New rules could stop certain companies sponsoring football shirts - here’s why

Monday, 1st February 2021, 3:10 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2021, 3:11 pm
New rules could stop certain companies sponsoring football shirts - here’s why (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Football clubs and other sporting institutions could be banned from putting the logos of gambling companies on their shirts due to a government review into the harms of gambling, The Times reports.

Half of the teams in football’s Premier League currently feature gambling company logos on their shirts, and all but eight of the 24 clubs in the Championship also have them.

Football would be among the most affected sports if the rule came into effect, although gambling sponsorship is prevalent in rugby, darts, boxing and snooker.

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Which Premier League teams would be affected?

The premiership clubs which currently have betting brands shown on the front of their shirts, are: Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Southampton, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers

Is the change likely to happen?

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a consultation on gambling laws late last year, which is due to conclude at the end of March.

While the DCMS has stressed that no decisions have yet been made and the consultation is ongoing, there are reports that civil servants have warned the sports industry that a ban is being considered.

Chair of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling-related harm, Carolyn Harris MP, has previously said that a ban on gambling logos on shirts is “one of the most obvious things to do” and that the Government “need to tackle [it] immediately”.

The review is expected to recommend changes to the law by December.

According to The Times, an anonymous source from one Premier League club claimed it is the wrong time for this decision.

“This comes at the worst possible time for football clubs and sports clubs generally, who are struggling with their revenue base during the pandemic. Most clubs agree with the general principle, but the timing is wrong,” they said.

A Survation poll of 1,000 football fans last year found that nearly half support a ban on gambling company logos on shirts, and a third said that they would rather not buy their club’s shirt if it featured a gambling sponsor.