BetVictor end non-league sponsorship deal

BetVictor will no longer be the main sponsor of the Isthmian League and Southern League after the bookmaker made the decision to end their agreement with the football divisions at the end of the 2019/20 season.

Both the Isthmian League and Southern League were included in the FA’s decision to declare all league seasons beneath the National League were null and void with no promotion or relegation taking place either.

BetVictor chose to end their agreement months before the original deal was meant to expire on July 9 and had been the Isthmian league’s main sponsor since Ryman ended their 20-year partnership in 2017.

The bookmaker insists that the decision was not taken as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, with a letter being sent out to all member clubs at why the sponsorship had been pulled.

The letter read: “BetVictor have terminated the sponsorship for a number of reasons but mainly due to the fact that the increasing compliance restrictions and challenges faced in their first seven months outweighed the benefits they were drawing from the sponsorship.

“However, the escalating negativity towards betting in football did not help, nor did – most disappointingly – compliance breaches by clubs in and outside of the Isthmian League.

“Although the search for a new sponsor has begun, the Covid-19 crisis makes it very difficult to engage meaningfully with potential replacements.

“So, as of now, the leagues operating at step three and four have no main sponsor for season 2020/21.”

It is yet another tough pill to swallow for non-league football in England, where there are already serious fears about the futures of clubs that will be missing out on vital matchday revenues for the foreseeable future.

Over 100 teams have written to the FA asking them to reconsider their decision to declare all non-league seasons null and void but they are not expected to reverse that decision.

Isthmian League chairman Nick Robinson added: “We are very disappointed that this decision was made as it means that we are not able to develop the relationship with the sponsor.

“We are actively looking for a new sponsor, but are apprehensive at this time due to the general economic downturn due to Covid-19.

“We believe we have a good and marketable product which has attracted sponsors for nearly 40 years and we hope will continue to do so once we are able to restart the league.”

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