Huddersfield Town Hit With £50K Fine Over Paddy Power Spoof Kit
Huddersfield Town has been fined £50,000 by the Football Association for wearing a Paddy Power kit that breached advertising regulations.
The football club was fined for wearing the Paddy Power kit as part of a partnership between the two firms and a spoof to promote the bookmaker’s Save Our Shirts campaign. The shirt, which was worn during a friendly game at Rochdale in July, featured a sash across the torso which displayed the Paddy Power logo.
According to reports, the slogan broke the Football Association’s regulations which states that advertisements must consist of one single area on the front of the shirt and should not exceed 250 square centimetres. Ultimately, Huddersfield was issued a warning over the shit and received a £50,000 fine.
In a statement on Instagram, Paddy Power criticised the fine and compared it to the £10,000 fine given to Millwall over fans’ racist chants during an FA Cup against Everton earlier this year. Meanwhile, Martin Coy, who referred the pre-season friendly game in Rochdale, told the Football Association that Huddersfield’s chairman Phil Hodgkinson had asked him to ban them from wearing the kit.
He explained: He said that my decision could then potentially be good publicity and part of the advertising campaign. I was uncomfortable with this and felt it was not my place to ban the kit outright, but I informed them that I would recommend they followed the rules and advice from the FA.”
Reports reveal that the FA warned Huddersfield that it would take action against the team for wearing the shirt but Hodgkinson said Paddy Power had threatened a lawsuit if they failed to wear it. He explained:
“The sponsor said that it would be deemed to be a material breach of the sponsorship agreement if the team did not wear the oversized logo. In the circumstances, when faced with the threat of a serious legal action from the club’s main sponsor, and with no time to seek external legal advice, we felt we had no alternative but to wear the oversized logo in the match.”
Paddy Power’s Shirt Campaign
The Irish bookmaker launched its Save Our Shirts campaign with by debuting the spoof football kits at the Huddersfield Town friendly match. Around the same time, Paddy Power announced details of its sponsorship of the football team and revealed the spoof kit. The announcement was met with backlash until the bookmaker revealed that it was a complete hoax set to promote its new campaign.
As part of the campaign, Paddy Power has called on betting operators to end shirt sponsorships and the Irish bookmaker itself will be relinquishing its advertising space on kits it’s sponsoring. As of September 2019, a total of five football clubs have partnered with Paddy Power including Huddersfield Town, Newport County, Motherwell, Southend United and Macclesfield Town.
All football teams will be promoting Paddy Power’s campaign by not promoting the bookmaker’s logo on their kits.