Everton have confirmed they are to end their shirt sponsorship agreement with Kenyan betting firm SportPesa at the end of the season. Everton, who had signed a five-year deal with the gaming brand in 2017, said the decision was made after a review of the Premier League club’s commercial strategy in line with their future growth plans. “This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us,” a club spokesperson said.
“The club would like to thank SportPesa for all of the work that has been done together.” At Everton’s annual general meeting last month, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said “in an ideal world” the club would prefer a different type of sponsor. In September 2019, SportPesa halted operations in Kenya after a rise in tax on betting stakes. It came amid worries about the effects of gambling in the African nation. Of the Premier League’s 20 clubs, 10 teams started the season with betting companies as shirt sponsors. The Premier League’s new chief executive Richard Masters has said it would resist moves to ban clubs from having their shirts sponsored by betting firms.