Following the release of the Supporter’s Board minutes this morning, it has been revealed that the club turned down the opportunity to work with a betting company as a front of shirt sponsor next season.
I won’t say much more as I won’t breach trust from our discussions, but the minutes reveal that a discussion was had by the club board as to whether we should partner with a betting company on the front of shirt. That discussion led to the board rejecting the option,
Gambling in football is a big topic at the moment and we’re a team who have perhaps seen both sides of the issue. On one hand, we’ve had a player allegedly get booked on purpose to fix a bet, whilst we’ve also seen a prominent staff member fall foul of gambling addiction and lose his job and reputation.
Perhaps, for a club with such raw experiences of both sides of the coin, we were right to reject a partner that may have proven controversial. From a family club perspective, it could be seen that taking on a betting company would take some of the club’s soul. Think about Stoke City for instance, who should perhaps be called Stoke bet365 City such is the prominence of their partner. What about Wayne Rooney’s squad number stunt, or even our friends at Huddersfield trying to be authentic whilst still partnering with a gambling company. Would we want that for Lincoln City, at any price?
All I’m sure I can say is our steer saw some very interesting conversation but the board’s decision was entirely their own and they should be applauded for it. One would imagine a betting partner would have offered decent financial recompense, but our club are not ones for selling their soul, nor their principles. That’s to be admired, as is the transparency with which they’ve published the minutes and openly revealed that the discussion has been had, but without any fanfare or ‘look at us’. It’s the same way we withdrew from the Quaranteam tournament quietly, without an attention-seeking tweet or high-horse moral standpoint.
The Supporter’s Board, which is often the subject of some derision on social media, also discussed the possibility of bike racks at the ground for matchday use, the congestion problems leaving the ground, particularly in the Coop Stand, and the financial viability of the club’s current retail outlets. All the minutes can be found here, for those who are interested.