Government to prohibit Wembley gambling sponsorships

Detailing the conditions at which the Football Association (FA) is allowed to sell Wembley Stadium, the government has emphasised that gambling sponsors are prohibited from the national stadium.

The news comes amid much speculation that the Football Association is contemplating a bid for the stadium from billionaire Fulham owner Shahid Khan, however his bid hinges on the stipulations that are currently being laid out by the government.

As part of any potential deal, Khan, who not only owns Premier League side Fulham, but also owns NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars, would not be permitted to sell the naming rights of the stadium until 2057.

Many believe that Khan’s ambition to acquire the national stadium is fuelled by a desire to see his NFL side play more games at the famous stadium, however it’s already been outlined that should the deal go ahead, Khan is required to respect the sentiment that Wembley maintains its status as the national stadium.

It’s anticipated that the decision on whether the bid, which is thought to be around £600m will be announced before the end of the calendar year and will be made FA’s 10-member executive board.

Last year, Ladbrokes emphasised its stance towards relations with gambling operators, when it abruptly ended its £4 million per year partnership with Ladbrokes. At the time, FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn stated: “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 around gambling.”

When the new Wembley first opened in 2006, the FA and the stadium was happy enough with gambling to sign a lucrative four year deal with Betfred, which had been undergoing a transformation from a regional brand into a national one, with Betfred taking the title of  ‘Wembley Stadium’s Official Bookmaker’.

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