Premier League club Everton will terminate its main shirt sponsor contract with Kenyan gambling brand SportPesa at the end of the 2019-20 season.
The five-year deal, which was worth €10.8m ($11.6m) per season, had been set to run through the 2021-22 season, but will now be terminated early.
An Everton spokesperson said: “This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us.”
The news follows the guidance by Everton chief executive Denise Barret-Baxendale at the club’s AGM in December 2019 that the club would like to move away from displaying a betting firm on the front of its shirt.
Barret-Baxendale said: “In an ideal world, moving forward, we would look to have a different type of sponsor on the front of our shirts like all football clubs would, but that is a commercial decision that we make as a football club.’’
Earlier in 2020, SportPesa’s deal with the Football Association of Ireland was also terminated early, one year into the two-year contract signed in March 2019.
Everton will now look to sign a replacement brand for the 2020-21 season.
There has been an increased focus on gambling sponsorship in football in the last 12 months, with the government’s commitment to a review of the 2005 Gambling Act meaning tighter restrictions could be imposed on deals with companies within the sector.
Further spotlight has been placed on the issue by controversy surrounding the sale of FA Cup streaming rights to betting firm Bet365.
New Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has stated his opposition to a blanket ban on gambling shirt sponsorship within the top division, however.
Full details of the betting sponsorship within the Premier League and the wider portfolios of each clubs can be accessed via SportBusiness Soccer.