The Football Association yesterday announced it has ended its sponsorship deals with betting companies.
Following a three-month long review into the role of gambling in football, the FA “mutually agreed” to terminate the deal with its former “official betting partner” – Ladbrokes.
The organisation concluded that it could not enforce anti-gambling rules for those involved in the game while earning money from promoting gambling.
The FA’s decision will reportedly cost them £4 million per year in revenue, after completing just one year of a four-year sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes.
In a statement, the FA said its current partnership with the betting company “will be terminated from June 2017”.
Adding: “The FA will continue to work with betting companies, including Ladbrokes, as they play a key role in sharing information on suspect betting patterns and so help in regulating the game.”
In April, Joey Barton was banned by the FA from all football related activities for 18 months, after admitting to placing over 15,000 bets in football and across a range of sports since 2004.
Barton was quick to highlight the unhealthy relationship between football and the gambling industries, questioning whether or not it was appropriate for gambling firms to be official sponsors of the FA.
The 34-year-old criticised the FA’s “dependence on the gambling companies” and called on the organisation to look at “their role in football and in sports broadcasting, rather than just blaming the players who place a bet”.
He then called on the FA to accept that “there is a huge clash between their rules and the culture that surrounds the modern game, where anyone who watches football on TV or in the stadia is bombarded by marketing, advertising and sponsorship by betting companies, and where much of the coverage now, on Sky for example, is intertwined with the broadcasters’ own gambling interests”.