The Premier League has urged clubs to voluntarily ban front-of-shirt sponsorship from betting operators. Sky News reported the Premier League wants top clubs to drop gambling operators’ sponsorship to prevent a mandated embargo.
‘Phase Out Shirt Sponsorship’
The Premier League has recommended clubs phase out shirt sponsorship within the next three years and existing contracts end no later than 2024/25. In total, 14 clubs would need to sever ties with gambling operators, however, some clubs have complained they have been given days to respond rather than the proposed time frame.The UK Gambling Act is currently under review to bring it in line with the digital age, and the White Paper is due for release anytime. Initially, it was thought the overhaul of the Gambling Act would include a blanket ban on front of shirt advertising by gambling operators, but since, it’s come to light this has been dropped.Instead of a blanket ban, the government could reach a compromise with Premier League clubs, however, if an agreement is not met a legislative ban may be imposed.Sky News previously reported the government would allow clubs to continue shirt sleeve advertising indefinitely, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Logos Would Still Be Present
Although banning front-shirt sponsorship would not necessarily stop logos from being shown. Periphery advertising would still be used by clubs as betting sponsorship has increased over the past few years.The larger clubs in the Premier League including Manchester United, Tottenham, Mans City, Liverpool, and Arsenal are all expected to voluntarily ban front-of-shirt advertising as these clubs do not rely on the sponsorship revenue, however, others do, and this would affect them dramatically.Although, until the White Paper is released there’s much speculation regarding shirt sponsorship in football, many campaigners are ardent for a blanket ban on all gambling operator sponsorship, including peripheral and shirt sleeve advertising.