Isthmian League Premier Division side Lewes FC has committed to promoting the Gambling With Lives charity on their shirt until October, making them the first side in the professional and semi-professional set-up to promote such a charity.
The charity has strongly supported the decision, and described the sponsorship as a “perfectly timed antidote” to other clubs who have recently signed sponsorship deals with gambling firms.
Gambling With Lives co-founder Charles Ritchie told BBC Sport: “Football has become infected by gambling and this prevalence has normalised and glamourised gambling to young football fans.
“This partnership with Lewes FC symbolises that people within football are becoming increasingly angered by the prevalence of gambling within the sport they love, as well as becoming more aware of the dangers involved.”
Lewes director John Peel added: “Sponsorship of football by the gambling industry is at saturation point and we need to recognise the harm this has caused to young adults and children and ask ourselves whether the football world was better or worse when there was no gambling advertising in it.”
Earlier in the year, amateur team Headingley AFC signed a sponsorship deal with the charity. The news follows on from a recent survey carried out by the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), which found that only 13% of the fans surveyed felt that they are, or would be happy for their club to be sponsored by a gambling company.