- Villa announced a partnership with BK8
- Growing concerns about gambling within sport
- Lineker took to social media to react
WHAT HAPPENED? Villa announced BK8, a casino company, to be their "new principal and front of shirt partner" until the 2025-26 season. Earlier in April 2023, Premier League clubs announced that they had decided to cease allowing betting companies as main shirt sponsors. A perplexed Lineker took to Twitter and appeared to question Villa's move. He wrote: "Thought clubs were no longer going to have gambling sponsors on shirts?"
Thought clubs were no longer going to have gambling sponsors on shirts? 🤔 https://t.co/HKAtA5X0fQ— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 22, 2023
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Aston Villa have not violated any Premier League rule as the decision to ban betting companies will come into effect from the 2026-27 season. Gambling within sport has always been a controversial subject, with charities having been set up to attempt to safeguard players - and fans - from the associated dangers. Indeed, Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been banned for eight months for 232 betting breaches, with many having offered their support amid concerns related to his mental health during the lengthy spell away from the game.
WHAT NEXT? Although Aston Villa are yet to unveil the kit for next season, the club has confirmed that it will contribute to a local charity in Birmingham for every jersey that is sold.