Derby County must be ‘mindful’ of gambling link, says sports minister

Derby County must be ‘mindful’ of link to gambling after signing Wayne Rooney to play in the 32 shirt while being sponsored by 32Red casino, says sports minister

  • Nigel Adams, 52, said ‘it did raise an eyebrow’ when he saw Rooney’s new shirt 
  • The 33-year-old footballer has signed an 18-month contract with Derby County
  • Half of Premier League clubs have shirt sponsors that are gambling companies

The sports minister has warned Derby County to be ‘mindful’ of the impact Wayne Rooney playing in a number 32 shirt will have on those vulnerable to gambling. 

Rooney, 33, will wear the number 32 shirt after joining the Championship side, which signed a ‘record breaking’ sponsorship deal with 32Red on the back of his transfer. 

Nigel Adams, 52, also the MP for Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire, said clubs ‘need to be very conscious of that link with gambling’. 

Speaking at a Commonwealth Games event at Edgbaston today, he added: ‘It did raise an eyebrow when I saw the 32 number on Wayne Rooney’s shirt.’


Rooney (right, at the announcement of his signing), 33, will wear the number 32 shirt after joining the Championship side, which signed a ‘record breaking’ sponsorship deal with 32Red on the back of his transfer. But Nigel Adams (left), 52, also the MP for Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire, said clubs ‘need to be very conscious of that link with gambling’

The Derby County signing (pictured with his new shirts) will have some of his reported £90,000 weekly wage paid by online casino 32Red and will also wear the number 32 jersey for the Championship side

And, as reported by the BBC, he said: ‘Hopefully Derby County will be mindful and will be talking to the FA because we have to make sure we look after those who are vulnerable.

‘There is problem gambling in our country so we have to be very careful about the message that football is sending.’

The Derby County signing will have some of his reported £90,000 weekly wage paid by online casino 32Red and will also wear the number 32 jersey when he starts in January.

Mr Adams’ comments came as he welcomed three new events to the next edition of the Commonwealth Games, T20 cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis. 

It is not the first time Rooney has come under fire for his multi-million pound football tie-in with the gambling firm 32Red.

Earlier this month Dr Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans, said he was furious the ex-England captain will wear a shirt with the number 32 on it.

In stinging comments, the Church’s gambling spokesman said Rooney should make decisions in the interests of his young fans ‘and not his bank balance’. 

It is not the first time Rooney has come under fire for his multi-million pound football tie-in with the gambling firm 32Red. Earlier this month Dr Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans, said he was furious the ex-England captain (pictured during the Derby Country announcement) will wear a shirt with the number 32 on it 

And also this month, Charles and Liz Ritchie, who set up campaign group Gambling With Lives after the death of their son Jack in 2017, said they were shocked by the footballer’s 32Red deal ‘given Rooney’s acknowledged serious problems with gambling’. 

The couple say gambling addicts are 15 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population – and young football fans are amongst those at most risk. 

Mr Richie told MailOnline: ‘We were very disappointed to read about Wayne Rooney’s deal with Derby County and 32Red. It does seem particularly crass and unthinking by all parties involved given Rooney’s acknowledged serious problems with gambling’.

He added: ‘Wayne Rooney should think whether he wants to contribute to this unfolding disaster’. 

Matt Gaskell, clinical lead for the Northern Gambling Service, has said the former England footballer Wayne Rooney was causing immense harm by promoting 32Red, and urged him to visit clinic for young addicts he runs ‘to learn why wearing that shirt number is harmful.’ 

A total of 10 of the 20 Premier League clubs are sponsored by gambling companies as are 15 out of 24 Championship sides. 

Rooney has been accused of ‘selling his soul’ after agreeing the 18-month contract which will earn him £7.8million in wages.   

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