Football kits are reportedly set for a noticeable big change that fans are sure to love going forward, fair to say it’s much needed.
There is talk that gambling logos could be BANNED from football shirts in what will be a massive shake-up of sporting advertising ‘with snooker, darts and boxing also set to be hit’ because the government is ready for a blanket ban similar to tobacco ads.
Back in October 2020, a survey of more than 1,000 football fans found that a third said they would rather not buy their club’s kit if it has a gambling sponsor.
It will be a move that would hit Premier League and Championship clubs the hardest, however for fans, it’s something that they’ve called for a while now. Teams from the top two tiers of English football rake in around £110million a year from shirt deals with gambling companies.
Currently, eight top-flight teams out of 20 have their shirt sponsored by betting firms, they are Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, West Ham and Wolves.
The Hammers have a £10m-a-year deal with Betway, Leeds have a deal with SBOTOP worth £7.8m per season, while Newcastle are paid £7.5m a year by Fun88. In the Championship, there were 16 out of 24 sides who had betting partners last season.
Sports officials have been warned by civil servants that a crackdown is on its way following much debate, which still goes on, and ministers are now becoming ‘increasingly concerned’ about gambling addiction.
The possible move would be the biggest change in sports advertising since the promotion of tobacco was banned, and has been praised by MPs and campaigners amid fears that sports stars are ‘walking billboards’ for betting firms.
Comedian Russell Howard sums it up superbly…
Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of Clean Up Gambling, said: ‘Footballers, darts players, snooker players and rugby players are like walking billboards for gambling companies.
‘The evidence shows this sort of advertising is impacting negatively on children who are growing up thinking you have to put on a bet to enjoy sport.’
Sir Iain Duncan Smith said a crackdown on shirt logos was a good move, but urged the Government to go further and ban advertising from the industry completely.
‘Banning gambling logos on sportswear would be a welcome step, but given the risks presented by gambling the government will need to deal with this issue more widely. A complete ban on gambling advertising is long overdue and this should be brought forward ahead of the upcoming gambling review.’
A Premier League source told The Times that a ban would come ‘at the worst possible time’ with clubs already struggling without matchday revenue during the pandemic. Because of this, the decision to ban betting on kits may come a little later than hoped, but in time, it looks bound to happen.
‘This comes at the worst possible time for football clubs and sports clubs generally, who are struggling with their revenue base during the pandemic,’ it said. ‘Most clubs agree with the general principle, but the timing is wrong.’
A spokesperson for the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) said: “While betting helps to provide sports such as football with funding, it also enables TV channels to broadcast more sport than would otherwise be possible and plays a vital role in differentiating legally licensed operators from those in the black market who have none of the safety protections in place with UK operators.
“The BGC has introduced tough new measures to further prevent under-18s viewing betting ads online and our members have agreed that at least 20% of their TV and radio adverts must be safer gambling messages.
“The BGC is determined to drive up standards across the betting and gaming industry and looks forward to working with the government on its forthcoming gambling review to do just that.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are planning to review into gambling, it remains to be seen when and if this get the green light, but the way it’s played out, taken over, and the problems it’s caused, it’s likely to happen at some stage in the near future.
‘We are undertaking a comprehensive review of gambling laws to make sure they are fit for the digital age. We are determined to tackle problem gambling in all its forms. No decisions have been taken.’
With football kits set for a noticeable big change that fans are sure to love, reaction was posted on Twitter…
to support our campaign in banning gambling advertising on football shirts ⚽️ please retweet this tweet and sign this petition https://t.co/ZHgUXgfFKG @carolynharris24 @BorisJohnson @GambleWithLives @mrdanwalker @GaryLineker @campbellclaret @the_bigstep
— Peter Shilton (@Peter_Shilton) February 6, 2021
Some people just don’t realise the impact this has on children 55,000 children were diagnosed with gambling addiction in the U.K. last year sadly this number will increase thank you for your support @matsmith1
— Peter Shilton (@Peter_Shilton) February 6, 2021
@adoptedben: Done and done… I hope change comes soon. I have brought the @LUFC top on without the sponsor on. I hope more people make a stand against this plague sweeping the entire football league.
@Premierseafoods: Done. Even though I am a gambler with 30 years of sensible betting behind me i wholeheartedly agree with this Peter. I see too many young kids getting carried away online. Ban those ridiculous ads of happy clappy folk building their bets watching the game too. Preposterous stuff
@187charlesfrank: done. and to those saying it’ll take all the money out the game… so what … all the money in the game just goes on players wages anyway.
@MarkTommostuff: Done Peter. I hope this will make a real difference to people to who gambling affects in negative ways.
@Jollyanna7: I’d take it one step further, no Sky or any betting ads on sports programmes…..the players are taking knees and campaigning for child hunger why not an addiction that claims the lives of young men every week.
@DynamoKevCOYH: Duly signed – proud to support a team (Luton) who have a policy of not accepting gambling sponsorship.
@louisethorpe2: I agree but also gambling adverts on the Tv should be banned when the football is on. Every ad break is full of them!!
@realhoundrescue: Couldn’t agree more
@seekaydub: Is the 70% of Championship clubs just the front sponsor? I can only think of Luton that really don’t have any. Brentford made a start but then have a betting company on the shorts and 2 different ones around the stadium
@FairandOpen: Football has always survived without gambling and will always do. People are free to place a bet at the footy and should be able to. The advertising and sponsorship has got out of hand, isn’t necessary and is breeding another generation of young problem gamblers. It must stop
@Lee70464666: They are hypnotising kids it’s a disgrace
@Localboy99: Have felt this was an issue for a long time and glad someone is doing something about it. Signed and shared! Thanks @Peter_Shilton.
@admcollingwood: Well done, Mr Shilton. You were one of the greatest ten goalkeepers in history of the world, but if you succeed in this, it might be worth even more to England. Good man.
@keithkershaw7: Spot on. Suprised it’s taken so long. Well done.