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Following a top-level review of the relationship between Football and gambling, the English Football Association (FA) has taken the decision to end the commercial deal it has with Ladbrokes Coral.
The decision to review a set of longstanding relationships with gambling companies followed pressure on the FA brought about by the revelation that Burnley football player, Joey Barton, had made 1,260 bets during a ten year period, directly contravening rules set out by the FA.
As a result of this review, the FA announced that all commercial deals currently in place with betting companies have now ceased.
After admitting to placing bets during his career as a professional footballer, Joey Barton was fined £30,000 and received an 18 month suspension from the game. It is unlikely that he will play football professionally again.
The FA’s Chief Executive, Martin Glenn, said in an interview with the Daily Express, “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.”
The CEO of Ladborkes Coral, Jim Mullen, said “We understand The FA’s decision regarding their commercial partnerships on gambling.
“Football is a passion of ours, and our customers, and we remain committed to working with The FA to ensure the integrity and trust of the sport is maintained for the fans of the game and the millions of customers who enjoy betting on it week in and week out.”
As far back as May of this year the FA announced that it was actively considering a review of the relationship between the sport and gambling. At the same time they also made a review of the relationship between football and alchohol.
The decision to terminate the agreement with Ladbrokes Coral seems to show that the FA have now made their decision on their policy with regards to gambling moving forward.
There are now further attempts to introduce a football betting levy that all bookmakers would be made to pay where bets are placed on matches. There is currenly a similar levy paid by bookmakers who are taking bets on UK horseracing events.
This levy could raise money for the FA that could be used to improve the sport at every level, including funding budgets for small local clubs at a grassroots level.