Everton will end its sponsorship partnership with SportPesa at the end of the 2019-20 season, the club have announced.
The Kenya-based gambling brand has been the Blues' main shirt sponsor and official partner since 2017 after striking a five-year deal but both parties have agreed to the termination of the contract early as part of what a statement on evertonfc.com describes as "a comprehensive review by the club of its commercial strategy in line with its vision and future growth plans".
A spokesman for Everton said: "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."
The news comes a fortnight after the Football Association of Ireland elected to cancel its own sponsorship agreement with SportPesa and a few months after the Kenyan authorities suspended the firm's trading license due to unpaid taxes.
That license was due to be renewed after SportPesa were cleared by Kenya Revenue Authority to resume operations but it has been held up due to new security clearance requirements.
Reader Comments (105)
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1 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:27:18
I know it's very difficult to find a lillywhite to sponsor a club, everyone has a little dirt on their hands, but short of a payday lender, I can't think of anything less palatable than a betting company to represent my team and its values.
Just a perception and purely my own opinion.
2 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:27:23
3 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:30:58
4 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:33:12
Wonder if this means more investment from USM/MegaFon and Usmanov?
5 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:33:47
We are hooked to an Arthur Daley type company that operates in a dark branch of commerce that many would say steals money off those with an unfortunate addiction.
Surely we can do better?
6 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:37:54
In an ideal world, I'd like to add zero-hour companies to that list of less than lillywhites.
8 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:52:57
How many commercials are currently shown on TV trying to attract new players to partake in Bingo and other games of chance via their phones etc??
Unfortunately when times are hard, people are more attracted to what appears to be 'easy' money, educating people on the actual odds of winning or losing is the only real way to stop them making bookies rich.
Anyway let's hope Everton find a socially acceptable sponsor with deep pockets.
9 Posted 16/02/2020 at 20:53:18
10 Posted 16/02/2020 at 21:04:01
We'll be most likely financially better off by buying out of the SportPesa deal and entering a new deal with one of Usmanov's companies... which probably will have their own moral implications.
11 Posted 16/02/2020 at 21:16:52
A sage point, we're all thinking moralistically (simple folk that we are!) and there was the bottom line in plain view.
12 Posted 16/02/2020 at 21:20:48
13 Posted 16/02/2020 at 21:23:29
14 Posted 16/02/2020 at 22:16:11
And I hear Megafon are really keen on giving us £100m a year to be first in the queue for the next shirt sponsorship.
15 Posted 16/02/2020 at 22:16:31
16 Posted 16/02/2020 at 22:40:21
I've no particular affiliation to a gambling brand but I do chuckle at the fact nobody was wincing when we had Chang as our sponsor? Let me see, is it possible that this is seen as a more palatable 'habit' in the modern climate? Or is because the hypocrites have sown it into the brains of same said people that too much of one (gambling) is an addiction... but having a pint every day isn't?
For the educated and non-educated out there, gambling isn't always about 'the money', for most it is the thrill of the chase... and therefore isn't a problem 'requiring' help!
Let's be rid of this 'nanny state' and stop trying to tell people what is good or bad for them. I'd suggest this deal is purely about money rather than values... if someone is willing to pay more dollar or ruble then no problem with that... but let's put a stop to stigmatising people because of a perception given by media etc...
17 Posted 16/02/2020 at 22:44:29
TCL (no, me neither) are the new sleeve sponsors.
Hummel the new kit provider.
18 Posted 16/02/2020 at 23:04:53
Kind of liked Oumar for the laughs he gave us but won't be sorry to see the back of either of them in the summer. Expect to see Megafon on next season's jersey, and at least the kids will be able to have a "first team" shirt.
19 Posted 17/02/2020 at 00:23:46
20 Posted 17/02/2020 at 00:23:59
Glad to see them go. Also means we can go lucrative in the pre-season games rather than to Africa. To be fair, Africa is a long term strategy as it will 30-40 years before their buying power starts to match the existing developing regions of today - and that is also an, if ever. Don't think we can wait that long and I know the people of the African nations can't either but too many guns, bribes and tribes to make it quicker.
Means Mr Usmanov cannot come to the club as that will probably mean the same issues as Man City with the owner suddenly pumping in millions in the form of "sponsorship deals" from his own company. Nothing to stop Mr Usmanov pumping in millions in sponsorship until we are FFP compliant and then buying in. I suspect Mr Moshiri will not tell him no at that point.
21 Posted 17/02/2020 at 00:37:58
Anyway, good news as it made the shirt look cheap. I wonder if SportPesa receive any kind of refund? Will they continue for the rest of the season?
Onwards and upwards for the blues. I too hope it's because Usmanov is finding another way to invest. It's finally looking up.
22 Posted 17/02/2020 at 01:07:55
How about Nivea for Men? – sorry, forgot the RS got there first!! Colgate Tooth Whitening – sorry, again the RS got that one too!!
Surely Macca would sponsor us – Go Vegan (Linda would be proud – go on, Bill, give him a call.
Okay, Megafon it is then.
23 Posted 17/02/2020 at 03:43:18
Whats to gain? Everton are no cash cow, not currently anyway. And how many supporters are in a position that they would deal with USM now Finch Farm is sponsored by them? Megafon all over the shirt, well, we will now all know about a mobile network that no British fan will use. But outside from that, he can get in on the stadium and related projects as a market for his steel company.
He could effectively bankroll the club for a few seasons until the stadium is built and the club's revenue from tickets and hopefully performances improve and no longer need the level of propping up that is currently going on before buying a large stake
Or perhaps he just needs a hobby. However it works, is it legit to chuck money at the club from outside? Assuming of course that Moshiri doesn't have large holdings in every company that is sponsoring us.
24 Posted 17/02/2020 at 04:39:06
Good news. Hopefully we get a more lucrative and more brand-aligned sponsor. (I'm not sure that this includes USM, to be honest, but hey ho!)
25 Posted 17/02/2020 at 05:04:52
26 Posted 17/02/2020 at 05:28:39
After spending over 100 quid for a kit, it should have a sponsor on it. It's not just about the sponsorship money for the fans, it's about being a blue, and should be a least a small factor in the decision who we have on the shirt going forward.
27 Posted 17/02/2020 at 06:02:45
28 Posted 17/02/2020 at 06:09:33
29 Posted 17/02/2020 at 07:19:06
But then again, this is Everton, so probably not.
30 Posted 17/02/2020 at 07:32:01
31 Posted 17/02/2020 at 07:35:17
32 Posted 17/02/2020 at 10:28:02
Personally, having read the article in the Mail by Martin Samuel about FFP, I would look at the clubs ditching the Premier League and Uefa, and forming fresh organisations which provide a level playing field, allowing anyone to invest whatever they want into their club.
The current cartel restricts the ability of anyone outside the top six to break through and it will be fascinating to see what happens to Man City. The fact that they have limitless wealth to fund a court case may of course give a fudged decision but FFP is surely restraint of trade and could not happen in the real business world.
33 Posted 17/02/2020 at 10:49:08
Firstly, to end a contract three years early without having to pay any sort of penalty is very good business.
Secondly, from a positive publicity point of view it's also very good business and puts the club in a good light.
Thirdly it allows the club to fully utilize the fame and standing of Ancelotti to attract a new sponsor.
Expect a new deal for at least double the £9.6m a season that Sportpesa were paying.
All planned, I suspect, to help us, amongst other things, to navigate safely the FFP minefield.
34 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:02:01
Didnt USM increase their sponsorship too? I think it was announced at the AGM?
35 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:07:03
I wonder if Megafon has plans to enter the UK market? They would need promotional exposure and what better way than sponsoring a Premier League club. Maybe Everton would be interested!!!
I can recommend their sim card; it's always first on my shopping list (to avoid roaming charges) when I visit Russia.
36 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:07:53
37 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:15:53
Get up to 6th and near or ahead of them, then it becomes comparable.
38 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:16:05
its all about £££££££££££££££££££££
We have a better offer in the pipeline its simple.
39 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:22:19
So it seems that Usmanov realized that to help Everton get round any FFP rules sponsorship was the way for him to put money into the club which would be the biggest impact in allowing Ancelotti to have a decent kitty for transfers this summer. I think despite the denials I believe that Ancelotti only signed for us because of Usmanovs involvement with the club.
40 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:23:33
41 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:47:18
42 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:48:35
The leaked emails, accounts, emails show clearly that only £8m came from Etihad, the balance of about £60m came from the Sheikh. Also referred to explicitly in emails. If these are genuine, its hard to see how they can avoid punishment.
This despite assurance given by the club to UEFA.
43 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:57:37
44 Posted 17/02/2020 at 11:59:26
No it won't set alarm bells ringing, unless the increased sponsorship comes from someone directly connected to the club.
If Everton agree a deal for £30m a year from a company with no direct ties to the club there's no problem whatsoever as long as it's considered fair value.
45 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:05:05
NEC would be a bit too much of a blast from the past I think.
46 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:14:17
Re "this switch", has there even been a switch from Sportpesa to something else yet? Is it (or will it be) higher than the current deal? Getting out of Sportpesa and into something else might have more to do with trying to look ethical, so any new sponsor might be more important in terms of ethical acceptability, rather than income. Let's wait and see what level any new sponsorships are at.
47 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:34:57
We all know that corruption is never far from power as has been proved by Blatter and Platini I am sure the governance of UEFA may well come under scrutiny when this goes to court.
48 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:36:25
49 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:51:50
50 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:52:26
51 Posted 17/02/2020 at 12:55:04
The board I think as well as the ethical side, have just thought that we are now a more marketable team due to recent changes. The number of articles written about us in Italy and Spain now has risen drastically.
Throw in Richarlison being a first pick for Brazil, DCL having a great shot at the euros, and we are much more attractive than when we signed up with sportpesa. Id expect the new deal to be at least £20m a year.
52 Posted 17/02/2020 at 13:00:08
So it could well be wheels within wheels and as NEC have previously sponsored us – I don't see how any questions could be asked if they suddenly come in with a new deal.
It could also be, of course, that Usmanov is looking to launch MegaFon as a service provider in the UK and is bidding for a licence?
But, as long as it benefits Everton FC – I'm all for it.
53 Posted 17/02/2020 at 13:22:23
I can understand the unease some feel at having a betting company as our shirt sponsor on ethical grounds, all the more so at Everton where EiTC features large.
But sponsorship and ethics swim in very murky waters. I doubt there is any industry or company that can be regarded as totally 'ethically clean'. Just some marginally 'cleaner' than others.
The severance of the deal with SportPesa is not a knee-jerk reaction by the club. DBB at the AGM openly stated there was a conflict with the club's overall philosophy and strategy having a gambling firm as our primary sponsor. This is a further step in that review as the SportPesa brand has been seriously blackened with many of its operations suspended in parts of East Africa. I have no doubts a new sponsor is already lined up, as hinted at in the club statement that the decision 'allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan'.
City's situation is going to be an interesting watch on many levels. They HAVE to fight it tooth and nail, even if the body of evidence weighs heavily against them. The alternative is that their whole business plan for the club seriously stalls, if not collapses completely. This will, I fancy, have serious repurcusions for many clubs and UEFA itself, not only City.
We are now well-positioned to learn lessons from their plight so as not to repeat their errors.
54 Posted 17/02/2020 at 13:32:20
Just like the press tried to paint Moshiri as a dodgy corrupt businessman when he first took over.
55 Posted 17/02/2020 at 13:48:52
This report says SportPesa have also ended ties with F1 team Racing Point as their global strategy changes.
No idea how much of this is spin on the part of SportPesa or EFC but the result is the same.
56 Posted 17/02/2020 at 14:06:21
DBB is on record as saying it doesn't fit our community profile, this she's only just noticed? When the deal was being done, wasn't it considered as a company that it creates social problems – and especially in impoverished areas? She took the money and ran, but now she's a nice person who's learnt the error of her ways and of course it's got nothing to do with a more profitable deal being available!
57 Posted 17/02/2020 at 14:29:35
58 Posted 17/02/2020 at 14:32:34
Rob, she was appointed as CEO in 2018. I don't know whether she was involved in the SportPesa deal when signed in 2017.
59 Posted 17/02/2020 at 14:46:27
60 Posted 17/02/2020 at 14:53:59
Im still wearing an NEC shirt and will continue to if it turns out NEC are the new sponsors. Knew my cheap strategy would payoff eventually
61 Posted 17/02/2020 at 15:27:51
Still got those Danka and One2One shirts too, don't ya?
62 Posted 17/02/2020 at 15:31:41
I didn't like them.
63 Posted 17/02/2020 at 17:10:54
64 Posted 17/02/2020 at 17:20:07
65 Posted 17/02/2020 at 17:49:16
Cracker. You dont run an undertakers business do you?
66 Posted 17/02/2020 at 18:02:39
67 Posted 17/02/2020 at 18:09:16
68 Posted 17/02/2020 at 18:13:50
69 Posted 17/02/2020 at 18:32:40
Each to their own eh but I'm with Ray on thinking them One2One kits were the worst in our history, one wasn't even Royal Blue!!
70 Posted 17/02/2020 at 18:47:42
There is a beautiful sense of irony in the notion of morals here.
71 Posted 17/02/2020 at 18:58:08
Any questionable business practices from an Uzbek investor can seem pretty far removed in comparison.
72 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:04:09
To me, it stacks up and makes sense. Hopefully this dabble in gambling sponsorship is the last.
73 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:10:19
Surely there are other more suitable sponsors out there that are less controversial in these ethical times.
74 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:13:08
Ray #62, after you posted that I had to go look them up online. They're for sale online. And damn, you're right.
75 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:19:55
Rob #56 "[DBB] took the money and run, but now she's a nice person who's learnt the error of her ways and of course it's got nothing to do with a more profitable deal being available!"
Rob, she was appointed as CEO in 2018. I don't know whether she was involved in the SportPesa deal when signed in 2017.
Everton football club said:
"Denise arrived at the Club in January 2010 to develop and lead a transformation strategy for Everton in the Community. Due to the success of this venture, Denise became the Club's Chief Operating Officer in October 2011, before being promoted to Deputy Chief Executive in June 2013."
As Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, she's had more than just a hand in the SportPesa deal.
I stand by what I said.
76 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:33:14
78 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:38:03
79 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:42:07
That one? Or this one?
This one's only £14.99 -- what a deal!
80 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:42:36
81 Posted 17/02/2020 at 19:55:31
Its perhaps interesting that the Formula One team, Racing Point, announced today that SportPesa will no longer be their main sponsor and that theyre expanding their partnership with BWT instead.
82 Posted 17/02/2020 at 20:03:32
83 Posted 17/02/2020 at 20:50:57
84 Posted 17/02/2020 at 20:55:21
85 Posted 17/02/2020 at 21:00:23
If it is NEC, then I'm just glad they renamed the European Cup, so the kids aren't teased like I was when they last sponsored us. “What's a European Cup?” Would be the reply now.
86 Posted 17/02/2020 at 22:16:18
87 Posted 17/02/2020 at 23:15:37
88 Posted 17/02/2020 at 23:18:29
The hideous one with the bits of yellow across them. The yellow is the colour of piss in snow. They weren't even Royal Blue, more a sort of cheap blue tee-shirt that's faded in the sun.
89 Posted 18/02/2020 at 01:18:42
But I think we will have a USM-themed sponsor next season.
90 Posted 18/02/2020 at 03:52:15
Are you sure we can't have USM as sponsors on kit at all because of Moshiri's shares? Or that it would just be more deeply investigated?
Man City didn't get done for having Etihad as sponsors but for overstating the value of their contribution. Isn't the sheikh on the board of the airline?
91 Posted 18/02/2020 at 06:08:02
92 Posted 18/02/2020 at 10:01:59
Moshiri is Chairman of the USM Group:
.....which owns 70% of Megafon, so the flippy fingers in the FA (Uefa if we qualify for Europe) would be getting well twitchy if either was to sponsor Everton.
That said, I'm not aware of any law that would prevent either Group from Sponsoring the Shirt provided it's commercially viable and not a grotesque figure that is called into question.
93 Posted 18/02/2020 at 10:27:29
£60m. And people on TW have mentioned £10m for Everton... Okay, I am aware that we are not in the same League as they are at the moment regarding success, but in terms of exposure, we play the so-called top six 12 times a year, games which will be televised all around the World; hundreds of millions of people will see our games. Let's not sell ourselves too short.
94 Posted 18/02/2020 at 10:54:39
95 Posted 18/02/2020 at 12:36:58
Since January 2020, Usmanov has agreed to purchase shares in Everton Football Club.
Since it's on Wikipedia's Usmanov page, perhaps I shouldn't be... but it doesn't even merit a source reference.
96 Posted 18/02/2020 at 13:24:31
97 Posted 18/02/2020 at 13:46:57
From an Everton perspective I found it quite revealing that whilst it spoke of their model of bringing in young talent, not superstars, at reasonable prices and listed some success stories, the very English BBC made absolute no mention of the single English player they have recruited, Ademola Lookman.
No surprise really as he has barely featured for them all season. I wonder what the young man is making of it all?
98 Posted 18/02/2020 at 13:47:08
99 Posted 18/02/2020 at 13:53:33
Was it an issue when we were sponsored by Chang? Alcohol? Did that fit the 'community' values?
I did fit in with our values as drinking Chang never left you wanting another.
100 Posted 18/02/2020 at 14:10:50
101 Posted 18/02/2020 at 17:42:54
In regards to Megafon and Usmanov as a possible shirt sponsor, does Moshi own any shares in Megafon, if so will this have any impact on the sponsorship.
We have Usmanov sponsoring Finch Farm, so hopefully it will not breach the sponsorship of shirts.
102 Posted 18/02/2020 at 18:18:18
Even if he does, it's not clear if it would impact on FFP. The lawyers will have a view if it has enough control and influence.
Everton I think will struggle for FFP to believe that Usmanov doesn't have a quasi stake. It has to be a concern that we don't get sucked into FFP sleaze. All clubs are at it - City getting additional funds from the owner and not Etihad. City all received commercial money, despite selling the image rights previously. Sheffield Wednesday sold their stadium to book a big gain to surf the rules. Opposition clubs are questioning all of this.
I am sure clubs that have sister clubs, will have fiddled it a bit too, so the parent club makes profit to boost the FFP losses.
103 Posted 18/02/2020 at 18:24:02
As Chairman and shareholder in USM, there seems a connection, if that ownership is correct.
104 Posted 18/02/2020 at 20:20:27
105 Posted 19/02/2020 at 04:36:34
NEC: Communications and IT. Sounds good. Leaders in facial recognition products. (Big Brother?).
Hafnia is a genus of Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria in the family Hafniaceae. H. alvei is a commensal of the human gastrointestinal tract and not normally pathogenic, but may cause disease in immunocompromised patients. (Not my first choice.)
106 Posted 19/02/2020 at 05:23:38
He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of USM and a 10% shateholder.
USM own 70% of Megafon.
107 Posted 21/02/2020 at 18:58:11
If a small club like Waterford who struggle to survive each year can support a worthy cause like this instead of just taking the highest bid, I think it's only right that big Premier League clubs can move away from the likes of betting companies – especially clubs like Everton who do such great work through EitC.
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