EFL Clubs Face £40m Hit Due To End To Betting Sponsorship

Published July 9, 2020 by Sol FH

EFL Clubs Face £40m Hit Due To End To Betting Sponsorship

The EFL will need to come to an agreement soon or face major losses that could cripple the league.

The English Football League (EFL) has come out publicly and criticized proposals that would create a ban on sports betting sponsorships in British sport, saying that the industry contributes more than £40m each season to the organization and its clubs.

The UK House of Lords stated 66 recommendations in its ‘Gambling Harm - Time for Action’ report, which was released last week in an attempt to strengthen the gambling regulatory framework in the UK. They have also said that sports betting sponsorships should be phased out for clubs below the top-tier Premier League, by 2023.

The three divisions immediately below the Premier League, all of which overseen by the EFL, have criticized these recommendations, stating that it could threaten the financial stability of clubs across all three of its leagues.

Joining the EFL, a number of teams have spoken out about financial issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has reaped havoc on revenue for clubs in all leagues. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic represents perhaps the biggest challenge to the finances of EFL clubs in their history, and with over £40m 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,” an EFL spokesperson related.

“The association between football and the gambling sector is long-standing and the EFL firmly believes a collaborative, evidence-based approach to preventing gambling harms that is also sympathetic to the economic needs of the sport will be of much greater benefit than the blunt instrument of blanket bans.”

“The EFL has an open and regular dialogue with all relevant stakeholders regarding football’s ongoing relationship with the gambling industry and it is our belief that sports organizations can work with government and the gambling industry to ensure partnerships are activated in a responsible fashion,” they continued.

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive Michael Dugher related: “We welcome the committee’s understanding of the role of advertising and the lack of real evidence of any link between gambling advertising and problem gambling.

“Betting not only provides the sport with the vital funding it needs, but it also supports the TV channels’ ability to broadcast more sport than would otherwise be possible. Over 50% of all our members’ bets are taken on sport and in turn revenue from these bets return to the sport through media rights, advertising, and sponsorship.”

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