The £24m financial blow Newcastle United could receive due to potential ‘voluntary’ ban

Newcastle United could be set for a major financial blow after comments made during a parliamentary committee regarding gambling in football.

Here, we explain what could happen and how potential changes could impact Newcastle United.

ARE NEWCASTLE UNITED SPONSORED BY BOOKMAKERS?

Yes. Newcastle’s famous black and white striped shirt is sponsored by China-based online gaming and gambling company, FUN88 - the pair signed a three-year agreement back in 2017.

The £24m financial blow Newcastle United could receive due to potential ‘voluntary’ ban

HOW IS BETTING IMPACTING FOOTBALL?

Half of Premier League clubs and 17 of 24 Championship clubs are sponsored by bookmakers.

This has led to concerns about the potential impact on fans, with gambling addiction estimated to cost the UK up to £1.2billion per year.

These worries led to the creation of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), who recently relayed their findings to parliament.

WHAT DO THE BGC SAY?

BGC chair Brigid Simmonds, speaking to the House of Lords' Gambling Industry Committee, said: "We are certainly looking at the whole issue of sponsorship.

“All the sponsorship that goes with clubs is about putting responsible messages on shirts as well as the name.

"We can consider this going forward, we are active in considering it.”

HOW COULD THIS IMPACT NEWCASTLE UNITED?

Given that bookmakers are now "considering" a voluntary ban on football shirt sponsorship and pitchside advertising, Newcastle United’s coffers could take a hit in the future.

That’s because gambling companies tend to be able to offer the most lucrative sponsorship deals.

Indeed, the Magpies’ three-season deal with FUN88 is thought to be worth an eye-watering £8million per year (£24million in total).

That means Newcastle could lose out on a similar figure from future sponsorship deals if the voluntary ban does come into effect, although there are different types of sponsors other than bookmakers available.

AND WHAT DOES THE PREMIER LEAGUE MAKE OF THIS?

The Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Masters, had this to say in response to campaigners’ concerns: “I think this area does need stronger governance, particularly to protect the vulnerable.

“I don’t think the answer coming out at the end of it should be that football clubs shouldn’t have shirts sponsored by gambling companies.”