Premier League Chief Says No to Betting Sponsorship

UK Premier League Chief Says No to Betting Sponsorship

As Barclay Bank's sponsorship of the English Premier League (PL) is set to expire in 2016, to which all indications point to a non-renewal once the contract ends, PL Chief Executive Richard Scudamore is making it clear that a future deal for new headline sponsorship will definitely not go to a betting company.

Although the corporate association will soon be considering offers for new title sponsorship, those coming from betting companies will not be considered. Mr. Scudamore explained that the headline sponsorship of the Premier League is not for everybody as “it is not a straightforward, we-will-take-any-brand-that-comes-along” matter. He asserts that it is something more complex since the PL has to maintain the integrity of the game, which they will find impossible to achieve if they collaborate with a betting company.

PL CEO confided that he is constantly worried about the issue of preserving the integrity of the football matches and of the Premier League falling prey to the problems posed by match-fixing. Yet, the complexity of a sponsorship deal is more than just about betting issues. As an example, he cited Asian brands like Sony or Panasomic as a more likely heading over a league title like “China Development Corporation Premier League” to which some people might have real issues.

Regarding the Football League's immediate agreement to the Sky Bet five year sponsorship contract, the PL CEO said he understood that it was the money-making aspect that made it crucial for the Football League to go with a betting company. After all, retailer B&Q decided to back out of negotiations with only three months left prior to the football season. Still, Mr. Scudamore believes that the level of “criticism and scrutiny they receive would be too great.”

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