Everton Prove it’s Not an Ideal World

English Premier League side Everton have signed a controversial new sponsorship deal. It’s with Stake.com and believed to be worth £10 million a season. However, the fact they are a gambling company has raised eyebrows.

That’s particularly the case as their chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said in 2020 that “in an ideal world” they would not prefer to play with the name of a betting company on the front of their shirts.

This is a multi-year agreement with Stake.com and is the most lucrative one in their 144-year history. It replaces the sponsorship deal that they had with car dealer Cazoo. It comes at a time when the UK government are reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act and that may well affect sponsorship deals with betting companies.

This isn’t the first time the club have had a sponsorship agreement with such a company. Previously they were sponsored by Sportpesa, a deal that lasted three years from 2017 to 2020. It was due to be a five-year agreement but then the club held a strategic review of their commercial operations and that led to the deal ending prematurely.

That’s when those comments by their chief executive were made. There were concerns at the time that not enough was being done by betting companies to deal with problems caused by gambling.

It’s another big deal for Stake.com who recently were announced as the UFC’s official betting partner for Brazil, Asia and Latin America.

Just why this U-turn has been performed by Everton hasn’t been revealed. A lucrative deal will help the club who are in the process of building a new ground. The 2021/22 season wasn’t an easy one for Everton. Only in the last week of the season did they confirm their place in the 2022/23 Premier League.

Off the pitch there were problems too though. Sanctions were placed on Alisher Usmanov after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He’s the owner of USM and sponsorship deals with that company were suspended as well as others with Megafon and Yota.

The name of their new sponsors will be on the front of the shirts for both the men’s and women’s teams. There will also be a presence on screens and media backdrops at the grounds they play at plus coverage on their digital platforms.

Their chief executive described Stake.com as “an ambitious organisation with impressive growth plans.”

The deal shows we don’t live in an “ideal world” but is signing a multi-year agreement of this nature such a good idea? The government are believed to be not too keen on such deals between Premier League clubs and betting companies. Recent talk though is there might be negotiation with clubs about phasing out such deals rather than an outright ban.