The English Premier League (EPL) announced that its clubs have collectively agreed to remove gambling firm logos from the front of their shirts starting from the 2026/27 season.
Embracing Voluntary Action
The EPL has become the first sports league in the UK to voluntarily agree to withdraw gambling sponsorships from the front of their shirts and side with the government’s efforts to address the increase in gambling advertising.
The official statement followed earlier reports today that the EPL clubs were about to vote on the measure aimed at reducing the amount of gambling advertising in sports. It was put forward after an extensive consultation between the league and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
As part of the consultation into soccer’s financing and future, there were reports that the government would set up an independent regulator to oversee soccer clubs but the collective agreement reached now serves as a display that the EPL can oversee itself.
The agreement comes ahead of the long-anticipated release of the government’s White Paper which is expected to recommend further regulation to the gambling sector amid concerns about the increase in problem gambling in the UK. Sports advertising is expected to feature heavily in the recommendations.
Huge Costs to the Clubs
The agreement comes at a significant cost for the clubs as currently there are eight Premier League clubs featuring gambling firm sponsors on the front of their shirts with an estimated total value of £48 million ($60 million).
Among the clubs most affected will be Everton and West Ham as both clubs currently have £10 million ($12.5 million) deals with Stake.com and Betway, respectively. The next in line will be Southampton with a £7.5 million ($9.37 million) deal with Sportsbet, Leeds with £6 million ($7.5 million) and Newcastle with £5 million ($6.25 million).
Clubs will still be able to advertise their gambling firm partners on the match-day shirt sleeves, gear, on pitch-side hoardings, or elsewhere at the stadia and the total monetary effect of the agreement is unclear but they will have to look for other revenue streams to compensate.
To facilitate the transition away from gambling firm front-of-shirt sponsorships, the EPL announced that the collective agreement will enter into force at the end of the 2025/26 season.
The Premier League said that it “is also working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship.”