In early fall, it became known that clubs in the English Premier League, as well as a number of lower divisions, receive a cut of the earnings of the bookmakers who are their sponsors. Previously, it was assumed that each club receives a steady fixed income for the placement of logos and broadcast advertising, but it turned out that they also receive a portion of the losses of their own fans.
This is a standard scheme that applies to partners of casinos and betting shops. For example, many sites like www.topcadcasinos.net make money by posting links to exclusive no deposit bonuses. On the part of the soccer clubs, however, it looks like an attempt to cash in on their audience.
Carolyn Harris, MP, reported that such a scheme was used in English leagues from 2013 to 2020, but even now, some clubs are sticking with this kind of earning. Realizing that this approach would affect fans’ attitudes toward their soccer clubs, their management has stopped entering into such contracts, but some will still be in effect until the end of the 2023-2024 season.
More specifically, some APL teams received around £10,000 yearly thanks to fan transfers through affiliate links. Clubs received a fixed percentage of bookmakers’ customer losses.
According to one Conservative MP, Ian Duncan Smith, such actions by soccer clubs are contrary to everything they should be doing – supporting fans, including those addicted to gambling.
Another Labour MP said this fact was “evidence of the exploitation by clubs of their fans without a pressing need to do so. Indeed, £10,000 a year is a very small sum compared with other sources of income for football clubs in England.
A representative of the English Football League also commented on the situation. According to him, when renewing the partnership between the league and the bookmaker Sky Bet, experts have tried to take into account all the delicate nuances and make betting the most secure. However, some clubs had long-standing agreements on the previous terms, which, unfortunately, can not be terminated. As such, they will continue to receive income from customer losses at the betting shop until the end of 2024.
In response to the criticism, Accrington Stanley Club chairman Andy Holt posted a photo of the partnership agreement on Twitter. According to the document, the club did not receive a pound as part of the loss clause in the 2021/2022 season. Moreover, he noted that he did not know such a clause existed in the contract and would not include it in the next agreement.
He also agreed that subjecting his fans to gambling addiction was unacceptable for a club of any means.
Despite Andy Holt’s response, there were many unhappy posts on Twitter from English soccer fans, where they once again accused clubs of trying to cash in on their fans.