FA end sponsorship deals with betting companies after Barton ban

Joey Barton
Joey Barton

The FA will bring to a close all sponsorship deals with betting firms after a three-month review - two months after former Clarets midfielder Joey Barton was banned for 18 months for betting offences.

The FA signed a deal with Ladbrokes as official betting partners 12 months ago, after a similar arrangement with William Hill, but all such sponsorships are to be brought to an end.

However, FA chairman Greg Clarke insists the decision has nothing to do with Barton's case, with the player criticising their relationship with betting companies.

An FA statement reads: “At the May FA board meeting it was agreed that the FA would end all sponsorships with betting companies starting from the end of the 2016-17 season.

"The decision was made following a three month review of the FA’s approach to it as a governing body taking betting sponsorship, whilst being responsible for the regulation of sports betting within the sport’s rules.

“As a consequence the FA has mutually agreed with Ladbrokes that its current partnership with the FA will be terminated from June 2017.

"The FA will continue to work with betting companies, including Ladbrokes, as they play a key role in sharing information on suspect betting patterns and so help in regulating the game.”

Barton tweeted: "Odd timing. Guess they must have organically come to that decision then?"

He said after the FA's decision to ban him: "I think if the FA is truly serious about tackling the culture of gambling in football, it needs to look at its own dependence on the gambling companies, their role in football and in sports broadcasting, rather than just blaming the players who place a bet."

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