Betting and gambling sponsors are becoming more and more regular in English football. Though they are predominantly found on the front of club’s shirts, companies are now paying for stadium naming rights, sleeve sponsorships and even the naming rights to the English Football League (EFL).
Looking at the numbers, currently 30 of the 92 clubs from the Premier League – League Two have their main shirt sponsor as a betting or gambling company.
THAT’S OVER A QUARTER!
This includes some companies sponsoring more than one club. For example, 32Red sponsor five of the 17 Championship clubs who have betting or gambling companies as their shirt sponsor. Alongside this, LeoVegas sponsor two clubs in the Championship, BetDaq sponsor two clubs in League One, and SportPesa sponsor two clubs – Everton in the Premier League and Hull City in the Championship.
In terms of stadium naming right, Stoke City are currently the only team in the top 92 clubs in English football to have their stadium name related to a sponsor – the Bet365 Stadium.
Now, sleeve sponsors are a fairly new thing in the Premier League with 18 out of 20 teams having one. Off them 18, two have betting or gambling sleeve sponsors – Bournemouth and Watford.
Reading those figures alone, it’s hard to think what sort of message football is sending to its fans and fans of other sports. It’s almost as if it’s encouraging people to bet or gamble – something that has seen an increase in people becoming addicted to.
To top everything off, the three leagues in the EFL have been called the SkyBet Championship, SkyBet League One, and SkyBet League Two since 2013. These naming rights are in place until 2024.
Taking this all into account, it begs to question – when is it time for the Football Association and the EFL to ban these type of sponsors from shirts and naming rights?
If they only care about generating money and not fan welfare then these type of sponsors will continue and more than likely increase.
However, if they look at the more worrying statistics and the figure above, maybe just maybe they will ban betting and gambling sponsors on shirts, sleeves and stadium naming rights.
What do you make of these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
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