The government’s sports minister has said that football has “far too much dependency” on sponsorship from gambling companies.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Nigel Adams MP said clubs “need to look at different sources of income”, and he also revealed that he had met with the new chairman of the EFL Rick Parry to discuss financial concerns in some areas of football.
Some fear that football is normalising gambling, with half of all clubs in the Premier League having shirt sponsors who are betting companies. A similar situation exists in the championship, with 15 clubs having betting companies sponsor their shirts.
Speaking about wider financial problems in football, Mr Adams said;
“It’s not a healthy picture. There aren’t many football clubs in the EFL that are profitable,”
“I have met with the new EFL chief executive and I’m encouraged by what he said in terms of their review into broader governance.
“It’s not healthy to see clubs like Bury go out of the league. You’ve got question marks with clubs like Macclesfield. We’re taking a very keen interest.”
Earlier this year, Bury FC collapsed due to financial problems and was expelled from League One.
It is thought issues over gambling and finances in football are to be looked at in a new review of the Gambling Act.
Gambling companies are often most attractive for clubs as sponsors due to the financial rewards they offer. However, rising concerns on the effect of gambling on mental health and people’s lives in general, has led to more questions being asked about how clubs are financed. Other than gambling companies as shirt sponsors, some premier league clubs have their shirts sponsored by airlines, banks, insurance firms and even a tyre company.
Mr Adams has also vowed to tackle racism in football, describing it as ‘a cancer’ and ‘something we have to absolutely stamp out’.