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The Premier League has asked clubs to back a three-year plan to phase out gambling front-of-shirt sponsorships to prevent a government-imposed ban.

According to Sky News, the voluntary ban would come into effect at the start of the new season in August but would not affect existing deals, provided they run no longer than the 2024-25 campaign.

The 20 top-flight clubs have been given one week to decide on the plan. If at least 14 clubs vote in favour, the phase out would be adopted immediately.

The proposal sent to clubs yesterday (4 July) is widely seen as a preemptive move to avoid stricter rules. For example, shirt sleeve sponsorships by gambling companies may still be permitted under the voluntary action.

As part of the review of 2005 Gambling Act, the UK government is currently discussing whether football sponsorships should be prohibited, or at least regulated, under tighter restrictions.

Nine of the 20 Premier League teams were involved with betting companies last season.

Everton hit headlines in June after agreeing a front-of-shirt deal with Stake.com.

The club however faced a backlash after supporters disapproved of the partnership, but they are not the only Premier League club to have signed a gambling sponsorship ahead of the new campaign.

While the Premier League declined to comment to Sky News, it is understood the government will still make a final decision on the matter.

Meanwhile, the BBC has reported that a voluntary ban is being discussed between the Premier League and the government and could offer “a middle ground” for clubs which hope to avert any legislation on the much-debated topic.

Gambling front-of-shirt sponsorships are already banned in European markets including Italy and Spain.

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