Kieran Maguire lambasts West Brom as fans exploited - 'this is very poor'
West Brom and their peers are effectively exploiting their own supporters through the EFL’s controversial deal with Sky Bet.
That is the view of finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the recent revelations regarding the makeup of the gambling tie-in.
As relayed by BBC Sport on Wednesday (28 September), EFL teams are still receiving a cut of gamblers’ losses if they sign up to Sky Bet via the club website.
The party line was that the scheme was phased out during the 2019-20 campaign, but it is understood that this aspect of the arrangement is still active.
Critics claim that EFL teams are too reliant on the gambling industry for sponsorship income.
West Brom themselves are one of only a handful of teams in the Championship to not have a betting partner in 20223.
But the optics of the likes of Albion continuing to cash in on their supporters’ gambling losses are far from ideal, argues Maguire.
“The Sky Bet deal with the EFL does few favours to anybody concerned,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“Although the EFL can rightly say that the deal was terminated in 2019-20, if, as some claim, clubs are still being paid until the date of the deal expires in 2024, the optics are very poor.
“It just seems incongruous and somewhat tawdry that a club that has an affiliate approach can benefit from their own fans losing money to bookies.
“At the end of the day, it is the club itself that has introduced the fan to the company.”