The potential £22m financial blow Preston North End could receive due to proposed ‘voluntary’ ban

Preston could be set for a major financial blow after comments made during a parliamentary committee regarding gambling in football.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 9:38 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 11:36 am
The potential 22m financial blow Preston North End could receive due to proposed voluntary ban

Here, we explain what could happen and how potential changes could impact Preston.

ARE PRESTON SPONSORED BY BOOKMAKERS?

Yes. Preston's iconic white shirt is sponsored by online gaming and gambling company, 32Red.

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HOW IS BETTING IMPACTING FOOTBALL?

Half of Premier League clubs and 17 of 24 Championship clubs are sponsored by bookmakers.

This has led to concerns about the potential impact on young fans and vulnerable people, with gambling addiction estimated to cost the UK up to £1.2 billion per year.

The worries about gambling, football and its impact led to the creation of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), who recently relayed their findings to parliament.

WHAT DO THE BGC SAY?

BGC chair Brigid Simmonds, speaking to the House of Lords' Gambling Industry Committee, said: "We are certainly looking at the whole issue of sponsorship.

"I think, as one of us said earlier, there are good messages.

“All the sponsorship that goes with clubs is about putting responsible messages on shirts as well as the name.

"We can consider this going forward, we are active in considering it.”

HOW COULD THIS IMPACT PRESTON NORTH END?

Given that bookmakers are now "considering" a voluntary ban on football shirt sponsorship and pitchside advertising, the Lilywhites' coffers could take a hit in the future.

That’s because gambling companies tend to be able to offer the most lucrative sponsorship deals - especially in the Premier League.

Indeed, Burnley's three-season deal with LoveBet is thought to be worth an eye-watering £7.5million per year (£22.5million in total), meaning Preston could lose out on a similar figure if they make it to the top-flight from future sponsorship deals if the voluntary ban does come into effect.

The exact figure 32Red pay for the privilege of sponsoring Leeds' shirt is unknown, but the company has splashed big on football sponsorship in recent years, bagging spots on Middlesbrough, Derby, Aston Villa, Rangers and Leeds' shirts in recent times.

The company has also received criticism for bankrolling Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney's surprise return to English football with Derby.

The bookmakers are rumoured to be paying the ex-England captain's £50,000-a-week wage packet (£2.6million per year) in exchange for Rooney wearing the number 32 shirt.