Lewes FC gets new sponsor
The non-league team Lewes FC are to become the first among the professional and semi-professional soccer clubs in England to wear a jersey that warns about the dangers associated with gambling. The team took to Twitter to announce the news today.
Lewes FC players will be wearing jerseys that promote the Gambling With Lives charity until October.
The sponsorship of soccer clubs by gambling companies is very popular in England. This season, 27 of the 44 teams in the top two tiers of English soccer – the Premier League and the Championship – will be wearing kits displaying a gambling sponsor.
Gambling With Lives says that this new shirt sponsorship with Lewes is a “perfectly timely antidote” to clubs that have gambling kit sponsors. Lewes was also the first soccer team globally in 2017 to offer equal pay to their male and female players.
Amateur team Headingley AFC already took on Gambling With Lives as a kit sponsor at the start of 2019.
There have been numerous controversies recently regarding gambling companies sponsoring soccer clubs.
Most recently, Huddersfield Town FC got a £50,000 fine for a publicity stunt they ran with Paddy Power bookmaker. This saw the team in a jersey sporting a sash-style Paddy Power logo during a home pre-season game. The branded wear was deemed to be against the English Football Association’s rules, which led to the fine.
Speaking about this problem in soccer, the co-founder of Gambling With Lives, Charles Ritchie, said:
Football has become infected by gambling and this prevalence has normalized and glamorized gambling to young football fans.”
The charity sees this move by Lewes FC as a symbol of the anger that exists among soccer fans over gambling companies being so prominent in the sport.