February 1, 2023 3 min read


Aston Villa Ignores Fans Pleas and Pursues BK8 Deal

Aston Villa, the famous soccer club based in Aston, Birmingham, England, is reportedly still considering a controversial sponsorship deal with a gambling operator, despite criticism by fans of the club

Currently, the front-of-shirt sponsor of the famous soccer team is Cazoo. However, the duo’s sponsorship agreement is getting close to expiry. In light of this, Aston Villa confirmed the possibility to join forces with the online gambling operator BK8. Although there’s nothing signed yet, talks about the possible sponsorship deal with the operator faced strong criticism from the club’s fan base.

Despite the protest of Aston Villa’s fans, the company is still considering the sponsorship deal with BK8, a report released by The Telegraph reveals. If the club continues with the deal with BK8, the gambling operator would become its main front-of-shirt sponsor.

Aston Villa’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, discussed the concerns with fan groups that united against the BK8 sponsorship. However, after the meetings, it was confirmed that the controversial gambling operator is more likely to be the team’s new sponsor for the upcoming three seasons. At the same time, the team confirmed it has conducted “extensive due diligence” checks before agreeing to a sponsorship collaboration with BK8.

“While some fans will be disappointed after Villa’s current front-of-shirt sponsor moved away from gambling companies, the commercial reality is that to teams outside the top six, such sponsors offer clubs twice as much financially as non-gambling companies,” explains a statement released by the Aston Villa Fans Consultation Group.

The FC Plans to Join Forces with a Highly Controversial Gambling Company

But why did Aston Villa’s fans disagree with the idea of a sponsorship between the club and BK8? Well, the gambling company had previously joined forces with another professional soccer club, Norwich City. However, after sexually provocative ads were tied to BK8, Norwich City pulled out of the deal.

At the time, media reports identified BK8 ads on YouTube that implied sexual acts. Additionally, the gambling operator used provocative images of young females to promote its brand. Ultimately, those sexually provocative ads pushed Norwich out of the sponsorship collaboration.

The planned deal between Aston Villa and BK8 comes during the review of the Gambling Act in the UK. The government in the country launched the review in an effort to update the gambling regulation and make it suitable for the digital age. Although previously, Premier League clubs talked about ditching sponsorships, a unified decision is missing at the current moment.

With that in mind, the voluntary ban of sponsorships discussed by the soccer clubs sought to end deals with gambling companies and avoid legislative changes. However, the revamped gambling regulation may bring changes to this vertical but that remains to be confirmed upon the release of the review of the Gambling Act.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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