Huddersfield Town: Football Association requests club's 'observations' over 2019-20 kit

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Huddersfield Town
Paddy Power were confirmed as Huddersfield's new main sponsor on Monday

Huddersfield Town have been contacted by the Football Association about the large sponsors' logo the Championship side have said will feature on their kit for the 2019-20 season.

The Terriers revealed the shirt on Wednesday and wore it in their friendly with Rochdale that evening.

But it appears to breach FA guidelines on shirt sponsorship, raising the possibility of it being banned.

The FA has asked Huddersfield for their observations about the kit.

"The FA has clear kit and advertising regulations for all club matchday kits," the FA said in a statement.

"If we believe that any club has breached these rules we will look into the matter and, if required, will take the appropriate action."

FA regulations clearly state a playing kit is only permitted to have "one single area not exceeding 250 square centimetres on the front of the shirt".

Huddersfield have said it will be their home kit for the upcoming season and confirmed it will go on sale on Saturday.

The club's shirt sponsor Paddy Power has not responded to questions on whether the kit is a spoof, a pure publicity stunt or may breach regulations, and referred instead to its own statement.

"We're delighted to work with Huddersfield Town on this bold new kit design," it said.

"As a brand which embraces doing things differently, we didn't want to get into shirt sponsorship just to do the same as everyone else. We feel the diagonal design will be the most distinctive sponsor logo in the Football League - appropriate for the most distinctive sponsor there is.

"We're sure Huddersfield fans will be delighted with this season's kit."

Football Fancast on Twitter
Views on the new kit have been mixed - with some comparing it to beauty pageant or hen do outfits

The sponsorship comes at a time when football and other sports are under pressure over their relationship with the gambling industry.

"This is disgraceful. It is one of the worst examples I have seen of gambling company sponsorship," Gambling Watch UK's Jim Orford, a psychologist at the University of Birmingham, told BBC Sport.

In his book on the gambling industry, which is scheduled for publication in September, Orford says: "The minimum change that is needed to protect children and young people is a ban on any gambling promotion which is especially likely to be seen or heard by under-18s."

He said a ban on gambling company sponsorship of football and other sporting teams had happened in countries including Germany, Portugal, France and the Netherlands.

A spokesperson for the Huddersfield Town Supporters' Association said: "Whether the new kit is real or part of some elaborate marketing ploy seems to be up for debate at the moment.

"Whatever the case, it would be good to see football clubs giving as much time and space to gambling awareness as they do to gambling advertisements."

Last season, almost 60% of clubs in England's top two divisions had the names of gambling companies on their shirts - nine of the 20 Premier League clubs, and 17 of the 24 in the Championship.

Clubs are not allowed to use bookmaker logos on replica shirts for children.

In December 2018, Britain's biggest gambling firms voluntarily agreed to a "whistle-to-whistle" television advertising ban.

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