Victims of problem gambling urge clubs to drop betting sponsors.

The Premier League has received an 11th-hour petition from more than 100 victims of gambling as talks intensify over a voluntary ban on betting companies sponsoring club shirts.

The proposals will be presented in full to club executives on Tuesday, but campaigners fear the option will be ruled out after recent deals at Fulham and Everton.

Other clubs have signaled they are open to a ban to avoid the threat of the government introducing legislation that would outlaw gambling sponsorships.

The 20 clubs will not rush into any deal, however, at least as the White Paper on gambling reform has been delayed until Boris Johnson’s replacement is found. A high-profile vote is more likely in September, but the English football league and racing are likely to be spared any sanctions due to potential difficulties.

None of the so-called “Big Six” clubs currently have betting sponsors on their shirts, with anti-gambling campaigners arguing that betting sponsors influence children more in football than in any other sport. .

On Monday, The Big Step, a campaign calling for an end to gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, published a letter from more than 100 people affected by problem gambling.

“Despite our preference for government action, we still believe football can do the right thing regardless of what policymakers do and when,” the letter said. “We will continue to campaign in Parliament during this legislative process, but we are also asking you to vote to end the sponsorship of gambling. It is very unlikely that your clubs will stop this disaster. We can take what we have experienced from being with someone else.

“Rest assured we will encourage clubs at all levels and in all countries to do the same – this is not an issue exclusively for Premier League fans, the stakes are high. Mass promotion is not common or safe. Football – at all levels – is worshiped and trusted by millions of young fans around the world and therefore the game should not be hijacked to promote online casinos. , especially on shirts.

“You’re not just a corporate entity, you’re an influential and trusted center in your community. That’s why you must take responsibility to protect all your fans – especially children – from something that takes hundreds of lives every year. A vote to defund gambling should be the start of comprehensive action that extends to the front of your shirts.

“It’s counterintuitive to do it alone. If you vote to accept the principle that gambling ads on shirts are harmful, then the same logo on sleeves, around your pitch, in your stadium and The same should apply to your club advertising. website.”