GVC CEO labels 32Red’s Wayne Rooney deal a “complete own goal”

By Owain Flanders

Kenny Alexander, CEO of GVC Holdings, has criticised a recent sponsorship agreement between 32Red and Derby County, calling it "preposterous and ridiculous."

The deal will see Wayne Rooney wear the number 32 shirt when he joins Derby County in January as part of the club’s partnership with 32Red.

The Kindred Group-owned operator already sponsored the English Championship football team’s shirt going into the 2019/20 season, but the new agreement sees 32Red extend the partnership to include the shirt number of the ex-England international.

The GVC CEO believes the agreement undermines the commitments his own company and others have made towards responsible gambling.

GVC recently donated 42 football sponsorships to GambleAware as part of its responsibility drive, but was also issued a fine of £5.9m ($7.2m) by the Gambling Commission for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

Alexander said: "This is an industry that has been under a fair amount of attack for 12 months and longer.

"There is a huge debate around problem gambling. The industry has got an image issue and that is just a complete own goal.

"There are some people for whom it is destructive. The industry needs not to shoot itself in the foot."

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