Premier League clubs could see betting brands banned from their shirts as the United Kingdom‘s government looks to stop gambling’s influence on the world of football.
Currently, almost half of the league’s clubs have sponsorship deals with betting firms, with the industry generating more than 16 billion euros in the UK.
However, with nearly three million people said to be negatively affected by the world of gambling, Boris Johnson‘s government are considering banning betting firms from appearing on football shirts and this could happen by 2023 or 2024.
A blow to Premier League clubs’ finances
In total, nine out of the 20 Premier League clubs have contracts with gambling companies, so a ban would result in a hole of roughly 44m euros per club.
The impact is even greater in the lower leagues. In the Championship, 15 of the 24 clubs are sponsored by gambling companies.
The English Football League (EFL) has a bookmaker as one of its three main sponsors, meaning it would face an even greater problem than the Premier League.
The finances of smaller clubs have become more vulnerable since the COVID-19 pandemic than those of the bigger clubs, who have a 5.5bn euro TV deal to fall back on. That’s why the government intends to deal with the Premier League first before making their way down the English football pyramid.
Given that the start of the 2022/23 season is only a few months away and there is no firm ruling as of yet, the government is worried teams are already negotiating sponsorship deals for 2023/24, which could push back things even further.
Shilton and 12,000 signatures
The change has received support from major figures in English football, including Peter Shilton, the country’s most-capped player.
Shilton presented a petition to the government signed by 12,000 people who want the laws to be changed.
Shilton‘s involvement isn’t surprising, as the 71-year-old former goalkeeper admitted that he was addicted to gambling for 45 years.
While a ban on the display of betting firms on shirts is still a while away, it would be the biggest change to sponsorship agreements since tobacco advertising was banned back in 2003.