05 April 2023

By Laura Montgomery, Chief Executive of Glasgow FC

In this blog, Laura Montgomery discusses the reasons why Glasgow City FC are calling for an end to alcohol sports sponsorship. 

At Glasgow City FC, we are delighted to be partnering with SHAAP on their Calling Time campaign. We are pleased to show our full support for a call to ban alcohol sponsorship in sport.

As one of Scotland’s leading female football clubs, we are conscious of the influence we can have on our players and supporters and we want this influence to be as positive as possible. Dangerous messaging, including the promotion of health-harming products like alcohol hugely undermines this responsibility and is something we oppose at Glasgow City.

The health and wellbeing of our players and fans is extremely important to us and as a result we do not support exposing people to alcohol marketing through sport.

As a club, our entire ethos is built around championing women and girl and we see no place for alcohol sponsorship at our matches, or indeed at any football matches. This is not an example we believe we should be setting, especially for young players and fans.

SHAAP’s Calling Time campaign makes clear the devastating alcohol crisis which Scotland is facing and how sports sponsorship plays a role in this. Every day, almost 100 people are being hospitalised and 3 people lose their lives because of alcohol. Alcohol marketing and sponsorship directly influences how much and how often people consume alcohol. This is especially worrying in its influence upon children and young people, who we know idolise their sports teams and players. In our opinion, their role models should not be seen to be promoting products associated with such harm.

As sports clubs, we need to be setting a positive example. We should take some learnings from the tobacco advertisement ban, which was similarly prevalent in sport sponsorship in decades gone by – yet nobody would call for this to return, recognising that we shouldn’t promote a harmful product.

We want to get more people active, fit and healthy. We know our game attracts families and young people and our role as a club is to be a positive influence on our followers in the best that we can. At Glasgow City, for us, alcohol promotion simply does not align with this.

We understand that financial arguments may be made by other clubs, but we have managed to attract a range of sponsors which we are proud to be working with despite rejecting alcohol and gambling sponsorship and we strongly believe that others can follow our example.

We are proud to be Calling Time on alcohol sponsorship, protecting our players and fans, and we hope as many other clubs as possible sign up to back the campaign.

SHAAP Blogposts are published with the permission of the authors. The views expressed are solely the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent the views of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP).

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