FA ends deals with gambling firms including Ladbrokes

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The Football Association has ended all of its sponsorships with betting companies, including mutually terminating a long-term Ladbrokes deal.

It comes following a three-month review into the governing body’s relationship with gambling firms.

The FA says it will continue to share important information with companies to identify suspect betting patterns.

Chief executive Martin Glenn thanked Ladbrokes for its “professionalism and understanding” on the change of policy.

The betting company’s chief executive, Jim Mullen, added: “We understand the FA’s decision regarding their commercial partnerships on gambling.”

Mullen said Ladbrokes would continue to work with the FA “to ensure the integrity and trust of the sport is maintained”.

Football’s relationship with gambling has come under recent scrutiny, with midfielder Joey Barton criticising the FA’s “dependence on betting companies”.

Barton, who said he is addicted to gambling, was banned from football for 18 months after admitting a FA charge in relation to betting.

Reacting to Barton’s ban in April, former Stoke winger Matthew Etherington, who lost £1.5m at the height of his gambling addiction, told BBC Radio 5 live that the industry should be better “regulated”.

“It’s very hard and complex, but everyone needs to take a little bit more responsibility – the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association], the players, the FA and the gambling organisations themselves,” the 35-year-old said.

Source: BBC Sports