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Aston Villa Refuse to Break Off BK8 Sponsorship

Despite Norwich dropping the online casino in 2021 due to sexually explicit advertisements, Aston Villa REFUSES to cancel a new three-year shirt sponsorship deal with BK8, and protesters are calling for government action regarding gambling advertisements.

Aston Villa Declines to Break off a New Jersey Sponsorship with Gambling Company BK8
Aston Villa Declines to Break off a New Jersey Sponsorship with Gambling Company BK8

Despite Norwich dropping the online casino in 2021 due to sexually explicit advertisements, Aston Villa REFUSES to cancel a new three-year shirt sponsorship deal with BK8, and protesters are calling for government action regarding gambling advertisements.

Despite conducting a crisis meeting with their own fans, Aston Villa declined to renounce their new jersey sponsorship agreement with a contentious gambling company. The Premier League team reportedly negotiated a three-year contract with online casino BK8, which Norwich fired in 2021 due to sexually suggestive advertisements. The Aston Villa Fans Consultation Group (FCG) expressed their 'great disappointment' and asked the club to 're-evaluate' the transaction after the news broke earlier this month. However, following their meeting with club executives on Tuesday, including chief executive Christian Purslow, the FCG was informed that there would be no change to the BK8 contract. 

In a statement, the group of supporters stated: 'While some fans will be disappointed after Villa's current front-of-shirt sponsor moved away from gambling companies, the commercial reality is that to teams outside the top six, such sponsors offer clubs twice as much financially as non-gambling companies.' 

Anti-gambling activists have blasted the decision, calling it "farcical" that the Government has only urged clubs to voluntarily remove betting emblems from shirts rather than implementing a ban. 

The Big Step, the campaign group said:  'In the last few days, we have seen Preston put a gambling advert on their shirt for a televised match one season after ditching betting sponsorship due to 'grave misgivings' from fans.

'Days later, it is now all but confirmed that Aston Villa have signed a multi-year shirt sponsorship deal with an online casino despite the club telling fan groups they had taken the 'ethical decision' not to have such sponsors just three months ago.

'It is now clear that most clubs cannot be trusted on gambling - they are not listening to their own supporters who are consistently and increasingly opposed to these harmful deals.

'We know that the Government has the desire to act so that's exactly what it should do. A voluntary arrangement would be an acceptance of the harm caused but it would be naive to think both the football industry and gambling industry will stick to it.

'That's why the Government must take control of this farcical situation and kick gambling ads out of football.'

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