English Football League Defends Sponsorship Deals
The EFL continues to have an open and regular dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, including the Government, regarding football’s ongoing relationship with the gambling industry to ensure its partnerships are activated in a responsible fashion.
The association between football and the gambling sector is long-standing, with a collaborative, evidence-based approach to preventing gambling harms of much greater benefit than that of a blanket ban of any kind.
Through a highly visible awareness and education campaign, the EFL and Sky Bet work together to promote responsible gambling, with players from all three divisions wearing sleeve badges to encourage supporters to consider how they gamble and 70% of the sponsor’s matchday inventory dedicated to safer gambling messaging.
With over £40 million a season paid by the sector to the League and its Clubs, the significant contribution betting companies make to the ongoing financial sustainability of professional football at all levels is as important now as it has ever been, particularly given the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which is leaving many of our Clubs living on a financial knife edge.
At the same time our Members, who contribute almost £500m annually to the Exchequer, has its core income stream of ticket sales turned off indefinitely without any indication of a roadmap that will allow the safe return of supporters to stadiums, despite other sectors being able to welcome people through their doors. They are also continuing to meet their financial obligations in the absence of similar levels of support being afforded to other industries.
The inconsistency is frustrating and perplexing. Our approach in respect of Gambling sponsorship is under constant review and the League will also contribute to any call for evidence by the Government as we seek to protect an important and vital income stream for our membership in a time of financial crisis