SBC News CST slams ‘short-sighted’ Chelsea after reports of new gambling sponsor

CST slams ‘short-sighted’ Chelsea after reports of new gambling sponsor

Chelsea FC has entered final negotiations with a betting company for it to become the club’s new primary shirt sponsor, according to reports. 

The partnership is said to be an initial one-year contract, which falls in line with the Premier League‘s decision to keep front of shirt gambling sponsors until the end of the 2025/26 season.

According to research from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, over 77% of its voting members either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the use of an online casino and betting company as the primary shirt sponsor.

“The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust does not believe that it is in the best interests of our members for Chelsea Football Club to associate with an online casino and betting company as the primary shirt sponsor,” the group said in a statement.

The Trust surveyed 3,297 people, with only 8.13% of respondents choosing agree or strongly agree to whether the partnership should be allowed.

YouGov estimates that over one million people in the UK are addicted to gambling, whilst the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) data puts the problem gambling rate at 0.2%, with the latest NHS study suggesting around 0.3%.

Taking this into consideration, November 2022 saw the Chelsea Foundation launch a programme that delivered a range of gambling harm education workshops to schools around South East London in partnership with EPIC.

In a letter to the top-flight club, the foundation also referenced the team’s Talk More campaign from April this year which aimed to encourage footballers to talk about their mental health.

The group argued that it is “deeply concerned” that only a few months after these programmes are launched, the club is linked to reports of a new gambling sponsor, also suggesting it will alienate some fans.

The statement concluded: “An online casino and betting company would make a total mockery of much of the previous work pioneered by The Chelsea Foundation. It would be short-sighted and would force many of our members to see any future CFC work as tokenistic.”

SBC News CST slams ‘short-sighted’ Chelsea after reports of new gambling sponsor

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