Look at any football team across the top leagues in the United Kingdom and one thing is very evident. The number of shirt sponsors that are associated to online casinos and gambling is staggering. For every one shirt that is sponsored by a non-casino related business, 8 other clubs will brandish the logos and names of these gambling enterprises.
We looked at the result and were shocked that no action has been taken to cease this clearly unhealthy trend. Gambling and casino related business may very-well bring in a small income fortune over a contract period of 2 to 3 years, but there is a very high level of responsibility that must fall on the shoulders of chairmen that sign off these deals.
Much has been talked about this year and last regarding the need to raise the awareness surrounding mental health issues amongst men in the UK, given that the suicide rate amongst young men has made it the highest form of fatality since 2017.
What is arguably systemic from this the effect of gambling and how it can lead to debt, family breakdown and depression. To have this flaunted in the face of hundreds of thousands of fans over the weekend and midweek games is just too much and it needs to be addressed, if at the very least highlighted through a charity match that calls out to clubs to stop promoting casinos on their football shirts.
We arranged a 5-aside tournament with an 11-aside final. The teams that competed were encouraged to source local or UK sponsorship to help promote their business, whilst the back of the shirts would have the surnames of the players replaced by NO CASINO above the number.
The tournament wasn’t just restricted to teams based in Yorkshire, the offer to take part was put our nationwide to players in the 21+ category. A total of 52 teams registered with the kick casino out of football tournament.
The tournament ran over 2 days, beginning Saturday at 11am and ending with the final played at 8pm on Sunday. The winning team was the Taddy Boys, a local team from Tadcaster that completed all rounds with a near perfect win rate. Having to navigate two of the rounds by going through on penalties.
Both local news and bbc news north attended the event, the manager of Taddy Boys had this to say of the event:
Monty Wray “We heard rumours of something happening and that’s quite normal, especially with social media and things like Facebook which are involved with things like this, but I personally didn’t think it would happen, though the messages we’ve managed to give out to young players and clubs watching was something that needed to be said, so we supported the cause fully.”
Adding to the win Mr Wray added “it’s nice, obviously I’m pleased that we came through all the rounds with performances that were really quite special. The team take the game seriously and you have to because you never know who could be watching. But glad to see the players came through it, a few bumps and bruises but worth it, even if we hadn’t reached as far as we did. It was something, that we all agreed as a team, that needed to be addressed so they can feel proud of themselves tonight for what they achieved and represented.”