GambleAware have expressed their disappointment after new deals were struck between gambling operators and Premier League clubs, despite the government’s future ban on front-of-shirt sponsors.
Premier League clubs are free to explore new deals with betting companies until the ban on shirt sponsors comes into effect at the end of the 2025/26 season.
It is worth noting that although teams will not be able to display betting sites on the front of their shirts, the government’s Gambling White Paper failed to included anything regarding pitchside hoardings, stadium naming rights and sleeve sponsors.
GambleAware Chief Communications Officer, Alexia Clifford, has suggested that teams in the top-flight are perhaps not grasping the gravity of the situation, as the UK grapples with rising levels of problem gamblers and clinical addicts.
“More regulation of advertising and marketing is needed in order to protect children and young people,” she said.
“We support a complete ban of gambling sponsorship appearing on shirt fronts, shirt sleeves, and anywhere in stadiums.”
Heading into the 2023/24 campaign, seven of the 20 teams will don bookmakers on their shirts; Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Burnley, Everton, Fulham and West Ham.
Of those seven, Burnley and Aston Villa have both reached new agreements with betting operators ahead of the new season. The former with global gambling firm W88, while the latter struck a deal with BK8 which has been heavily criticised by the club’s fan groups as a ‘cynical’ last-minute cash grab.
The imminent ban has had a positive effect elsewhere however, with Chelsea backing out of negotiations for a potential deal with Stake following heavy backlash from the club’s supporter’s trust. It currently leaves them without a shirt sponsor with less than a month until the new campaign starts.