In the United Kingdom, the billionaire American owner of Premier League side Fulham would not reportedly be allowed to rebrand Wembley Stadium for the next 39 years should his proposed $769.6 million purchase of the 90,000-seat soccer venue be approved.
NFL football for north London:
According to a Monday report from The Times newspaper, Shahid Khan is also responsible for the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise of the National Football League (NFL) and has long been interested in buying the iconic north London venue before transforming it into the home for an expansion professional gridiron football team.
No new name until 2057:
However, Wembley Stadium is widely considered to be the ‘home of English football’ and its current owner, The Football Association, has reportedly attached a number of stipulations to any such sale, which would include a prohibition against selling off the naming rights to the venue until at least 2057.
Gaming sponsorship prohibition:
The Times reported that these conditions would additionally run to a prohibition against accepting such grand sponsorships from gaming and sportsbetting firms due to the association’s stance on such activities. This provision came after the governing body for English soccer cut short a partnership arrangement with Ladbrokes in June of last year following a re-evaluation of its approach to such deals.
Barton revelations prompt re-think:
The newspaper explained that this reassessment followed revelations that former England international football player, Joey Barton, had placed over 1,200 soccer wagers in the ten years since March of 2006. This led to the past Manchester City, Burnley, Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United midfielder admitting to a misconduct charge related to betting and subsequently being handed an 18-month ban from the sport.
Collaborates against match-fixing:
The Times reported that The Football Association has moreover recently adopted a zero-tolerance approach to betting following the passage of rules that banned any player, coach or referee from wagering on soccer. However, it has purportedly continued to work with bookmakers such as Ladbrokes in order to tackle potential match-fixing by sharing information on suspect betting patterns.