Shocking headlines struck the sports betting industry today, which followed after it was announced that SportPesa had lost their sponsorship contract with Everton FC. The football club terminated this contract two years earlier than anticipated, meaning their five-year deal turned into three. This contract was first formulated in 2017 and was considered the most controversial sponsorship in the Premier League. Allegations relating to SportPesa indicated that they didn’t respect responsible gambling protocols, meaning that younger audiences and problem players were targeted with this sponsorship agreement.
Commercial operations for Everton FC falls onto Denise Barret-Baxendale, with him being the chief executive officer. After a thorough investigation regarding the strategic review of Everton between 2020 to 2025, it was determined that SportPesa’s contract had to be terminated. This means Everton FC loses £14 million over two years. When asked why they terminated the contract, Denise Barret-Baxendale expressed that they want a different type of sponsor that doesn’t promote gambling.
Sporting analysts know that the gambling-aspect is minimal to Everton FC, with their new owners wanting to restrict the club’s development into specific demographics. These demographics must follow in-suit with Farhad Moshiri’s investments. It’s expected that future sponsorship could retain towards an oil refinery or plastic developer, which would receive more backlash to Everton than the gambling demographic. This would prove that Everton FC has become a breeding group for Farhad’s investments.
Denise Barret-Baxendale spoke to reporters, where she thanks SportPesa for their sponsorship agreement. She expressed that it was beautiful to engage with the African community and see their club play on Africa’s soil for the first time. It allowed them to become a famous football outfit in the African region, with Everton FC considering an expansion team into the African Football League. It’s rumoured that they’d be based out of Johannesburg.
The online casino first became popular several years ago when Kenyan citizens founded it. It grew to become one of the most popular sources of gambling in the African continent, which quickly extended to the United Kingdom and the European Union. Collected debt followed for SportPesa after the Kenyan Government determined that gambling was attracting young people into debt. It forced stricter regulations, with multiple betting licenses being terminated. This included SportPesa, with additional permissions on the global stage also being cancelled. After obtaining more than $20 million in debt, Everton FC terminated the sponsorship contract.