Aston Villa REFUSE to drop new three-year shirt sponsorship with BK8 despite Norwich dumping online casino in 2021 over sexually provocative ads as campaigners call for government to take action on gambling ads
- Aston Villa supporters had called on the club to re-evaluate the sponsorship.
- Norwich dumped same gambling sponsor in 2021 over provocative ads
- Activists claim it is ‘a farce’ that the government has not banned gambling logos
Aston Villa have refused to drop their new kit sponsorship deal with a controversial betting company despite having a crisis meeting with their own fans.
The Premier League side are understood to have agreed a three-year partnership with online casino BK8, which was sacked by Norwich in 2021 for sexually provocative ads.
After the news broke earlier this month, Aston Villa’s Fan Consultation Group (FCG) said it was “extremely disappointed” and called on the club to “re-evaluate” the deal.
Aston Villa have refused to drop a new shirt sponsorship deal with betting firm BK8
However, after the FCG met with club bosses, including chief executive Christian Purslow, last Tuesday, they were told there would be no U-turn on BK8’s contract.
The supporters’ group said in a statement: “While some fans will be disappointed after Villa’s current shirt sponsor moved away from the betting companies, the commercial reality is that teams outside the top six, These sponsors offer the clubs double financially”. as non-gaming companies.’
The decision has been met with fury by anti-gambling campaigners, who have called it a “sham” that the government has only asked clubs to voluntarily remove betting logos on shirts, rather than impose a ban.
Aston Villa Fans Consultation Group met key officials including chief executive Christian Purslow
The campaign group, The Big Step, said: “Over the last few days, we have seen Preston put a betting ad on his shirt for a televised match one season after dropping betting sponsorship due to ‘serious doubts’ from fans.
Days later, it is now all but confirmed that Aston Villa have signed a multi-year shirt sponsorship deal with an online casino despite the club telling fan groups they had made the “ethical decision” not to have such sponsors just three months ago.
‘These are not isolated examples. Time and time again, many clubs say one thing about the game before doing another. Creditable clubs that put people before profit are sadly in the minority.
Norwich cut ties with shirt sponsor BK8 after supporters uproar over sex marketing
‘It is now clear that most clubs cannot be trusted in the game: they are not listening to their own supporters, who are increasingly opposed to these damaging deals.
‘We know that the government has a desire to act, so that is exactly what it should do. A voluntary agreement would be an acceptance of the damage caused, but it would be naive to think that both the football industry and the gaming industry will stick with it.
“That’s why the government must take control of this absurd situation and remove football betting ads.”