'No cost' to Norwich City for severing BK8 ties

Norwich City will receive an advanced payment from the Premier League, according to reports. Picture

Norwich City will face no financial penalty for ending its contract with gambling firm BK8. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images

Norwich City will face no financial penalty for tearing up its contract with controversial betting firm BK8.

The club announced on Thursday morning that the two parties had "mutually agreed" to terminate their shirt sponsorship deal – three days after it was signed.

That came after intense backlash from fans and supporters groups over sexual imagery used in the Asian gambling firm's marketing.

A spokesperson from the club told this newspaper City will face no financial penalty for ending its affiliation with BK8.

They added the only way the club would lose money for axing the deal would be if it failed to find another shirt sponsor which would pay as much.

This newspaper understands the deal with BK8 was worth in the region of £5m for a one-year shirt sponsorship.

A spokesperson for the club confirmed no shirts had yet been printed with the BK8 logo, meaning no new kits had to go to waste.

In the statement announcing the end of the deal, Norwich City said: "The club and BK8 have taken on board feedback from its supporters and partners, and after continued discussions we have agreed to immediately end the partnership.

"As a club, we’re proud of our place within the local community and our relationship with supporters around the world. We have worked tirelessly for a considerable time building relationships across a wide range of mediums and community projects.

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"Whilst we anticipated some negative responses to the announcement of the partnership with a betting company, the club understands the reaction to BK8, their affiliates and other similar brands’ ways of marketing, the values of which do not align with those of the football club.

"On this occasion, we got it wrong. For that, and any offence caused, the club apologises."

Chief operating officer Ben Kensell added: “We have worked hard to build trust and engagement through our countless initiatives with our supporters and partners. We place huge value on our open and honest relationships with our community and supporters.

"As a self-financed club there is always a fine balance between generating the revenue levels required to help maintain that model, whilst working within our visions and values.

"On this occasion, we made an error of judgement. Our standards were not at the levels we demand of our football club.

"We can now only apologise to our supporters and former players, Grant Holt and Darren Eadie, who were across the BK8 promotional launch campaign, for any offence caused.

"We remain highly committed to diversity and equality across our football club and its community. We want to continue to embed a highly inclusive culture across the club, together with an accessible and welcoming environment free of demeaning and discriminatory behaviours."

An update on a new shirt sponsor will come "in due course".