‘Incomplete mandate’ sees AGCOM expand Italian sponsorship window

In a surprise move, Italy’s communications agency AGCOM has issued an official statement to Italian football clubs, detailing that betting/gambling shirt sponsorships can continue until July 2019.

AGCOM’s statement follows an appeal issued by Serie A governance, who last week demanded that Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development, clarify betting sponsorship restrictions set-out in Lega-5Star’s ‘Dignity Decree’, which football stakeholders have deemed to be ‘incomplete’.

A key directive of the Lega-5Star coalition government’s Dignity Decree on labour and social reforms, from 1 January 2019 Italian football clubs would be demanded to drop all betting-related marketing/sponsorship contracts.

In its mandate, the coalition government would allow football clubs with prior decree arrangements, to continue sponsorship until the end of the 2018/19 Italian football season.

Nevertheless, publishing an official opinion by AGCOM secretary Angelo Marcello Cardani, Italy’s communications agency agrees with Serie A leaders, stating that Dignity Decree directives remain incomplete with regards to football advertising/sponsorship.

Having delivered an incomplete mandate for football stakeholders, the Coalition should be forced to expand its ‘amnesty’ on betting sponsorships for all existing contracts.

Thereafter, following the end of the Italian 2018/19 football season, full Decree provisions will come into full effect.

Last Friday, on the publication of AGCOM’s opinion, Rome Serie A club SS Lazio confirmed to supporters that it would continue its sponsorship with European online bookmaker Marathonbet until the end of the season.

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