Everton is going to end its sponsorship deal with Kenyan gambling company SportPesa two years early, at the end of the 2019-20 season. According to reports, the club inked a five-year sponsorship deal in the year 2017 and was subject to a controversy with people warning of high costs and consequences being caused due to the increasing problem caused due to gambling in football.
At their last home game against Crystal Palace, Everton promoted a good cause by wearing a jersey that bore the name of their own community programme rather than gambling company SportPesa. According to reports, the early termination of the sponsorship deal follows a proper review of the club's operations on a commercial level headed by the chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale.
A representative of Everton 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 Club would like to thank SportPesa for all of the work that has been done together. Our partnership has seen our first team visit Africa on two occasions, as well as former players and Club staff take part in numerous activations in the region. This has allowed us to grow our own footprint in Africa and further strengthen our special relationship with the continent.”
SportPesa was founded by a partnership of parties operating Bulgarian casinos and influential Kenyans six years ago. The company grew increases operations and grew by promoting online gambling in the country, According to reports, the Kenyan government expressed its concerns about the youth becoming addicted to gambling and how it might burden these individuals with heavy debts.
SportPesa expanded its operations into the United Kingdom and Europe, inking agreements with clubs such as Hull City, Arsenal, Southampton before going on to become the main sponsor at Everton.