Brave Sheffield United decision wins respect of rival Premier League fans

Supporters of some of Sheffield United’s Premier League rivals will be applauding the club’s refusal to consider shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies, as resistance to the practice continues to grow.
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As The Star revealed last week, United have rejected at least three lucrative offers from betting firms wanting to use Paul Heckingbottom’s side to advertise their brands since being promoted back to thye Premier League.

Although cultural sensibilities in owner Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s homeland are partly responsible for this policy decision, several sources behind the scenes at Bramall Lane have also confirmed they want to find a more “family friendly” commercial partner.

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That stance is bound to win the respect of Chelsea and Aston Villa followers, who have both voiced their opposition to reports their teams are in talks with online casinos.

BK8, who have reportedly entered into an agreement with Villa, saw a previous deal with Norwich City collapse two years ago when they were accused of adopting sexually provocative marketing campaigns.

“For Villa to promote gambling on the front of their shirts, following the Premier League’s acceptance that it harms fans, exemplifies the greed that dominates football,” a spokesperson for charity Gambling with Lives said, after consulting with Villa’s Supporters’ Trust. “And shows why we need the government to step in and regulate gambling advertisements out of the game.

Sheffield United are looking for a new shirt sponsor: Paul Thomas /SportimageSheffield United are looking for a new shirt sponsor: Paul Thomas /Sportimage
Sheffield United are looking for a new shirt sponsor: Paul Thomas /Sportimage

“Fans, including children, should be able to watch games without being bombarded by gambling ads. To ignore all of that for a few extra pounds is not just tone deaf, it’s irresponsible.”

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Although the PL will outlaw similar deals in 2026, Chelsea have held talks with after being blocked from entering an arrangement with a television broadcaster for fear of upsetting the competition’s existing domestic media rights holders.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said in a statement that the rumoured partnership would make a “total mockery” of the fact the club’s charitable foundation had pioneered surrounding gambling-harm awareness in west London.

“It would be short-sighted and would force many of our members to see any future CFC Foundation projects as tokenistic,” it continued.