The announcement by the Portman Group, which represents Britain’s main drinks companies, comes just days before the government announces its new alcohol strategy.

Replica football shirts sold to children will no longer carry the logos of alcohol-industry sponsors under rules as unveiled in June 2007.

Drinks firms sponsoring sports teams have agreed that it is inappropriate for children to wear shirts advertising alcohol brands.

The announcement by the Portman Group, which represents Britain’s main drinks companies, comes just days before the government announces its new alcohol strategy.

It will be seen as a gesture by the multi-billion-pound drinks industry to head off more draconian government action amid concern about soaring levels of alcohol abuse among the young.

The government’s new alcohol strategy is expected to require pubs, supermarkets and off-licences to display alcohol health warnings at the bar or tills, as well as labels on drinks bottles and cans. Details of the scheme are being negotiated between the Department of Health and the drinks industry.

 Among the football clubs sponsored by drinks firms are Liverpool, Everton, Rangers and Celtic. Other Premiership teams are said to be in talks with alcohol firms and will also be hit.

At least nine county cricket sides including Derbyshire, Essex and Warwickshire and rugby teams including London Wasps and Bristol, are also affected.

Under the terms of the voluntary ban, to be included in the drinks industry’s code of conduct, all contracts signed from next January will bar the sale of replica shirts advertising drinks firms to children. Firms at an "early stage" of contract negotiations will also be expected to abide by the rules.

Gambling regulators are considering similar rules for casino and poker firms sponsoring football clubs. They are expected to announce a clampdown this month. Industry insiders believe the ban will in effect end the long history of drinks companies sponsoring football teams.

The market in replica shirts is estimated to be worth more than £250m annually with the majority sold to teenage boys. Children are unlikely to want to wear replica kits without logos and any slump in sales could have financial implications.

David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: "We are aware of the criticism about the wearing of shirts advertising drinks firms by children. This move may make alcohol companies relatively unattractive as sponsors. One of the concerns is that if you do take your branding off there may well be some fall-out in terms of reduced sales."

Last week the Portman Group wrote to sports associations informing them of the forthcoming rule change. However, there is set to be criticism that the crack-down will apply only to contracts or contract extensions signed after next January.

Carlsberg, which sponsors Liverpool, is thought to have agreed a new three-year deal within the past few days and is therefore set to dodge the clampdown initially. The deal is said to be worth more than £20m. A spokeswoman for the Danish brewer said it supported the new Portman Group code but the firm was confident its new sponsorship deal would not be affected.

The alcohol industry insists it is not targeting children but critics claim the firms are using sophisticated techniques – including football sponsorship – to target the young. France has barred all televised sports sponsorship by alcohol companies, and medical experts are pushing for similar rules in Britain.

Professor Ian Gilmour, a liver specialist and president of the Royal College of Physicians who led calls for the ban, said: "I welcome the announcement and hope it’s a move towards the complete withdrawal of the alcohol industry from sports events. Every statistic that comes out shows an increasingly concerning situation surrounding alcohol use by the young."

John Taylor, chairman of Sports Impact, a firm negotiating sponsorship, said: "There is a difference between sponsoring an event – that seems entirely appropriate – but beer branding on shirts is less appropriate." Industry insiders believe the ban could effectively end the long history of drink companies sponsoring football teams. 

 

 

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

LATEST 17/18 KITS

Orlando City 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Orlando City 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Orlando City SC have unveiled their new Adidas away kit for the 2018 season, honoring the loyal support of the fans whose passion is the origin of…
Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Away Kit

Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Away Kit

This is the new Bucheon FC 2018 away kit by Astore. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 K League 2, which will be the sixth season of the K…
Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Home Kit

Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Home Kit

This is the new Bucheon FC 2018 home kit by Astore. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 2, which will be the sixth season of the K…
FC Seoul 2018 Le Coq Sportif Home Kit

FC Seoul 2018 Le Coq Sportif Home Kit

These are the new FC Seoul 2018 home kit and goalkeeper kit by Le Coq Sportif The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be…
Brondby IF 2018 Hummel Third Kit

Brondby IF 2018 Hummel Third Kit

This is the new Brondby IF 2018 third football kit by Hummel. The shirt is cyan blue with the crest, logos and diagonal stripes in neon. It was…
Racing Club 2018 Kappa Home Shirt

Racing Club 2018 Kappa Home Shirt

This is the new Racing Club de Avellaneda 2018 home football shirt by Kappa. The new home kit will be used during several tournaments in 2018.
Houston Dynamo 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Houston Dynamo 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Retro and modern at the same time, the Houston Dynamo 2018 away jersey by Adidas features a black base that shifts away from the traditional orange…
Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Away Kit

Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Away Kit

This is the new Ulsan Hyundai FC 2018 away kit by Hummel. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Home Kit

Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Home Kit

This is the new Ulsan Hyundai FC 2018 home kit by Hummel. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Dundalk FC 2018 CX+ Sport Away Kit

Dundalk FC 2018 CX+ Sport Away Kit

Dundalk FC has unveiled its new away kit for the 2018 SSE Airtricity League season. The new black and grey strip, adorned by the logo of the Club’s…
Daegu FC 2018 The Hump Football Kits

Daegu FC 2018 The Hump Football Kits

These are the new Daegu FC 2018 home (blue), away (navy) and third (white) kit designs by The Hump. The new kits will be used during the 2018 K…
Incheon United 2018 Hummel Away Kit

Incheon United 2018 Hummel Away Kit

This is the new Incheon United 2018 away kit by Hummel. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Incheon United 2018 Hummel Home Kit

Incheon United 2018 Hummel Home Kit

This is the new Incheon United 2018 home kit by Hummel. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Jeonnam Dragons 2018 Joma Home and Away Kits

Jeonnam Dragons 2018 Joma Home and Away Kits

These are the new Jeonnam Dragons 2018 home and away kits by Joma. The new kits will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th…
Asan Mugunghwa 2018 Mizuno Home and Away Kits

Asan Mugunghwa 2018 Mizuno Home and Away Kits

These are the new Asan Mugunghwa FC 2018 home and away kits by Mizuno. The new kits will be used during the 2018 K League 2, which will be the sixth…
Toronto FC 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Toronto FC 2018 Adidas Away Kit

The new Toronto FC away kit by Adidas is out, complete with a star above the crest honouring last year's MLS Cup triumph. The Reds are going with a…
Limerick 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Limerick 2018 Umbro Home Kit

This is the new Limerick FC home football shirt by Umbro. Limerick will be wearing the new home kit during the 2018 League of Ireland Premier…
Waterford 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Waterford 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Waterford revealed the new home shirt by Umbro for the 2018 season. Waterford FC will be wearing the new home kit in the 2018 League of Ireland…
Atlanta United 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Atlanta United 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Atlanta United have unveiled their new away kit for the 2018 season by Adidas, and its crest and other logos offer a peachy new splash of colour.…
River Plate 2018 Adidas Third Kit

River Plate 2018 Adidas Third Kit

River Plate and adidas Argentina revealed the club's new third shirt. This shirt is inspired by all the colours of the Estadio Monumental, packed…