The Football Association, the governing body for football in the United Kingdom recently announced that it is to terminate all sponsorship deals with betting companies.
In an article published in the UK Guardian this past June, Mathra Keiner reports that the change in policy means the FA will have severed its ties with Ladbrokes, a deal which still had three years of a four-year deal left to run.
With recent betting scandals which have seen the likes of Burnley star Joey Barton suspended from active competition for 18 months, the move serves as an attempt by the FA to distance itself from allegations of corruption.
After breaking their deal with Ladbrokes, the FA is placing a blanket ban on any further sponsorship deals with similar companies as it looks to clean up its act and present itself as a reputable sport which maintains only the highest levels of integrity.
Does this mean that the close relationship between the gambling industry and professional sports has come to an end?
Not by a long shot.
In the wake of the FA’s announcement, the English Football League reassured members of the press that their own deal with Sky Bet will not be affected.
Meanwhile, bookmakers William Hill are continuing to lead the charge when it comes to showcasing how professional sports and betting firms can work together without harming the integrity of either side.
Nor will you as sports fans and punters have anything to worry about.
Though the FA may be looking to put as much space as possible between its past associations with gambling, bookmakers themselves are set to continue using top flight football as one of their main draws for new and existing customers alike.
With the 2017 – 2018 Premier League now only a month away, there is only one place for you to bet on sports online that continues to over industry-leading odds on all of the FA regulated games. That of course, is William Hill themselves, though despite their immunity from the FA’s change in policy, that doesn’t mean that those affected by it are likely to suffer.
Ladbrokes may no longer boast an official association with the FA, but are still set to profit from the upcoming Premier league season.
Quoted in the Financial Times recently, Ladbrokes Coral Chief Executive, Jim Mullen said:
“Football is a passion of both ours and our customers, and we remain committed to working with the FA ensure the integrity of the sport is maintained for the fans of the game and the millions of customers who enjoy betting on it week in and week out.”
In other words, despite losing out on an advertising opportunity with top flight football, the company are still planning to see scores of bets on this season’s games come in throughout the year.
In the meantime, you can still expect to see the company’s logo emblazoned throughout the professional sporting world, as they remain both major and minor sponsors for a number of competitions and individual teams.
Along with being the main sponsor for the Rugby League Challenge Cup, The Coral Cup at Cheltenham, and the UK Open darts competition, the brand retain an active presence in professional football, particularly in Scotland, where they sponsor the top four classes of the Scottish Professional Football League.
As such, you can bet your last that firms like Ladbrokes and william Hill will continue to thrive despite the FA looking to clean up its act by dissociating itself with the very industry that has long been an ardent backer of professional sports.