A report on the country’s gambling laws is expected to be published in the coming months and the Daily Mail have claimed it is almost certain to include proposals to ban front-of-football shirt sponsorship from betting companies.
Online betting site SBOTOP became Leeds United's shirt sponsor in 2020 in the largest commercial deal in the club’s history, while eight other Premier League clubs and six Championship clubs will also have to find new sponsors if the ban goes ahead.
Analysts GlobalData put the cost of such a ban to Premier League clubs at £60 million, which would disproportionately affect those clubs towards the middle and lower end of the league.
Liam Fox from GlobalData said: “These deals have been concentrated in mid-lower table teams because clubs at this level are unable to attract the same high-value blue chip sponsors that teams at the summit of the table can.
“What this has meant is that mid-lower Premier League clubs have become increasingly reliant on the industry to help limit the financial disparity between themselves and those clubs at the summit of the table. Therefore, the ban will likely widen this gap further.”
Labour MP Carolyn Harris, the chair of the gambling-related harm all-party parliamentary group, has previously said that such a ban is “one of the most obvious things to do” within the new act.
She said last year: “All the groups who have reported or commented on this have said this is an area (ministers) need to tackle immediately. So I’m quite confident that will happen.”
The policy document outlining the proposal is expected to be published later this year and will be followed by a three-month consultation period before it goes to Parliament, meaning it is unlikely that any changes affecting Leeds United will come in before 2023.
Here are the 15 Premier League and Championship clubs that are currently sponsored by betting firms...