Fulham Announce Shirt Sponsorship Deal with W88

Fulham Announce Shirt Sponsorship Deal with W88Those campaigning against gambling companies sponsoring sports teams have been dealt another blow. Premier League Fulham have announced that their shirt sponsor for the 2022/23 season will be W88.

The gambling company replaced World Mobile as front-of-shirt sponsors. They will now be sponsoring Fulham training gear and the shirt sleeves.

W88 were the shirt sponsors of Crystal Palace last season. That deal was cancelled with Cinch replacing them. Now they’ve headed to Craven Cottage and signed a “record deal” with the newly-promoted Premier League side.

If history repeats itself, they’ll be sponsoring a Championship club next season. Fulham will be bidding to avoid a third straight season in the Premier League that ends with them being relegated.

The signing of a sponsorship deal with a gambling company will not be appreciated by those opposed to such deals. The English Premier League are due to hold a meeting on July 26 to discuss such sponsorship deals.

July was to see the White Paper on gambling reform being released. That’s been delayed due to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The talk has been that the government is looking for Premier League clubs to voluntarily end sponsorship deals with gambling companies.

It appears that the Premier League sides may be prepared to do that. A compromise may be to allow current deals to expire and sleeve sponsorship to continue. Recent weeks have seen Everton and Bournemouth also sign gambling-related shirt sponsorship deals.

As well as the just ended deal with Crystal Palace, W88 have sponsored Wolves and Aston Villa in the past and are a company that has plenty of customers in Asia.

Jon Don-Carolis is the sales director at Fulham. He welcomed the new deal and said it will provide “significant revenue” for the club.

The deal has been signed despite a 2021 survey carried out by the Fulham Supporters’ Trust. 47 percent of those asked said that they supported the banning of shirt sponsorship by gambling companies. 46 percent said they’d feel uncomfortable if Fulham signed such a deal.

Last week as rumours of the W88 deal spread, the Fulham Supporters’ Trust said they knew many fans are “uncomfortable” with gambling sponsorship. Indeed, a “significant number” said they don’t buy replica shirts and other merchandise as a result of such deals.

The Trust spokesperson added that with the talk of a voluntary ban (or possibly a compulsory one), clubs are “taking the last opportunity to get revenue from overseas gambling companies that don’t operate in the UK.”