London’s Wembley Stadium is set to ban gambling sponsors under new rules.
The UK government is set to impose a ban on the iconic stadium, which seats around 90,000 people, as sold to a new owner. The rules will prohibit the venue’s eventual owner from signing any new gambling sponsorships.
The Football Association (FA) is currently negotiating a £600 million deal to sell the stadium to Fulham FC owner Shahid Khan and the group are expected to make a decision on the sale by the end of the year.
According to the Times, other conditions of the sale include being unable to rename the stadium until 2057, having to gain government approval if the new owner wants to sell the stadium on, ensuring that the venue remains the national stadium and “home of English football” as well as a commitment to hosting key sporting events including all FA competitions at the venue.
Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, is reportedly interested in purchasing the stadium as an opportunity to play more NFL games in London. However, the conditions will prevent Khan, 68, from displaying Jacksonville Jaguars branding inside the venue on a permanent basis.
Martin Glenn, the Chief Executive of the Football Association, reassured fans that they were still a long way off to having “a commercial deal that works”.
He said: “Anyone buying the stadium can’t change the name, has to keep it to [a] certain quality, has to keep the grass pitch. We’re selling an asset with real restrictions.”
Reports suggest that the Football Association want to use the money made selling the venue to construct 1,500 artificial pitches after reports revealed that two out of three grass pitches in the UK were “inadequate”.
Meanwhile, the Football Association made headlines last year after they decided to scrap their sponsorship deal with UK bookmaker Ladbrokes after reviewing whether such deals were “appropriate” for major sports bodies.