The Premier League has finally decided to give front-of-shirt gambling logo sponsorships the boot once and for all. The move comes after an extensive debate about whether sponsorship money trumps the bad public relations that were stemming from criticism of the league’s prominent placement of gambling operator logos on the front of League jerseys.
According to Premier League officials, the front-of-shirt ban will go into effect at the end of the 2025-2026 season, with existing deals staying in place until then.
Removing front-of-shirt gambling logos isn’t something that Premier League teams were keen on doing, but the common wisdom is that the logos would likely have been banned anyways by British gaming regulators. League officials say that they are also working to develop a code of conduct for dealing with gambling logos that could be used by other sports leagues.
Tony Bloom, the Brighton owner summed up the conundrum for teams, who have definitely benefited from gambling sponsorships, in a statement to the Guardian saying, “I don’t think having gambling sponsorship on shirts is good. But I understand the gambling companies pay best so it’s a difficult decision for clubs to turn them down.
The move was met with tepid support from Britain’s top anti-gambling advocate, James Grimes of the Big Step. Grimes told the Guardian, “Although this outcome isn’t perfect, it’s a huge step. It’s a significant acceptance of the harm caused by gambling sponsorship. No gambling ads are seen more than those on Premier League shirts, worn by billions around the world.“