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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FA to review commercial relationship to betting firms - Greg Clarke

Greg Clarke said he had raised the issue when taking over as FA chairman last summer.

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has told The Times the governing body is "actively considering" its relationship to betting firms.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton, given an 18-month ban from football last month for placing bets on games, had said the FA "needs to look at its own dependence on the gambling companies" if it "is truly serious about tackling the culture of gambling in football."

The FA announced a long-term agreement with bookmaker Ladbrokes in June last year, shortly before Clarke was nominated as its new chairman.

Clarke said his concerns were "not linked to the Joey Barton case at all" and that he has also ordered a report into the FA's commercial relationship with the alcohol industry.

"We are actively considering what our position will be and should be," he said. "When you think back to when they took cigarette advertising off Formula One racing cars, sport has a duty to consider and ask itself what is right.

"I have thought about the relationship between betting and football, and alcohol and football, and I raised this at the start of the season when I took over as chairman.

"I asked for the management team to produce a report on what our position should be on a number of things, and gambling and alcohol were among those things.

"At the end of the season, when that paper is produced, the FA board will take a measured decision on what our position should be. Until I see that paper, I don't have a position but it is right we consider it and then make a positive decision on what we are going to do or not."

Earlier this season, Sutton United backup goalkeeper Wayne Shaw resigned after the FA and Gambling Commission launched an investigation into a potential breach of betting rules when he ate a pie during an FA Cup meeting with Arsenal this season.

Sutton, in the National League, had accepted shirt and ground sponsorship for the match from Sun Bets, which had offered odds on the goalkeeper eating a pie during the fifth-round tie.

The Championship, meanwhile, is currently sponsored by Sky Bet, while betting companies sponsor many clubs' shirts including Premier League sides Stoke, West Ham and Barton's Burnley.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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