By Doug Ward

5th May, 2021 | 5:30pm

Rangers announce new 32Red deal despite potential ban later this year

Rangers have extended their sponsorship deal with gambling firm 32Red but the Scottish champions could be left red-faced over it later this year.

On Wednesday, the Gers announced their extended relationship with 32Red on their official website, saying the new deal is the “largest sponsor agreement” in Ibrox history. It is also one of the longest-running in the UK having started in 2014.

However, as much as we’re proud to support Rangers, the continual reliance upon betting firms to provide sponsorship income is a blemish on the game we love.

Gambling is a massive problem for some people. There will no doubt be Rangers fans who have gambling issues and cannot watch their team play without the temptation to stick some money on their team.

Not only are players running around with a huge 32Red logo on their chest but advertising hoardings and television adverts also add to the temptation for those who struggle with addiction.

We’re fully against the disgusting in-your-face approach from betting firms in football – and the UK Government could soon be too.

Rangers have agreed this new multi-year deal with 32Red. However, by the end of the year, it could be something that the government bans.

According to a report by The Times in February, there could be a “ban on betting sponsorship that could become law by the end of the year”.

The report adds: “A UK government review of gambling, which could be enacted as early as the autumn, looks set to have huge implications for sport, with a complete ban on shirt advertising by betting firms reported to be ‘likely’.”

Ronnie Cowan, MP for Inverclyde, hit out at Scottish football for failing to prepare itself for this potential outcome.

He said: “We have been saying this for some time. Before lockdown I spoke with the SFA, the Scottish league and a lot of teams and said ‘look, this is coming’. It had to happen. But they buried their heads. I think they were in denial. They were pretty much saying ‘we need this money, where else can we get it from?’ Well, I’m sorry, that’s your job. You’ve had plenty warning.”

It seems as though the SFA and SPFL aren’t the only ones guilty of burying their heads in the sand too and not realising the potential ramifications of a ban on betting sponsorships in football.

Rangers are guilty of it too.

While we appreciate that a new deal had to be agreed with the previous 32Red deal due to expire at the end of the season, could the Gers not have found alternative sponsorship?

You would hope there’s some kind of break clause in the deal if the government does ban betting sponsorships but it wouldn’t be a massive shock if the Gers end up running around with sponsorless shirts by the time we get to Christmas.

Not only is it shameful that the club has sought income through betting companies, but it is also potential bad planning on the part of the top-brass.

In other Rangers news, this broadcaster has made a ridiculous claim about a Gers youngster despite trying not to be controversial.