Betting firms could be forced to take names off football shirts due to gambling fears


Betting firms fear they will be forced to take their names off football shirts amid rising concern over gambling addiction.

They are talking about a voluntary ban in the face of mounting pressure from public opinion.

The move, following the example of Paddy Power, which pulled its kit advertising last year, would be an attempt to pre-empt a wider ban on betting ads in football.

Strong opposition is expected from clubs, who are raking in ­record amounts from sponsors.

Shirts like this could become a thing of the past

It’s estimated that 430,000 adults have a gambling addiction, which can cause debt, depression and even suicide.

The Government is to launch an investigation.

Last week the Sunday People told how Philip Tomlinson killed himself at 28 after losing thousands on football bets.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney has been savaged by both the Church of England and health experts for promoting gambling.

His current club Derby County’s team shirts are sponsored by online casino 32Red.

Philip Tomlinson killed himself at 28 after losing thousands on bets

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One senior industry figure said: “Players’ shirts are the most obvious outward sign of betting involvement.

“It may be better to agree a move on that rather than face tougher action that will hit them even harder.”

Among England’s top 44 Championship and Premier League clubs, £69 million of their £349 million sponsorships earnings comes from betting firms.

Ten out of 20 Premier League clubs sport betting logos on their shirts plus 17 out of 24 Championship sides.

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West Ham get £10 million from Betway and Wolves£8 million from ManbetX.

Professor Jim Orford, of Birmingham School of Psychology, who has studied football gambling, said: “The industry feels it has its back against the wall. This could be a way out.”





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