Premier League clubs have collectively agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of match-day shirts, but the move will only come into effect at the end of the 2025-26 season.
Eight of the 20 clubs in the league currently have betting companies as shirt sponsors. Premier League clubs will be allowed to secure new gambling sponsorship for the front of shirts until the ban commences, the United Kingdom’s Press Association reported.
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“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,” the league said in a statement on Thursday.
“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.”
Excellent. Well done @premierleague
Now do sleeves, backs of shirts, the digital boards around the pitch, the banners on the pitch next to the goals, the half-time big screens, TV adverts AND the actual broadcasters who pay you.@the_bigstep
— Tristan Cork Post (@TristanCorkPost) April 13, 2023
Current football sponsorship deals with gambling companies can remain in place for the next three years. The Premier League said it was working with other sports on “the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship”.
The UK government is expected to publish a white paper – a proposal for future legislation – on gambling regulation.
“The vast majority of adults gamble safely, but we have to recognise that footballers are role models who have enormous influence on young people. We want to work with institutions like the Premier League to do the right thing for young fans,” UK Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer said while welcoming the announcement.
“We will soon bring forward a gambling white paper to update protections for punters and ensure those who are at risk of gambling harm and addiction are protected.”
And what about the constant advertising around the grounds on the digital pitch side boards? This is just as bad
— Martin Sanders (@FootballMartin_) April 13, 2023
According to a report in The Times newspaper, ministers have signalled that the white paper will not include shirt sponsorship restrictions if the voluntary agreement was reached.
The report added that sleeve deals are still permitted.
Gambling sponsors on the front of football shirts have already been outlawed in Italy and Spain.