| Decision comes
after three-month review into betting sponsorship
partnership with Ladbrokes to be terminated this month
The Football Association will no longer have a betting
partner after terminating a contract with Ladbrokes worth around £4m a
year following a string of high-profile gambling controversies in the sport.
The decision follows a three-month review by the governing body into
how appropriate such a deal was when the FA is noticeably becoming stricter in
enforcing its ban on those connected with the game gambling on football.
It also comes after Joey Barton, serving an 18-month ban for gambling
offences, accused the FA of hypocrisy over the deal. It had three years of a
four-year contract to run. The chief executive, Martin Glenn, said: We
would like to thank Ladbrokes for both being a valued partner over the last
year and for their professionalism and understanding about our change of policy
The EFL said the FA decision had no bearing on
its own partnership with Sky Bet, which is in its fifth year. A spokesman said:
The EFL is of the firm belief that there is no conflict in having a
commercial relationship with the gaming industry, as it is the FA who have the
ultimate responsibility of enforcing any breach of the existing betting rules
that all those who participate in our competitions have to adhere to.
The FA chairman, Greg Clarke, has led the move to put space between the
governing body and bookmakers, although he insisted the review was not linked
to the Barton case. The player, who was banned in April having placed 1,260
bets on matches between 2006 and 2013, claimed this amounted to hush
money and that it might prevent the ruling body from discovering
He told The Sunday Times last week: What are the FA
going to do, march into Ladbrokes and say: Show us everyone whos
had a bet on this game? Ladbrokes are going to say: Eff off, we pay
you £10m a year [sic], keep your mouth shut. Do the FA not
understand thats hush money? Because if they dont do it to
Ladbrokes, they cant do it to Betfair, Paddy Power, William Hill.
Theyve given me such a harsh sentence because they want to
maintain to the world, to the people who buy TV rights, that this is a very
high-integrity game here. People who work for betting companies have told me
thats the key issue. The FA have no actual interest in [tackling]
betting. And they cant solve the problem, especially when theyve
got Ladbrokes as a partner. Because the players are going: Im not
doing anything wrong.
The EFL said it would not be
reconsidering its title sponsorship with SkyBet in light of the FAs
decision, arguing there was no conflict of interest.
The EFL (as
a competition organiser) is of the firm belief that there is no conflict in
having a commercial relationship with the gaming industry, as it is the FA who
have the ultimate responsibility of enforcing any breach of the existing
betting rules that all those who participate in our competitions have to adhere
to, said a spokesman.