Despite Gambling Ban, FA Taking Risk By Pursuing Renewal With Bookmaker William Hill
The FA is in the process of "renewing a contract with bookmakers William Hill despite the considerable conflict of interest because of the blanket ban on gambling for anyone working in English football," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. William Hill was a "controversial" £2.5M-a-year sponsor of England and the FA Cup "when the deal was first signed" in '12 because of the regulations against footballers betting. Yet the FA, which rules on "gambling breaches, still intend to keep an official betting partner, with William Hill close to agreeing a new four-year deal for the next World Cup cycle." However, the deal will be "considerably less" -- around £1.5M ($2.5M) annually -- because the FA is in a "weak negotiating position after such a woeful World Cup performance and players' appearances being taken out of the rights because of the gambling implications." William Hill is also having to save "significant amounts because of a new law" which obliges it to pay U.K. tax on its "off-shore earnings" which will cost around £70M ($116M) a year. The new agreement "has still to be rubber-stamped by the FA and William Hill boards" (DAILY MAIL, 8/20).