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Aston Villa agree £40m shirt sponsorship deal with Greek online betting firm

Leon Bailey of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Aston Villa and AFC Ajax at Villa Park on March 14, 2024 in Birmingham, England
Betano will replace Villa's current shirt sponsor BK8 from next season - Getty Images/James Baylis

Aston Villa have sealed the biggest shirt front sponsorship in the club’s history, with the Greek online sports betting platform Betano paying £20 million annually for two years from next season, coinciding with the launch of the club’s new Adidas kit.

The club are ambitious to drive commercial revenue as they push for a Champions League place under manager Unai Emery and it is believed that the Betano deal is worth more than twice the current deal with Chinese online betting company BK8.

Telegraph Sport revealed in January that Villa had partnered, for the first time in the club’s history, with Adidas, the German sportswear giant in whom Villa owner Nassef Sawiris owns a seven per cent stake.

The billionaire Sawiris and his co-owner, the American Wes Edens, have been eager to push the club’s commercial power to generate the revenue to help Villa to compete. They are currently fourth in the Premier League and well set for what is likely to be one of the five Champions League places for English clubs next season in the newly remodelled 36-team format.

The club’s new American president of business operations, Chris Heck, has overseen the Betano deal and was also involved in the negotiations with Adidas last year. Heck also oversaw the early curtailment of the kit contract with Castore. The Betano deal runs for two years until 2026 when the ban on gambling companies on shirt fronts comes into effect from the start of the 2026-2027 season.

The Emery effect propelled Villa to a seventh place finish last season and the Basque manager has also secured a Uefa Europa Conference League quarter-final next month against Lille, of Ligue 1. With greater success on the pitch will come the opportunity for bigger commercial contracts.

Online sports betting remains a lucrative front of shirt sponsorship option for many clubs in the Premier League until the ban comes into force. Betano have also signed a deal with Uefa to be one of the global sponsors of Euro 2024. Betano is one of the two brands that operate under the Greek parent company Kaizen Gaming. The Adidas deal, yet to be officially announced, has proved popular with Villa supporters.

Earlier this month the club announced overall losses of £119.6 million for the financial year ending May 31, 2023. Not all those losses will figure in the profit and sustainability calculation and the club are confident they will be compliant in the next monitoring period. Villa’s annual revenue has increased from £178.4 million from the previous financial year to £217.7 million for the most recent results.

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