Everton blasted as 'tone deaf' after announcing a gambling firm as their new shirt sponsor

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Everton blasted as ‘tone deaf’ after announcing a gambling firm as their new shirt sponsor… with £10m-a-year Stake.com contract announced despite Government proposals to ban such deals

Everton have been slammed as ‘tone deaf’ after announcing a gambling firm as their new shirt sponsor.

The Toffees have signed a club-record deal with Stake.com worth more than £10million a year.

That is despite a ban on gambling shirt sponsors in the Premier League being included on a draft Government white paper, scheduled to be published later this month.

Everton will be sponsored by Stake.com next season after betting firm replaced Cazoo

Everton will be sponsored by Stake.com next season after betting firm replaced Cazoo

The Toffees announced the deal, reportedly worth £10m-per-season, on Thursday

The Toffees announced the deal, reportedly worth £10m-per-season, on Thursday 

‘Gambling sponsorship is unpopular, unhealthy and on its way out of football. So for Everton to announce this partnership now is massively tone deaf,’ said James Grimes, founder of campaign group The Big Step.

Government sources also described Everton’s decision as a ‘strategic error’, as they prepare to announce plans to reform the gambling industry.

The announcement comes just two years after Everton’s chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale told the club’s AGM that ‘in an ideal world’ they would prefer a ‘different type of sponsor’ to a betting company.

It came amid concerns that betting companies weren’t doing enough to mitigate the social cost of gambling amid the proliferation of betting adverts and sponsorship in English football. 

The Toffees were sponsored by the Kenyan betting company Sportpesa between May 2017 and May 2020 but that £7m-a-year deal was ended two years early following a strategic review of the club’s commercial operations. 

They declined an extension of the two-year partnership with Cazoo in search of a more lucrative deal. 

Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said in 2020 that 'in an ideal world' the club would no longer partner with gambling companies

Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said in 2020 that ‘in an ideal world’ the club would no longer partner with gambling companies 

The Goodison Park club narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League in 2021-22

The Goodison Park club narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League in 2021-22

Everton’s commercial deals were affected by sanctions imposed on Alisher Usmanov, the owner of USM, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

The club suspended sponsorship agreements with Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota with immediate effect.

A club statement read: ‘Everton Football Club has confirmed a Club-record main partner agreement with Stake.com.

‘The multi-year partnership with the leading casino and sports betting platform will commence on 1 July and is the highest value front-of-shirt deal in the Club’s 144-year history.

‘As Everton’s main partner, the Stake.com brand will feature on front of the men’s and women’s playing shirts, as well as appearing on screens and media backdrops at Goodison Park and Finch Farm and across the Club’s digital platforms.’

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