The top-flight clubs in the English Premier League (EPL) have delayed a vote on the proposed voluntary suspension of gambling sponsorship agreements after the minister responsible for the country’s gambling industry filed his resignation.
According to media reports, on July 7th, the Premier League sent emails to the 20 top-flight clubs to inform them that a deadline to provide their support for the proposed reform had been scrapped. Club executives have revealed that instead, the proposals are set to be discussed at a shareholder meeting scheduled for July 26th.
As mentioned above, the announcement of the delay came only a few hours after Gambling Minister Chris Philp filed his resignation alongside a number of other Ministers in a move trying to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson from his office. Although the effort came out successful, it was made at a time when Mr Philp had been expected to unveil the Government’s White Paper on the ongoing gambling reform in the next few weeks. The force majeure situation, however, could result in an even further delay of the legislation that threatened to eliminate the presence of gambling branding from EPL clubs’ kits.
According to an unnamed industry source familiar with the situation, the delay might be interpreted as an attempt of anti-gambling campaigners to exploit the political crisis in the UK.
At Least 14 EPL Clubs Need to Back the Proposed Voluntary Gambling Partnership Ban
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the English Premier League has recently turned to football club’s support for a voluntary ban that would see gambling operators no longer allowed to appear on players’ shirts. If successful, the move should have become a reality within the following 3 years, as the voluntary ban would have come into effect at the beginning of the new season. The already existing deals, however, would have been allowed to run their course but no later than the 2024/2025 season.
One club executive noted that most clubs wanted a further discussion about the plans to take place before the matter was officially put to a vote. As previously confirmed, the proposed measure needs to be approved by no less than 14 football clubs in order to be adopted.
According to an executive of another club, EPL officials had indicated that the suspension on gambling sponsorship deals was intended to be permanent. However, it would be subject to a special clause under which the ban could be overturned with а 2-years notice in certain circumstances. As already revealed by Casino Guardian, gambling companies will be allowed to keep perimeter advertising.
A football finance expert suggested that the 6 largest EPL clubs – Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – would be expected to back the proposed voluntary suspension of gambling partnerships because they did not have shirt sponsorship agreements with gambling operators in place.
Gambling sponsorship deals have been a sensitive issue for the leading clubs in English football because, over the years, many of them became reliant on revenue contributed by the local gambling sector. Last season, almost 50% of EPL football clubs had betting companies as sponsors, although they have been facing much criticism for that.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.