Rule Breach?! Wayne Rooney Gets No. 32 Kit Because Of Shirt Sponsor

Some days ago, English Championship club Derby County announced they signing of Wayne Rooney from MLS team DC United. The club decided to give Wayne Rooney the number 32 squad shirt as part of an apparent partnership with main sponsor and betting firm 32Red.

Now The Telegraph exclusively reports that the deal could come under scrutiny by the Football Association.

Wayne Rooney's No. 32 Kit Forbidden Because It Is A Second Sponsor Logo?

Under current regulations, clubs are allowed to designate "one single area not exceeding 100 square centimetres on the back of the shirt" to any sponsor. The decision to give Rooney the 32 shirt in association with betting firm 32Red could be interpreted by the FA as a potential breach in the rules.

Derby can only be approached by the governing body after Rooney takes the field in January, and the promotion effectively becomes live. The FA is understood to be aware and monitoring the situation.

Both Derby County and Neil Banbury, 32Red’s general manager, confirmed Rooney's surprise transfer from DC United was helped by a sponsorship tie-in. "This record-breaking sponsorship agreement is a significant step for us as we continue to reinvent the model of sponsorship to benefit both club and community," Banbury said.

A spokesman for 32Red said that its company logo "will not reside there during the season, and the only location of the 32Red logo will be on the front of the shirt".

Telegraph Sport understands the Gambling Commission has already sought clarity over the situation from 32Red.

"We expect licensees to ensure that when agreeing commercial deals with sports clubs, that all parties are aware of, and compliant with, the relevant advertising and sponsorship rules and regulations," a statement added.

Rooney will have a player-coach role under manager Phillip Cocu. Rooney takes the No 32 shirt despite 7, 12, 13, 15 and 18 - the number he wore in his first spell at Everton - being vacant. Rooney will earn around £100,000 a week.

"To be honest, the number that I wear is not a big deal," England's record goalscorer said. "I've worn many numbers. For me, the important thing was to come back and help the team."

Derby owner Mel Morris defended the deal with 32Red, saying he was keen to "leverage Wayne's involvement". He added: "Obviously, the commercial opportunities this creates are widespread and significant."

But Caborn, who brought in the 2005 Gambling Act, said the partnership was embarrassing. "It's not very clever this - it all seems a bit crass," he told Telegraph Sport. "Wayne Rooney, who has got kids himself, should perhaps know this is not the brightest."

Half of the 20 Premier League clubs will have gambling companies as their shirt sponsors this season and 14 out of 24 sides in the Sky Bet Championship.

Wayne Rooney has also come under fire from Dr Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans who said he had to put fans before his bank balance.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.