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

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

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:47 am
The potential £22m financial blow Middlesbrough could receive due to the proposed ‘voluntary’ ban

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

ARE MIDDLESBROUGH SPONSORED BY BOOKMAKERS?

Yes. Boro's shirt is sponsored by online gaming and gambling company, 32Red - the pair signed a three-year agreement at the start of last season.

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HOW IS BETTING IMPACTING FOOTBALL?

17 of 24 Championship clubs are sponsored by bookmakers.

This has led to concerns about the potential impact on fans, 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.

“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 MIDDLESBROUGH?

Given that bookmakers are now "considering" a voluntary ban on football shirt sponsorship and pitchside advertising, Boro’s 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 Middlesbrough could lose out on a similar figure if they make it to the top-flight again.

The exact figure 32Red currently pays for the privilege of sponsoring Middlesbrough's shirt is unknown, but the club has previously described the deal as “record-breaking”.

The online casino has splashed big on football sponsorship in recent years and 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.