The BBC‘s Match of the Day children’s football magazine features a gambling firm’s logo on every other page, according to a study by Goldsmiths, University of London.
Researchers spotted 52 logos in the May 2019 issue of the 68-page magazine, alongside 38 images in January this year and 37 in March 2019.
Gambling firms are banned from directly marketing to young fans but professors found sponsors are still ‘highly visible’ as logos on players’ shirts appear in photos.
The study, titled ‘the visibility of gambling sponsorship in football related products marketed directly to children’, also examined four other magazines, namely Kick!, Kick Extra!, Footy and Match.
The BBC’s Match of the Day children’s football magazine, above, features a gambling firm’s logo on every other page, a study by researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, found
The report published in the journal Soccer & Society noted that logos for 20 different gambling firms were found in children’s magazines in 2019 with half of Premier League teams wearing shirts with the logos in the 2019-20 season.
Extra’s issue in January this year came top for the magazine with the most logos at 59, partly due to the inclusion of a poster showing five football teams.
Logos were also found on 42 per cent of the Panini Official Premier League 2020 stickers and 41 per cent of the Topps Merlin Official Premiership stickers sold in 2018.
The study’s lead author, Dr Natalie Djohari, from the University of East Anglia, said: ‘Advertising Standards Agency guidelines say that it is the responsibility of marketers to ensure children are not exposed to gambling advertising.
‘But a football player emblazoned with a logo, even when it is intended to sell products to adult consumers, has their photo refracted multiple times onto football cards, stickers, magazines and other merchandise.
‘In this way, gambling logos very quickly become visible throughout the football-related worlds of child fans.’
Dr Gavin Weston, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, added: ‘Children might not have the experience or critical faculties to understand the significance of a gambling company’s logo or to be wary of the appeal of products that have addictive qualities.
‘But latest figures from the Gambling Commission show 55,000 children have a gambling problem.
The report published in the journal Soccer & Society noted that logos for 20 different gambling firms were found in children’s magazines in 2019 (pictured: BBC’s Match of the Day)
‘While more research is needed to understand how young fans interpret gambling branding on their heroes’ shirts, more immediately, policy makers and magazine publishers need to consider how the visibility of gambling logos can be reduced in products marketed to children.’
A spokesperson for the BBC’s Match of the Day magazine told MailOnline: ‘Like other football magazines, MOTD magazine features images of teams and football players as they are shown widely across all other forms of media.
‘We do not endorse gambling or betting companies in any way.’
It follows former England Under-21 and striker Marvin Sordell warning that young footballers are becoming addicted to gaming and ole98fx.com/แทงบอล/ saying clubs must do more to protect them.
Sordell, who shook the football world when he announced his retirement from the game at the age of just 28 as he struggled with his own mental wellbeing, claimed the next generation of players is being let down.
The ex-striker, who scored 68 career goals in 321 appearances, thinks gaming has taken over from gambling as one of the biggest problems affecting player welfare.
He spoke out as he was unveiled as an ambassador for the national charity the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM).
Gambling firms are banned from directly marketing to young fans, but professors found sponsors are still ‘highly visible’ as logos on players’ shirts appear in photos
Sordell said: ‘Football players have a huge amount of free time but they are only allowed to spend it in specific ways. There’s only so many things you can do indoors at home and gaming is a massive part of that.
‘Gambling is very much ingrained in the culture of football like a lot of other things.
I played with players who would be on their phones checking scores and bets from the minute they get in in the morning to the minute they leave training.
‘I think how that has probably changed with the younger generations is that a lot of it is now geared towards gaming.
‘If you take the likes of FIFA, แทงบอล you get really hooked in things like Ultimate Team and purchasing add-ons.
I was a person at that young age who got into a habit of just playing to open these packs (loot boxes) because of the hit of dopamine you get from getting one of the big players – or something else exciting.
‘You just want to replicate that and before you know it, you’re spending a lot of money on what is essentially gambling.