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Premier League bans betting brands from main shirt sponsorship

Motion comes into play for 2026/27 season but gambling companies can still feature on shirt sleeves and advertising hoardings.

13 April 2023 PA

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Clubs in English soccer’s Premier League have collectively agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of matchday shirts from the end of the 2025/26 season.

After extensive consultation between the Premier League, its 20 clubs and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), a decision has been made for the league to become the first in the UK to take such action to voluntarily reduce gambling advertising.

Eight top-flight clubs – Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Southampton and West Ham United – currently have deals with betting brands, with The Athletic pegging their collective value at UK£60 million (US$75 million) annually.

‘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,’ a statement read.

‘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.

‘To assist clubs with their transition away from shirt-front gambling sponsorship, the collective agreement will begin at the end of the 2025/26 season.’

Premier League clubs will be allowed to secure new gambling sponsorship for the front of shirts until the ban commences, the PA news agency understands.

Current sponsorship deals with gambling companies can remain in place for the next three years too.

It is understood that gambling brands can feature in other areas, which include shirt-sleeves and on advertising hoardings, beyond the 2025/26 campaign.

The Big Step, a campaign set up to stop all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, welcomed the news but stressed the need for more changes to be made to combat gambling’s influence in the sport.

“Today’s announcement is a significant acceptance of the harm caused by gambling sponsorship,” The Big Step founder James Grimes said. “No gambling ads are seen more than those on Premier League shirts, worn by billions around the world.

“But just moving logos to a different part of the kit while allowing pitchside advertising and league sponsorship to continue is totally incoherent.

“Without government action on all forms of gambling ads in football, at every level, online casinos will exploit any voluntary measures and continue to market their products through our national sport.

“Although this outcome isn’t perfect, it’s a huge step. Just over three years ago, there were nearly 30 clubs in the top two divisions with a gambling advert on the front of their shirt – with today’s announcement, we are getting closer to when that will be zero.

“This undeniable progress shows that the hard-fought argument – led by people with lived experience – has been won. The government and the sport itself now need to wake up to the reality that gambling ads are unhealthy, unpopular and will be kicked out of football.

“Delaying that moment is risking the health and lives of another generation of young fans.”

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