Huddersfield Fined For Paddy Power Sponsor Stunt

Friday, 6 September 2019
News broke last night that Huddersfield were fined £50,000 by the FA for their kit sponsor stunt with Paddy Power earlier this summer.

Huddersfield Charged Over Paddy Power Kit Stunt

The Paddy Power logo was displayed in a sash for Huddersfield's friendly at Rochdale this summer. Doing this, the club violated the FA's kit rules which state that that the sponsor logo must not exceed 250 square centimeters in size.

Thanks to the FA's written reasons, we've also gotten a bit of background on the story. In it, referee Martin Coy states that Huddersfield chairman Phil Hodgkinson had asked him to band the shirt before the match.

"He said that my decision could then potentially be good publicity and part of the advertising campaign," Coy said in a witness statement.

"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."

The club then told Coy that they would not wear the shirt. But as stated by Hodgkinson, Paddy Power threatened to take the club to court since not wearing the shirt would violate their sponsorship deal.

"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," he said.

"In the circumstances, when faced with the threat of 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."

Although warned by the FA before the game, Huddersfield claimed to have been unaware that the sponsor rules applied to friendlies.

"The club's motives were financial, deliberately running the risk of being 'charged'," it said.

"The decision not to wear the sash shirt was one the club should have made; it should not have tried to hide behind the referee.

"Involving the referee in that way was wrong and also not an insignificant aggravating factor. The referee displayed commendable judgment in the face of such conduct."

The FA told the panel: "The decision to enlarge the advertisement in such an overt manner was irresponsible, particularly in the current climate regarding gambling."

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