have refused to abandon their new shirt sponsorship deal with a controversial gambling firm despite holding a crisis meeting with their own fans.

The outfit are understood to have agreed a three-year partnership with online casino BK8, .

After the news emerged earlier click this site month, the Aston Villa Fans Consultation Group (FCG) said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ and .

Aston Villa have refused to abandon a new shirt sponsorship deal with gambling firm BK8

However, after the FCG met club bosses including chief executive Christian Purslow last Tuesday, they were told there would be no U-turn on the BK8 contract.

The supporter group said in a statement: ‘While some fans will be disappointed after Villa’s current front-of-shirt sponsor moved away from gambling companies, the commercial reality is that to teams outside the top six, such sponsors offer clubs twice as much financially as non-gambling companies.’

The decision has been met with fury by anti-gambling campaigners, who have said it is ‘farcical’ the Government have only asked clubs to voluntarily remove betting logos on shirts, rather than enforcing a ban.

The Aston Villa Fans Consultation Group met with key officials including chief executive Christian Purslow

Campaign group, The Big Step, said: ‘In the last few days, we have seen Preston put a gambling advert on their shirt for a televised match one season after ditching betting sponsorship due to ‘grave misgivings’ from fans.

‘Days later it is now all but confirmed that Aston Villa have signed a multi-year shirt sponsorship deal with an online casino despite the club telling fan groups they had taken the ‘ethical decision’ not to have such sponsors just three months ago.

‘These aren’t isolated examples.Time and again so many clubs say one thing about gambling before doing another. The commendable clubs who put people before profit are sadly in the minority.

Norwich cut ties with shirt sponsor BK8 after supporter uproar over sexual marketing 

Norwich ended the deal after the company used provocative images to promote their services

‘It is now clear that most clubs cannot be trusted on gambling – they are not listening to their own supporters who are consistently and increasingly opposed to these harmful deals.

‘We know that the Government has the desire to act so that’s exactly what it should do.A voluntary arrangement would be an acceptance of the harm caused but it would be naive to think both the football industry and gambling industry will stick to it.

‘That’s why the Government must take control of this farcical situation and kick gambling ads out of football.’

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