Down from on High: No Shirt Sponsorships in the UK

Published February 8, 2021 by Lee R

Down from on High: No Shirt Sponsorships in the UK

The most extreme ad ban measure in the UK is now clearly in view on the near horizon.

With a thorough review of existing regulations officially underway in iGaming's most prominent market, drastic reforms to the UK gambling sector are expected.

Banning Jersey Ads

The most extreme measure is rumoured to be the elimination of the seemingly ubiquitous jersey sponsorships.

Re-committed Government

The Daily Telegraph reports that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will support the ban as part of “drastic reforms” that Johnson's senior cabinet are committed to.

Support at all Levels

The shirt sponsorship ban is apparently supported by all Parliamentary parties ban and two-thirds of the public as well.

Committee Chair Speaks

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Harms chair and Labour MP Carolyn Harris expressed confidence in the sponsorship ban proving to be a “common sense” outcome of the ongoing gambling regulation review.

The Damage

UK leaders and government remain aware of the “£110million-a-year dent” the sponsorship deal would impose on Premier League and Championship club accounts, but the real economic threat of the ban trickles down to lower league less prosperous clubs.

Lower Clubs Hit Hardest

English Football League leadership indicated to UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that lower league football clubs were already on a “financial knife-edge dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.”

EFL Urges Against Extremity

The EFL is generally sympathetic to and supportive of more stringent sponsorship laws to protect UK audiences, but has urged the government to stop short of following Europe's example of the dreaded “blanket ban” on football sponsorships.

Positive Example Shirt Sponsorship

The EFL argues that socially responsibility benefits have already been achieved from some sponsorships in the UK, citing league sponsor Sky Bet's donation of 70% of its matchday inventory to promotion of safer gambling and education of compulsive behaviours.

Full Evidence to be Weighed

However, this is just one part of the picture, and at the end of the day the PM senior cabinet has committed to basing reforms on all evidence from DCMS’ ongoing review.


After initiating the consultation phase last December, DCMS will present to the government a white paper of recommendations for the UK sector by late summer or autumn.


The shirt sponsorship position is clearly the leading issue to define all subsequent policy positions in that white paper forthwith, with PM Johnson committed to an increasingly active role in the proceedings.

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