The Premier League has asked the league’s 20 clubs to voluntarily drop the use of gambling markings on their shirts. It is a decision taken in order to avoid more heavy-handed government intervention that could completely ban gambling advertising at football matches.
At present, seven Premier League teams such as Newcastle United, West Ham United and Southampton have shirts bearing the names and logos of gambling brands. Although none of the so-called ‘big six’ Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool or Tottenham have such deals, income from sponsorships with gambling companies is clearly extremely valuable. .
The Premier League currently has relatively lax restrictions on gambling compared to other leagues in countries like Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.
This means game companies can advertise anything from their brand name on players’ shirts to offers like the BetRivers Online Casino Promo Codes everywhere, from the stadium to television commercials broadcast at halftime. However, that could all be set to change under the Premier League’s new proposals.
The end of an era?
Under the plan, all Premier League clubs should remove the use of betting companies from their shirts within three years. However, the voluntary ban would come into effect at the beginning of the new Premier League season which begins August 5.
The fact that there is a three-year transition period means that all current deals between Premier League clubs and gambling brands could run their course as long as they expired before the start of the season 2024-25.
As it stands, at least 14 clubs would need to back the proposal for it to take effect immediately. It is not yet clear exactly when that vote will take place, but it looks like it could be postponed until September after current Prime Minister Boris Johnson steps down from office.
There has been growing political pressure for the Premier League to make such a move in recent months. While many smaller football clubs like Brentford depend on revenue from these sponsorship deals, it is felt the problem has gone on too long and a quick resolution needs to be found.
Interestingly, the government seems to have abandoned its intention to introduce stricter regulation and there is much less will to introduce an outright ban on game marks on football shirts. Instead, it seems that voluntary agreement is the most likely option and the big six clubs are considered to be in favor of the ban – especially since none of them have signed jersey sponsorship deals with gaming companies.
This all precedes the gaming reforms white paper which is expected to arrive in the coming months. This seems to provide the most thorough examination of current gambling laws in the UK and the role of advertising is going to be a crucial issue.
While the voluntary ban would deal with shirt sponsorship, it appears the Premier League would allow such gambling advertising to continue around the perimeter of the stadium pitch. This is on top of the average of 700 gambling adverts that appear on Premier League TV broadcasts, as well as adverts in match programs etc.
So while we can expect to see big changes in how Premier League shirts look, it looks like the game should remain a big part of the beautiful game.
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