Isthmian League football team Enfield Town have become the first club in English league football to turn down sponsorship from a sports betting site, over concerns about match fixing and problem gambling.
The club is the first full supporter owned club in English football with all members holding a £1 share and it was these members who overwhelmingly voted against accepting any prize money from betting site betting.net at the club’s annual general meeting last week.
Club officials stated that “any money the club receives from the league’s arrangement with betting.net is donated to charities tackling gambling addiction.”
Betting.net currently sponsors both the Isthmian league’s performance of the month awards and the end of season fair play awards.
Enfield Town believe that accepting sponsorship from sports betting firms is irreconcilable with taking a strong position on problem gambling and match fixing.
The club have also called upon the Isthmian League to re-evaluate its stance on sports betting sponsorship adding “We would hope that the League will review its decision to accept sponsorship from betting companies at the next appropriate time.”
Responding to the decision, betting.net issued a statement, saying: "Out of respect for the decision that the club has made and the respect we have for the board of the Isthmian League, betting.net have decided to match the donations raised by the club up to the value of £1,000.
"We hope to agree terms with the league to renew our Performance of the Month Awards for next season and we will continue working to support grassroots football throughout the country."