Football club Everton is coming under serious fire. An announcement declared that the club had secured a record-breaking sponsorship deal. All hell broke loose when it was revealed that the deal was with a sports betting company.
20,000 irate fans signed a petition, calling the deal deeply saddening. The club previously had a sponsorship with a car company. An effort was even made to cancel a separate gambling deal early. So that a new partnership has now been completed with stake.com seems to have been a step too far. Logos for stake.com will soon appear on team jerseys, and 20,000 fans aren’t happy about it.
Getting Out of Trouble
The reality is that Everton is in deep financial trouble. The world health crisis has harmed all sports, and the club is no different. A report revealed that the organization lost a staggering £372 million over 3 seasons. So it seems as if the stake.com sponsorship is needed to avoid bankruptcy.
A spokesperson for the organization even admitted that gambling-focused sponsorships aren’t ideal. So this seems to be a case of doing the best possible in a bad situation. Even still, some fans are not willing to accept the position. Some lobbyists have been open about calling Everton to sell out. In contrast, others insist that problem gambling cannot be ignored.
The truth is that Everton is not alone in its financial troubles.
A Turbulent Landscape
It wasn’t long ago that Norwich had to abandon its own sponsors. Fans were verbal about sexualized marketing, forcing the club to pull the plug on the deal. Preston North End was faced with a similar dilemma. Previously both clubs reported facing challenging financial troubles.
But Ben Melvin isn’t feeling sympathetic. Melvin is a fan that has struggled with a self-confessed problem of gambling. He set up the petition and isn’t planning on backing down, even after an Everton spokesperson announced that there are no plans to ditch stake.com. Melvin retorted that although he doesn’t expect stake.com to be dropped, he wants the club to know that fans are unhappy.
The bottom line is that there are no regulations restricting gambling sponsorship. The English Football League and Betting and Gaming Council have not found a link between gambling sponsors and problem gambling. Even still, gambling sponsorship may soon be blanket banned by the government.