Teams in La Liga feature several sponsors on their gameday uniforms, but some teams will have to search for new sponsors after the season. Spanish authorities are banning partnerships with gambling firms beginning in the 2020-21 season.
There are 17 teams in the league that have some sort of partnership with a gambling firm, and each club features these companies on their jerseys. Gambling firms pay a lot of money to be featured on the jerseys, and this new regulation could cost teams plenty of money.
Eight teams in La Liga currently feature a gambling firm as their primary sponsor on their jerseys. Sevilla and Valencia are two of the most notable teams with a gambling firm featured on their jerseys.
The UK government recently cracked down on gambling partnerships, and it is set to have an effect on clubs in the Premier League as well. Premier League executive Richard Masters argued that clubs should be able to make their own decisions, but his opinion was largely ignored.
A House of Lords Select Committee suggested that Premier League clubs ban all sponsorships with gambling firms, but they are giving clubs some additional time to secure more sponsors. Lower-level clubs will likely have close to three years to work on new deals in an effort to keep them afloat financially.
Entire Country Cracking Down
These new regulations are difficult for clubs in La Liga, but the entire country of Spain is cracking down on gambling firms and their advertising. Spain’s Royal Decree on Advertising set out new outlines for when and how gambling firms can advertise or promote their country.
Gambling companies in Spain can now only advertise from 1 am to 5 am each day, which will severely limit their exposure. Since La Liga games are not played during these hours, teams will not be able to have any logos on their jerseys.
Gambling firms were previously banned from sponsoring any youth level clubs or events, but the new restrictions are much more severe. Gambling firms can no longer sponsor professional soccer clubs in any way, including stadiums and equipment.
A temporary ban on these sponsorship deals went into effect on March 31, and teams have been forced to remove or cover up logos since La Liga has resumed play. Teams will be forced to replace the jerseys completely by next season if the new regulations become official.
The European Union in Brussels is set to take an official vote on the issue later this year, and the rules should be effective before the start of the 2020-21 season. Gambling firms are still trying to determine if they can advertise on the outside of each team’s playing surface.
Real Madrid, Barcelona Battling it Out
There are just 10 days left in La Liga’s season, and there are only two teams that are challenging for the title. Real Madrid sits on top of the league standings with 77 points, but Barcelona is just one point behind them. Barcelona has played an extra game, which would seem to give Real Madrid a slight edge.
The SugarHouse Sportsbooks in New Jersey currently lists Real Madrid at -200 to win the La Liga title. Barcelona is next on the list, but their odds are listed at +700.
La Liga has faced some difficult challenges during the 2020 season, which has been the case for soccer leagues around the world. The season was suspended on March 12, but the league was able to resume play on June 11. The final game of the season is set to take place on July 19.