Isthmian League sponsors BetVictor have chosen not to have their logo displayed at league grounds, says chairman Nick Robinson
As the Isthmian League enters a new era when the 2019/20 season kicks off on Saturday, there will be a distinct lack of visible promotion of controversial new title sponsors BetVictor.
We understand there had been fears from managers and club chairmen, especially those with under-18 players in their senior teams, that they would be forced to display the betting company’s name on their shirt sleeves and on billboards at the grounds, as was the case with the last two sponsors, Ryman and Bostik.
But the Isthmian League have confirmed to us that will not be the case.
While some, like AFC Sudbury manager Mark Morsley for one, believe it is a climbdown to criticism, league chairman Nick Robinson has said it was BetVictor’s own choosing.
“The sponsor is very keen to maintain integrity where its advertising is concerned and we welcome that,” he said. “There are no pitchside boards, no programme adverts (other than the league logo) and no welcome board with the league logo as with previous sponsors.”
Their youth and development league has also been moved to a separate website “so that players under 25 are not directly associated with the sponsor and there are strict rules – a code of compliance – for social media,” he said.
Robinson added: “We are very pleased to have the new sponsor, it means that the league can maintain its policy of providing benefits in kind to clubs so that footballs are provided free of charge and the public liability insurance which every club has to have is also paid for by the league.
“We aim to ensure the medium to long-term financial viability of the league through this sponsorship.”