Why Premier League clubs will not stop having betting companies on their shirts

By Mirror: Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 09:02 GMT +3 | Premier League
West Ham are one of a number of clubs to have a gambling company on their shirts (Image: COURTESY)

Premier League bosses are refusing to stop clubs having betting shirt sponsors despite a huge backlash against gambling in football.

Half of all the 20 clubs have main shirt sponsors and all of them have tie-ups with betting companies as gambling brings in huge revenue.

It has come under fire with ex-England captain Tony Adams saying gambling is an “epidemic” within the sport, while serious questions have been asked at Government level which is now reviewing football’s uncomfortable relationship with bookmakers.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League doesn’t have partnerships with gambling companies.

“We don’t sell watching bet rights, we’re certainly not sniffy about it, it’s up to our clubs whether they want to have their own gambling relationships, all of them do, a number of them are on the shirt front.

“The Government deregulated gambling – changed the framework around gambling – in 2005 and it’s probably about time to have another look at it, the Government are going to do that, we’ll be welcome participants in that. For a few reasons.

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“Our clubs have always abode by rules and regulations in relation to it, I think this area does need stronger governance, particularly to protect the vulnerable.

“I don’t think the answer at the end coming out at the end of it should be that football clubs shouldn’t have shirt sponsors gambling companies any more, but we will certainly co-operate with the review.”

Meanwhile, Masters has insisted that they will examine any potential takeover of Newcastle or any club targeted for a Saudi Arabia takeover.

Masters also slammed the attack on Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward last week and said “a line was crossed.”

He added: “There is room for fan protest – in fact there are formal avenues for fan protest and for fans to make their feelings clear not just to their clubs through official supporters’ groups but also to the Premier League directly.

“If you are referring to the situation at Manchester United, obviously a line was crossed. Those particular songs and the activities taking place outside Ed Woodward’s house were horrible and wrong. A line was crossed and the fans should be denounced.”

 

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