Premier League’s Claims on VAR and Betting Shirt Sponsors
Premier League’s new chief executive Richard Masters insisted that betting companies will still be allowed to sponsor club shirts despite the government’s review on gambling legislation. Masters has also said that the VAR will remain in the league.
The VAR has been in the team’s point of ridicule for the league in the season. Players, managers, and even avid fans are all putting up complaints against its inconsistency. The recent VAR calls have been really disappointing and have cost teams some of their crucial matches.
A lot of players are seeking improvements on that part, and they are even opting to lengthen the time used in checking the umpire’s decisions.
Masters, however, rebutted all those complaints. He plainly said his final decision regarding the matter.
‘I think it’s here to stay’, Masters said of VAR. ‘And certainly, it’s going to be with us next season. We will look at the development next season to iron out some of the issues we have had’.
‘It is having an impact on the outcome of games, on the league tables, which is what (we) wanted to happen, and as a league, we want to work really hard on ironing out those other issues, and that is what we are discussing with clubs’, he added.
Masters said that the VAR isn’t perfect, but they are willing to take the extra step in order to improve its effectivity in matches.
‘I don’t think you can have VAR without acknowledging that (delay) is going to happen. In essence, if you have all goals reviewed, you know VAR is going to deliver a slightly different experience. The question for the organisation, competition and the clubs is whether that trade-off is worth it’, said Masters.
But the main issue he tackled was the concern about the Premier League’s sponsorship ties to betting companies. All 20 clubs have a commercial gambling partner, and half of those betting companies are the main shirt sponsors.
‘Sport and gambling have a long association’, said Masters. ‘We’re certainly not sniffy about it; it’s up to our clubs whether they want to have their own gambling relationships’.
Masters claimed that the league will ‘actively resist’ any move that would affect the relationship between clubs and their gambling sponsors. He insisted that there is nothing wrong with it as long as both parties will abide by the Premier League rules.
‘The Premier League doesn't have partnerships with gambling companies, we don't sell watching bet rights’, said Masters. ‘But it's up to our clubs whether they want to have their own gambling relationships. All of them do, and a number of them are on the shirt front’.
Masters approves of stronger governance, but he says that no sponsorship needs to be removed in order to achieve that goal.
‘I think this area does need stronger governance, particularly to protect the vulnerable’, Masters added in response to the gambling policy review. ‘But I don't think the answer coming out at the end of it should be that football clubs shouldn't have shirt sponsorship from gambling companies any more’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores