Globally-recognized soccer team Chelsea FC has decided to no longer pursue a potential partnership with the popular online casino platform, Stake, media reports reveal. Although the talks between the duo have gained traction recently, now in an unexpected turn of events, Chelsea would have to look for another front-of-shirt sponsor for the 2023-24 season that is expected to start soon.
The decision comes at a time when the soccer club faced criticism for the potential front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship deal with Stake. This potential partnership was criticized by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST).
Now, the Supporters’ Trust issued a statement praising the decision of the soccer club to forego the possible sponsorship with the gambling operator. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust reminded that more than 70% of its members disagreed with the club’s decision to have an online gambling and sports betting company as a primary front-of-shirt sponsor.
“The CST is really pleased that, according to recent reports, Chelsea FC has listened to the very serious concerns of the Trust and has acted accordingly. Over 77% of our members disagreed with the use of an online casino & betting company as the primary shirt sponsor, and if these reports are indeed correct, it demonstrates again that supporters can make a monumental difference,“
reads a statement released by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust
Talks about the potential sponsorship between Chelsea and Stake came at a time when the club’s sponsorship agreement with its front-of-shirt sponsor, Three, was set to expire. The collaboration between the Premier League club and Three was estimated at some £40 million ($51.2 million), which meant that Chelsea was likely looking for a deal with a similar value.
However, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust harshly criticized the possibility for the club to sign a deal with a gambling operator. In mid-June, the Supporters’ Trust issued a statement saying that some 77% of its “voting members strongly disagree or disagree with the use of an online casino and betting company as the primary shirt sponsor,” and said that it is not in the best interest of the club to be associated with a gambling company as a primary sponsor.
And while that deal seems to be reverted, other leading English soccer clubs have already penned sponsorship deals with gambling operators. Late last month, Fulham, another famous soccer club, announced a deal with SBOTOP, the global betting brand. That collaboration saw the brand become the front-of-shirt sponsor for the club in what was described as a record deal.