Forest drop gambling logo from kids replica shirts - Friday 21st of August 2009

NOTTINGHAM Forest are taking the logo of sponsor Victor Chandler off childrens replica shirts to avoid breaching advertising guidelines.

The clubs new kit was launched last week with the name of the online gambling firm emblazoned on the front.

Adult customers wanting a replica red shirt will be able to choose whether they want the company logo on when it goes on sale on August 7.

But anyone under 18 will not be allowed to buy a shirt with Victor Chandlers name on.

Forest officials took the decision to stay within the guidelines of the Gambling Commissions industry code for socially responsible advertising.

The code – designed to stop vulnerable people being attracted to gambling – is not legally binding.

But Brandon Furse, club operations manager, said they wanted to remain in-keeping with a family ethos.

He said he had spoken in detail with the commission about their plans.

"Legally, we might be able to do it but that is not the way we operate.

"All shirts are on sale without the logo on.

"The club will apply the logo free of charge to adults who request it.

"If adults ask for their childs shirt to carry the logo, the club will decline on the basis of the gambling commissions guidelines and our moral obligation."

The FA wrote to the countrys top clubs in June reminding them of the terms of the code, introduced in 2007.

The guidelines state: "The advertising of adult-only gambling products or product suppliers should never be targeted at children.

"A clear example of this would be the use of logos on childrens sports shirts, which would not be permitted under the terms of this code."

Clubs are not obliged by law to follow the voluntary code of practice.

Wolves offer adults and children the choice of having the logo of sponsor or charity Wolves Community Trust on replica shirts.

A spokesman said it was rare for children to buy a replica shirt without a parent or guardian, but they were dealt with on a "case by case basis".

Forest agreed a one-year shirt sponsorship deal with betting giant Victor Chandler last month.

The Reds will receive a substantial six-figure sum from the deal.

Victor Chandler runs two dedicated football betting websites, online casinos and other games.

A spokesman said the firm agreed "100%" with the reasoning behind the guidelines.

He said: "We understand that some youngsters will be unhappy with not having the exact shirt that their heroes wear on the pitch, but that is out of our control.

"With regard to the adult shirts, the logo issue is due to the late timing of our sponsorship.

"Although it is not ideal from a business perspective that the shirts do not have the Victor Chandler brand on it, as football fans ourselves we understand that some supporters want a shirt without the sponsors logo on it.

"We think the circumstances have produced a situation that gives options for everyone."

Kevin Jackson, who works in the club shop, will be among those selling the new shirts from 9am on August 7. They can also be pre-ordered. Prices are adults £41.99, and childrens from £31.99.

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