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FA terminates bookies sponsorship deal

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The Football Association’s CEO Martin Glenn addresses a press conference in Chantilly, northern France, on June 28, 2016 © AFP/File / PAUL ELLIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 22 – Leading English bookmaker Ladbrokes saw their four-year sponsorship deal with the English Football Association (FA) terminated after just a year on Thursday.

FA Chairman Greg Clarke thinks it is incompatible for his body to preach about enforcing severe anti-gambling laws — no player, coach or indeed club staff are allowed to place a bet even on matches not concerning their own teams — whilst accepting money from a bookmaker.

The deal is believed to have been worth £4million ($5.07m) a year.

The FA claimed the review of the deal was already taking place prior to the revelations over controversial midfielder Joey Barton’s gambling down the years.

The 34-year-old received an 18-month ban in April over an FA charge relating to 1,260 bets he placed on matches between 2006 and 2016.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said in a statement he appreciated Ladbrokes being so understanding of their change of tack on gambling.

“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,” said Glenn.

His Ladbrokes counterpart Jim Mullen said the company accepted the decision and would not harm their relations with the FA.

Indeed the company would continue to work 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”.

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