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Football supporters survey flags gambling ad concerns

| By Robert Fletcher
Almost three-quarters of football fans in England and Wales are concerned about the level of gambling sponsorship in the game, according to the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA).
A-League betting corruption

The FSA last week published the results of its latest annual survey, collecting the views of fans from the 2022-23 season.

Of the 10,000 fans surveyed, 73% said they were concerned about the amount of gambling advertising in football.

The Big Step, a campaign aiming to end all gambling advertising in football, responded to the survey saying it shows how “unpopular” such sponsorship is with fans. 

“We don’t need a survey to show how unpopular gambling ads in football are,” The Big Step spokesperson said. “However, this poll confirms the overwhelming amount of fans don’t want the beautiful game tarnished by advertising for addictive and harmful products. 

“Across the world, both organisations and governments are ending all forms of gambling advertising. It’s time for football clubs and authorities in the UK to listen to their fans and do the same.”

Premier League shirt sponsor ban

The findings come after top division English Premier League clubs in April agreed to halt gambling sponsorship on matchday shirts.

The withdrawal of sponsorship will come into effect from the end of the 2025-26 season. Deals with operators can remain in place until then and teams can strike new partnerships, as long as they conclude ahead of the ban.

However, this has not deterred several Premier League clubs from agreeing shirt deals with gambling brands ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Last week, betting operator SBOTOP agreed to become the new main shirt sponsor of Fulham. Newly promoted Burnley also announced a one-year shirt sponsorship deal with W88.

Earlier this month, Aston Villa agreed a shirt sponsorship deal with Asia-facing operator BK8. The agreement will run to the end of the 2025-26.

However, Newcastle United chose to downgrade its deal with offshore operator Fun88. The brand had served as principal partner since the 2017-18 season.

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