Premier League clubs have agreed to remove gambling companies as sponsors on the front of players’ shirts by the end of the 2025-26 season. This decision was made following extensive consultations between the Premier League, its clubs, and the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport. The government is presently reviewing legislation relating to gambling in the country.
The decision, made on Thursday 13th April, marks the first time a UK professional sports league has voluntarily agreed to restrict betting sponsorships. However, gambling brands will still be allowed on shirt sleeves and pitchside advertising hoardings. The Premier League is also working with other sports leagues to develop a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship. The Italian Serie A and Spain’s La Liga have already implemented similar measures in recent years.
Eight of the 20 Premier League clubs, including Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, and West Ham, currently feature betting companies as their shirt-front sponsor, with deals collectively worth about £60 million per year. The ban will not affect the traditional ‘Big Six’ clubs, as they do not have gambling companies as sponsors.
The clubs’ voluntary acceptance of the change has been met with mixed reactions. James Grimes, founder of The Big Step, a campaign dedicated to ending the longstanding relationship between football and betting, welcomed the decision as an important, albeit imperfect, watershed. Critics, however, argue that moving logos to different parts of the kit while allowing pitchside advertising to continue is incoherent.
The financial impact of this decision is expected to vary across clubs. For example, Everton, which receives £10 million per year from online casino Stake.com, may struggle to replicate this income. Conversely, Saudi Arabian-owned Newcastle is confident about replacing its soon-to-expire £6.5 million-a-year shirt deal with Fun88.
Finally, the Premier League’s decision does not extend to clubs in the English Football League (EFL), which is backed by Sky Bet. The EFL maintains that the £40 million per year generated from betting sponsorships is crucial for the survival of clubs that lack the substantial international television deals enjoyed by the Premier League.