Chelsea FC Shoots Down Proposed Stake.com Sponsorship
It is reported that English Premier League (EPL) side Chelsea Football Club has decided not to pursue a shirt sponsorship deal with the gaming operator Stake.com.
It is believed that Chelsea ditched the planned sponsorship after the Chelsea Supporters Trust put pressure on the club, stating that the majority of supporters do not want gambling companies to sponsor football teams.
The proposed deal was thought to be for the duration of the 2023/24 season and worth an estimated £40 million.
This now leaves Chelsea without a main sponsor for the upcoming football season. The Premier League side had a deal lined up with Paramount+, but the Premier League blocked the deal as it might have caused a conflict of interest with the EPL media partners. So that led Chelsea to consider a deal with Stake, which has now broken down due to outside pressures.
Supporters Trust Pressure to End Gambling Sponsorship
This must be seen as a victory for the Supporters Trust, who raised their objections and stressed that Chelsea should not pursue this type of sponsorship in the current climate of socially responsible gaming. It appears that the leadership of Chelsea has listened and dropped the club’s sponsorship plans.
An online casino and betting company as a primary sponsor would make a total mockery of much of the previous work pioneered by the Chelsea Supporters Trust, It would be short-sighted and would force many of our members to see any future CFC Foundation projects as tokenistic.
EPL Clubs New Gambling Company Sponsorship
This move from Chelsea comes after several high-profile English football clubs have struck new shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies for the 2023/24 season.
EPL sides Fulham and Burnley have partnered with SBOTOP and W88, respectively, to be shirt sponsors of the teams.
Leeds United, now relegated to the English Championship, have ties with Kindred Group to be the main sponsor of the football club.
Time is running out for this type of partnership because the EPL has voted overwhelmingly to cease shirt sponsorship from gambling companies from the 2025/26 season.