Premier League clubs have agreed to a voluntary ban on gambling companies’ logos on the front of match day football shirts.
The pre-emptive move is an attempt to head off a total ban: for now, gambling companies can still appear on sleeves, and in-stadium advertising is unaffected.
The ban comes into effect in the 2026/27 season to allow existing deals to run their course. The “big six” clubs don’t have gambling sponsors, but clubs lower down the Premier League are more reliant on gambling companies, which are generally a pretty easy sponsorship “win.’
A statement from the Premier League said: “The announcement follows an extensive consultation as part of the Government’s ongoing review of current gambling legislation. The Premier League is also working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship.”
Campaign groups are pressing for a more thorough ban, but to see gambling names disappear from the fronts of shirts is a big step in the right direction, especially given the status that footballers enjoy among younger men who are most at risk from gambling.
Like those lesser Premier League clubs, ad agencies are often heavily reliant on money from big spending advertisers like PaddyPower, Ladbrokes, SkyBet and Bet365.
Gambling ads are already banned before the 9pm watershed, and it looks like the public mood is increasingly hostile to the business, but the Advertising Association is of course doing its best to keep this income stream flowing. Its latest statement said: “We believe a total ban is not necessary – such an action has wide implications, particularly for the support of sports across media channels.”