Brentford seeking a new shirt sponsor to replace South African betting company Hollywoodbets with the Premier League set to back a government call for a ban on gambling firms on the front of football tops
- Brentford are considering ending their shirt sponsorship with Hollywoodbets
- Their current contract with gambling firm runs beyond the end of this season
- The club insist the move is not linked to Ivan Toney breaching FA betting rules
The club have no plans to terminate their contract with the South African firm that runs beyond the end of this season, but are actively looking for a non-betting company to replace them.
Brentford’s decision to search for a new shirt sponsor is understood to have been influenced by the government’s forthcoming White Paper on gambling reform rather than Ivan Toney’s impending ban for admitting multiple breaches of FA betting rules, which was revealed by Sportsmail.
A number of the seven other Premier League clubs with betting companies as shirt sponsors are also understood to be looking for alternatives, with Newcastle’s deal with Fun88 and Leeds‘ with SBOTOP both believed to be under review.
The White Paper is expected to call on Premier League clubs to agree to a voluntary ban on shirt sponsorship from gambling companies. Eight of the 20 Premier League clubs display gambling firm names on the front of their shirts, which could effectively be outlawed from the start of the 2024-25 season if legislation is passed by the end of the current parliament.
Brentford are considering ending their shirt sponsorship with gambling firm Hollywoodbets
Brentford insist the move to replace Hollywoodbets is not linked to Ivan Toney charges
Brentford had begun talks over replacing Hollywoodbets before Toney was charged with 262 alleged breaches of betting rules in December, but the fallout from that story his impending ban has presented an additional complication.
In another twist Brentford’s owner Matthew Benham made his fortune from betting and data analysis company Smartodds, although they do not have any commercial deals with the club.
Brentford’s stance contrasts with that of some of their Premier League rivals who have increased their reliance on gambling revenue despite the threat of a ban.
Everton, Fulham and Bournemouth all entered into new shirt sponsorship deals with betting operators this season, while Aston Villa agreed a new three-year deal to start this summer with Asian betting firm BK8 last month.
‘The commercial reality is that to teams outside the top six, such sponsors offer clubs twice as much financially as non-gambling companies,’ Villa chief executive Christian Purslow said.
Any voluntary ban on gambling sponsorship would only apply to front-of-shirt deals, so sleeve and training kit sponsorship from the betting industry would continue to be permitted. EFL clubs would be exempt altogether on the grounds that the estimated £40m loss of annual income would be catastrophic for lower league clubs.