To be the point where just like alcohol and tobacco sponsorship beforehand, there are now movements to eradicate betting companies possessing any links with football clubs within the confines of the English professional game.

Which may be good news for those who have long since lobbied for such a move and they will hope that a recent proposal from the UK’s House of Lords, will eventually come to fruition in the next couple of years.

Of course, for any party who celebrates good fortune, there will always be those who commiserate at the same time and if gambling sponsorship is outlawed, this will be a hammer blow to those clubs who operate within the EFL.

At a time where finances are already being stretched to their absolute maximum and talks of bailouts continue at breakneck speed, the one thing they cannot afford to lose, is the income that comes from sponsorship of this kind.

It is believed that betting companies pay a collective figure of £40m to the EFL per season and when you consider that stadia within the UK is set to be locked for another six months or so, this revenue stream takes on even further importance.

A point that was recently made by the EFL themselves and with them questioning a potential change in stance from the UK government, it seems that the powers that be are in danger of sending out a rather mixed message.

A message that says “yes we want to help you survive through the most toughest times, but at the same time we may have to switch off what is quickly acting as a life support machine throughout at the divisions”

Now admittedly, stadia will likely be open by the time any House of Lords proposal is passed and with a couple of years to recalibrate collective finances in the three EFL governed leagues, it will give everyone time to get their house in order.

At the same time, it may just create another financial headache further down the line and if the gang of 72 can all survive the pressure that a global pandemic can bring, it does not necessarily mean their long-term existence is secured.

Which puts those in charge in something of a bind, as although restrictions around the advertising of betting during football matches has been tightened, it can still be viewed as an assault on the senses at times.

Advert after advert imploring you to boost your acca or bet now, can be viewed as a nuisance to any in tune adult and although you only need to mute the television or make a cup of tea, such messages are tantalising to children who are far more easily seduced.

Because although they cannot place a bet until they are 18, the seed is most definitely planted and it is that seed that will grow only further, as betting in modern day society is as easy as the tap of a phone app.

The biggest problem of all though, is the fact that football is running out of industries to mass sponsor the game and with alcohol and tobacco already falling by the wayside, who can fill the void that may eventually be left behind by the banning of the bookmakers?

This is the question that everyone needs to think very carefully of, because if an answer cannot be found and new industries or sectors cannot come to the fore, it will leave the EFL in the midst of another financial black hole and one wonders, just how many they can keep climbing out of.

Written by Dan Tracey

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