Premier League takes gamble on betting company compromise

According to Sky News, the Premier League has informed the government that it will gradually stop allowing gambling companies to mark players’ front shirts but still wants to permit sleeve branding.

In suggestions made to ministers, the Premier League considered phasing down front-of-shirt sponsorship by gambling companies over the following few years but allowing them to continue having an indefinite presence on clubs’ shirt sleeves.

According to information obtained by Sky News, the Premier League of English football brought up the proposal during recent talks with Whitehall.

The idea behind the plan, according to a Whitehall insider, was that shirt sleeves were less noticeable and, therefore, less valuable than the space on teams’ shirts’ fronts.

According to reports, the Premier League maintained that such a plan would help clubs escape a precipice caused by the abrupt disappearance of revenue from the gaming industry.

According to another insider, the time frame for doing away with front-of-shirt sponsorship had not been determined but was probably going to be between three and five years to take into consideration the expiration of current commercial agreements.

Chris Philp, the minister in charge of gambling for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, is thought to be debating the idea.

The Times reported earlier this week that government were pursuing a consensual agreement with clubs rather than passing legislation to forbid betting group names from appearing on football shirts.

According to one official, legislation remained a possibility if an acceptable arrangement couldn’t be achieved soon.

Last season, nearly half of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle United and West Ham, had betting company sponsorships; however, the Magpies are likely to find a new sponsor following the current season.

SpreadEx Sport at West Ham, Hollywood Bet at Brentford, and at Southampton were the other jersey sponsors from the previous campaign.

If accepted, the Premier League’s compromise proposal would enrage anti-gambling activists since it would keep the gambling industry’s logos on the jerseys of teams competing in the most watched domestic football competition in the world.

If ministers do come to a voluntary agreement to reduce jersey sponsorship, it would be included in a set of gambling measures that are anticipated to be presented in the upcoming weeks.

A DCMS representative stated: “In order to make sure the gambling rules are appropriate for the digital age, we are conducting the most thorough review in the past 15 years. In the upcoming weeks, we will release a White Paper as part of a review of gambling legislation.”

Regarding its conversations with the government, the Premier League chose not to comment.