British Clubs to Potentially be Fined for Betting Sponsorships

In a new report from The Times, the British government will begin cracking down on clubs who don betting agencies on their playing kits.

The tightening of these screws could have serious implications for many clubs in the professional footballing landscape in the UK. A substantial percentage of teams in the Premier League and Championship (England’s second tier) use gambling organisations as their main sponsors.

West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton FC, Norwich City FC and Watford are some of the high profile Premier League sides whose kits feature mainly betting or gambling agencies.

15 of the 24 teams in the Championship are in the same boat, including top teams such as Leeds United, Middlesborough, Stoke City, Swansea City and former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers.

The further down the leagues you go, the more teams you’ll find who utilise gambling agencies as their major sponsors.

This news has surfaced following reports that the government will review the 2005 Gambling Act. It is expected that following the review, a domino effect will take place, which will impact some of these clubs.

The EFL, who looks after the Championship, League One and League Two, is itself sponsored by Sky Bet. They could suffer greatest from any reforms made by the government after their review.

In the first ever Premier League season back in 1992/1993, no team shared their shirts with gambling agencies as a form of sponsorship.

Sponsorships such as JVC’s with Arsenal, Carlsberg’s with Liverpool, Sharp’s with Manchester United and Newcastle Brown Ale’s with Newcastle United all stick vividly in the minds of Premier League fans to this day.

At the start of the 2010s, some clubs had cottoned on to the idea of attaining sponsorships with betting companies.

Soccer is one of the most popular sports to gamble on in the UK and many agencies generate significant amounts of revenue from games across numerous leagues, even the semi-professional ones.

The topic of gambling in sports is one that has generated much debate across the globe in the last few years.

In Australia especially, the discussion seems to circulate on an almost weekly basis.

On one hand, it is frowned upon when players, coaches or staff members get involved in bets for any matches. For example, in the AFL, Collingwood Magpies player Jaidyn Stephenson was banned for 10 games for gambling on AFL matches, including some he was playing in.

At the same time however, governing bodies continuously promote gambling with pre-game advertisements that display the odds and encourage people to gamble.

Some governing bodies even have sponsorships with betting agencies, whilst at the same time, trying to dissuade people from betting on matches.

On the other hand, many teams in the AFL are trying to escape the gambling industry and become independent without having to rely on gaming rooms and pokies.

This news came as a pleasant surprise for English soccer fans, with many rejoicing at the fact that something is being done after years of what they see as apathy.

What are your thoughts on the prospect of less teams being sponsored by betting agencies?

Are you glad something is being done by the British government? Will you be pleased by the potential return of less sponsors on teams shirts?

Are you against it? Or do you simply not mind, so long as you can watch your team play week in, week out?

Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau. We’d love to hear your thoughts

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Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

$500,000 dedicated to the improvement of safety across NSW

A list of successful applicants across Football New South Wales are now entitled to a grant courtesy of $500,000 to Local Sport Defibrillator Grant (LSDG).

The sole purpose of LSDG is to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to sports clubs across the state in order to combat the growing correlation between sport participation and cardiac arrests incurred by participants.

These devices have the potential to save participants lives within these crucial emergency situations.

Situations in where time is of the essence, the use of a defibrillator can be the difference in saving someone’s life.

Although the situation of a cardiac arrest occurring to be highly unlikely, due to the increased frequency of the medical episode taking place primarily within sport.

The safety of a broader community requires an approach in which it can allow for an equalizer within these tremulous situations.

Impact on Football Across NSW

14 clubs across the state of NSW where listed upon the successful applications, entitling those clubs to receive 3 defibrillators each.

Southern District Soccer Football Association have had quite the substantial contribution targeted towards their region.

4 out of the possible 14 AEDs were provided to a region where football has experienced expansion in growth and participation.

Heartbeat of Football

Heartbeat of Football (HOF) have worked in conjunction with Football NSW, acting as their primary community heart partner since 2022.

Boasting the motto “No one should die playing the sport they love,” HOF are dedicated within the company’s objective of having zero related hearth deaths on a sporting ground.

The efforts of HOF are in unison with the LSDG.

Football NSW Manager Government Relations, Funding, and Infrastructure, Daniel Ristic, said via press release.

“The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant has been a fantastic grant initiate allowing football clubs across NSW to equip themselves with life saving devices that are making a difference at the community level.”

The LSDG grant will continue to provide the required needs necessary in which can ultimately be lifesaving to a new branch of football entities across NSW.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

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