West Ham will find out in the coming days whether we will be required to search for a new club sponsor, after a decision to ban betting companies from being primary sponsors of football clubs will be decided upon.
At present, the likelihood is that it will happen, with the government keen to be seen to be taking action against gambling addiction amongst its citizens.
If that is the case, this will present possibly a dilemma for the club, with the Betway sponsorship being the most lucrative outside the ‘big 6’ in the Premier League.
Or, could it be an opportunity?
When West Ham signed the latest extension to the deal with Betway in 2019, having started the partnership 4 years earlier, the club was certainly in a very different position than it finds itself now.
The fact our East London club is now competing at the top end of the table, with the hunt for a top 4 finish very much on, not to mention a Europa League campaign that sees us in the round of last 16 so far, means we are far more attractive to investment than we once was.
Just ask Czech Billionaire and now major shareholder Daniel Kretinsky.
Our current deal with Betway is worth around £10m per season. Which in the grand scheme of things compared to most other clubs is a good deal. However against the top sides we are now mixing it with, it’s small.
Take Manchester United. Their current deal with Chevrolet creates around 7 times what Betway does for West Ham. Even Spurs who we are closest to in terms of earnings, their AIA partnership generates around 3.5 times.
So although this impending government legislation looks on the outset to be a headache for our club, my belief that this is actually a very big opportunity to get a deal that is more in line with the big boys.
The legislation will come into effect at the end of the 22/23 season, so there will be plenty of time to shop around and get a partnership in place that will help push our club on even further.
The decision is likely to be announced in the coming days, and it’ll no doubt be one potential new suitors will be keeping a very close eye on.