Football Association ends partnership with Ladbrokes

The English Football Association, the sport’s national governing body, has ended its commercial partnership with bookmaker Ladbrokes.

The two parties began a multi-year relationship on August 1 last year, but the FA has faced pressure in recent months to re-examine its stance on deals with gambling companies after a high-profile case involving Premier League player Joey Barton.

In April, former England international Barton was handed an 18-month ban from the sport after admitting to a misconduct charge related to betting.

Barton was found to have placed over 1,200 bets on matches between March 26, 2006, and May 13, 2016, which is in direct conflict with strict FA betting rules.

The FA board met last month to discuss the issue of gambling-related deals and concluded that it would end all sponsorships with betting companies, starting from the end of the 2016-17 season.

As such, the partnership with Ladbrokes will end with immediate effect, but the FA will continue to work with the bookmaker and other gambling companies on sharing information on suspect betting patterns as part of a wider effort to clamp down on match-fixing in the sport.

Martin Glenn, chief executive of the FA, said: “We would like to thank Ladbrokes for both being a valued partner over the last year and for their professionalism and understanding about our change of policy around gambling.”

Jim Mullen, chief executive of Ladbrokes Coral, added: “We understand the FA’s decision regarding their commercial partnerships on gambling.

“Football is a passion of ours, and our customers, and we remain committed to working with the FA to ensure the integrity and trust of the sport is maintained for the fans of the game and the millions of customers who enjoy betting on it week in and week out.”

Ladbrokes replaced William Hill as the FA’s official betting partner. Under the agreement, Ladbrokes received brand exposure at England’s men’s games, and during each round of the FA Cup. Ladbrokes was also granted in-stadia betting rights at Wembley Stadium, the home ground of the English national team.