English FA halt Ladbrokes sponsorship agreement

A year-old commercial partnership between Britain’s football association and betting giant Ladbrokes has ended, with the FA board deciding to terminate all its relationships with betting companies.

The English Football Association is the sport’s national governing body. In recent months, the FA has faced growing pressure to re-examine its policies and associations with gambling companies, in the wake of a high-profile case involving football star Joey Barton.

Barton was handed an 18-month ban from football last April, after admitting to betting-related misconduct. Barton was found to have placed over a thousand bets in the period between March 2006 and May 2016, actions that directly conflict with the FA’s strict rules on sports betting.

Clamping down on match-fixing

After an FA board meeting in May, convened specifically to discuss the issue of deals with gambling operators, a conclusion was reached – at the end of the 2016-2017 season, the Association would terminate all sponsorships with betting companies. The partnership with Ladbrokes will end with immediate effect.

However, the FA has committed to continue working with Ladbrokes and other gambling companies by sharing information on suspicious betting patterns, part of its efforts to crack down on match-fixing in football.

Both sides agreed that the safety of customers was their first priority.

Martin Glenn, chief executive of the FA, said: “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.”

Jim Mullen, chief executive of Ladbrokes Coral, 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.”