VSO Exclusive: Kindred Backs English Soccer Deals for “Responsible Operators” Despite EPL Sponsor Ban

  • The EPL has voted to ban front-of-shirt gambling sponsors in time for the 2026/2027 season
  • Kindred, who sponsors multiple soccer teams, asserts that the deals benefit communities
  • The firm says there is still a role for “licensed, responsible operators” in English soccer
Middlesbrough player
Kindred Group, the sponsor of Middlesbrough, has argued there is still a place for gambling sponsors in English soccer despite the front-of-shirt sponsor ban agreed by the EPL.

Increasing pressure over the encroachment of gambling firms in English soccer finally took its toll on Thursday. After conducting a vote, the English Premier League agreed to voluntarily ban front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies in time for the 2026/2027 season.

Kindred Group, the owner of sportsbooks Unibet and 32Red, is well established in the UK soccer sponsorship space. It currently has front-of-shirt partnerships with Middlesborough in the Championship, Derby County in League 1, and Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

committed to driving forward our model of sponsorship that benefits clubs and their communities.”

When VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to Kindred to get its thoughts on the EPL ban, the company asserted that its deals have far-reaching benefits. “We have proudly sponsored several clubs in English football for many years and remain committed to driving forward our model of sponsorship that benefits clubs and their communities,” a spokesperson said.

Among the advantages of its sponsorships, Kindred noted community projects that “enable men to meet local men to meet, play football and discuss their mental health issues.” The company was also quick to note that it is the only gambling brand to feature responsible gambling messages on its shirt sponsorships, in addition to donating 30% of its soccer assets to safer gambling messaging.

Kindred concluded by making its thoughts on the continued benefit of these deals very clear: “We strongly believe there is a role for licensed, responsible operators to be involved in English football – with the same opportunities limited for those with no interest in the UK market.”

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