Premier League moves to ban betting sponsors on front of teams’ shirts

Clubs in the Premier League have made a big collective move by reaching an agreement to ban betting sponsors on the front of kits.

England’s topflight confirmed the decision via a statement released on Thursday. In doing so, the Premier League becomes the first UK sports league to voluntarily restrict the promotion of betting sponsors.

However, gambling companies can still feature on a kit’s sleeve, as well as on advertising boards.

“The announcement follows an extensive consultation involving the League, its clubs, and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as part of the Government’s ongoing review of current gambling legislation,” read the statement. “The Premier League is also working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship.”

This ground-breaking measure still has a few seasons before coming into effect, though.

“To assist clubs with their transition away from shirt-front gambling sponsorship, the collective agreement will begin at the end of the 2025/26 season.”

Premier League sides will thus have three years to replace their shirt sponsor if it is a betting company. But how many teams would this currently impact?

The would-be affected sides by new Premier League betting sponsors ban

Eight of the 20 sides in the Premier League at the moment feature branding from a gambling company. Firstly, a trio of London sides have betting brands across their chest. These are Fulham (W88), Brentford (Hollywoodbets), and West Ham (Betway).

Elsewhere, seaside clubs Southampton (Sportsbet) and Bournemouth (Dafabet) will also soon be forced into changes. Finally, Everton (Stake), Newcastle (Fun88), and Leeds (SBOTOP) complete the near-50% of the league that has betting sponsorship.

Fortunately, according to The Athletic, a number of these deals expire prior to the 2026 deadline. Newcastle and Brentford’s branding contracts are due to expire at the end of the current season, as is Fulham’s.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth and Southampton have to wait one season longer, to 2024. West Ham’s deal with Betway runs one year past that up to the end of 2025.

The ones in question are Leeds and Everton. Their sponsors have unknown contract lengths – but we can assume that they will now finish sooner.

Another factor is that some of these teams – especially a few of the aforementioned – may get relegated. We would then see some Championship sides come up, of course. So, which second-division teams may have to change shirt sponsor if they earn promotion?

The betting sponsors in the Championship

Despite having four more clubs than the PL, the Championship has just six teams with betting company sponsorship.

Midlands clubs Birmingham and Coventry actually share a sponsor. They both have BoyleSports branding on their respective kits. Similarly, Watford (Stake) have the same company on their shirts as Everton.

Middlesbrough are another side with a betting sponsor – Unibet. Fellow north-eastern side Sunderland (SpreadEX Sports) are the same, then Stoke City (Bet365) rounds out the list.

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There is no confirmation whether the Football League will move in the same direction as the Premier League. But, given that the government may introduce more stringent measures on sports betting, a change could be on the horizon.

For now, topflight teams have a few years to try and earn a lucrative, alternative kit sponsor deal.

Featured image credit: Getty