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Gambling on the Number 32

Wayne Rooney has been a household name for many years and now, after a stint in America, Rooney is returning to English soil to play for Championship Club Derby County.

However, this hasn’t come without criticism, particularly in relation to how Rooney will be reimbursed.

Around the same time as Rooney was announced as the Club’s new forward, Derby County signed a sponsorship deal with 32Red for an unreported amount.

Not only that, but it has been confirmed that Rooney will be wearing the number 32 as part of the deal, which is a perfect advert for the betting company (who are rumoured to be paying towards Rooney’s wage).

The timing couldn’t be more coincidental after GambleAware’s interim report was published last month into the marketing and advertising of gambling. If you haven’t read our previous blog on this, you can read it here.

The connection between Wayne Rooney and 32Red has caused anger among many, including the Church of England, according to a recent news report.

With the devastating effects of gambling addictions becoming more prevalent it’s the view of many that Wayne Rooney should have been less supportive of gambling companies and more supportive of the idea of being a role-model for his fans.

On the other hand it has also been widely reported that both Rooney and 32Red will be supporting charities such as the Team Talk Mental Health Programme, according to a quote from Mel Morris (Derby County’s Owner) in various news outlets, including Sportspromedia.com.

Derby County’s website describes this as “a men’s mental health initiative designed to get men talking about their state of mind in relaxed, weekly sessions”.

It will be worth following this story closely to see whether football’s governing bodies, or the government, take any legislative action around such sponsorship.

 

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Phil Parkinson

Partner and Head of Commercial Law
Commercial Law
PParkinson@LawBlacks.com
0113 322 1902
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Phil Parkinson Blacks Solicitors LLP