being their primary sponsors – but will allow them to do so on the sleeve – and teams will get three years to finish their contracts despite government pressure.
- Premier League clubs are set to ban gambling ads on the front of their shirts
- The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of major shareholders on Thursday
- The government is ready to intervene if the clubs do not reach a voluntary agreement
Premier League clubs are said to be close to agreeing to ban gambling companies from advertising on their shirts.
The proposal from the first-division clubs will be discussed at a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.
While Premier League clubs are expected to agree to ban the front of the shirt from being worn, it is still likely that betting firms will be allowed on the sleeve.
According to the TimesPremier League clubs are likely to agree to the proposal to avoid government legislation banning gambling advertisements altogether.
The government will publish a white paper on gambling next month and has suggested it will not include shirt sponsorship bans if top flight clubs can reach an agreement on their own.
Leeds is another Premier League club that has a punt sponsor on the front of their shirt
It is also stated that any vote to ban gambling ads appearing on the front of shirts could be delayed until the Premier League’s Summer Meeting in June.
However, there is a consensus that the majority of clubs would accept a transfer if a three-year transition period was put in place.
The proposal would not extend to EFL clubs, given that a similar measure would likely cause economic problems at the bottom of the English pyramid.
Eight out of 20 Premier League clubs currently have a bookmaker 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 companies on the front of their jerseys.
The Times also claimed that a top club would see their income drop by £5–10m per season if they agreed to part with their bookie sponsor.
While gambling ads are set to be banned on the front of the shirt, sleeve deals are likely to remain
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom has been an outspoken supporter of banning gambling shirt sponsors despite making his fortune through sports betting.
He said last year: From a personal point of view, it is really important to realize that children see gambling or betting ads on T-shirts in particular, because they buy T-shirts.
“I don’t think having shirt gambling sponsorships is a good thing, but I understand that for some clubs, especially clubs with revenues from lower income leagues, gambling companies pay as best they can, so it’s hard to say no.
“Although there are gambling ads everywhere, I think it’s more visible on the T-shirts, and then that would concern me more.”