It has just been confirmed that during the first week of March BetVictor served notice on the Isthmian League, the Northern Premier League and the Southern Football League that they were activating the break clause in each of their contracts, and that accordingly their sponsorship of the leagues will cease on 9th July 2020. The three leagues were required to keep this information confidential, so initially only our Boards were notified.
The decision was made prior to- and as such, not influenced by- the coronavirus crisis.
A letter being sent to each of our Isthmian clubs this afternoon explains:
BetVictor have terminated the sponsorship for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the fact that the increasing compliance restrictions and challenges faced in their first seven months outweighed the benefits they were drawing from the sponsorship. However, the escalating negativity towards betting in football did not help, nor did – most disappointingly - compliance breaches by clubs in and outside of the Isthmian League.
Although the search for a new sponsor has began, the Covid-19 crisis makes it very difficult to engage meaningfully with potential replacements. So, as of now, the Leagues operating at Step Three and Four have no main sponsor for season 2020/21.
Isthmian League Chairman Nick Robinson stated:
"We are very disappointed that this decision was made as it means that we are not able to develop the relationship with the sponsor. We are actively looking for a new sponsor, but are apprehensive at this time due to the general economic downturn due to Covid-19. We believe we have a good and marketable product which has attracted sponsors for nearly 40 years, and we hope will continue to do so once we are able to restart the League.”