Ladbrokes’ Scores an Own Goal with Burnley FC Betting Blunder

Ladbrokes’ social media team was forced to issue a public apology to Burnley FC and its fans after scoring an own goal on Twitter.

Chris Wood Ladbrokes tweet.

Ladbrokes has apologised to Burnley fans following a crude tweet referencing former Leeds player Chris Wood. (Image: burnleyfootballclub.com)

Despite UK betting operators often having some fun with their social media accounts, Ladbrokes’ recent critique of Burnley’s loss to Leeds United came at the expense of its business partner.

A Rocky Start to a New Relationship

Burnley announced Ladbrokes as its official betting partner back in August 2017. As part of the deal, the two companies agreed to share promotional resources and create “new experiences for fans” according to the club’s Commercial Director, Anthony Fairclough.

However, one thing that wasn’t part of the deal was a tweet that had the potential to cause offence to Burnley players or fans. Following the team’s penalty shootout loss to Leeds on September 19, Ladbrokes decided to take a shot at rival fans.

Because Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor had moved from Leeds to play for Burnley, one of Ladbrokes’ social media team made reference to this in a tongue-and-cheek way.

“Dear Chris Wood & Charlie Taylor, (middle finger emoji), Yours sincerely, Leeds fans #LUGC,” read the tweet.

Although the tweet was meant in jest, fans of both teams found it in poor taste, not least because of the operator’s association with Burnley FC.

Another Blow for Ladbrokes in Football

Following the blunder, Burnley bosses contacted Ladbrokes for an explanation. As well as admitting the message was poorly conceived and failed in its mission to raise a smile, a PR statement apologised to Burnley and “any fans of the club that took offence.”

Although a misjudged tweet likely won’t affect Ladbrokes’ relationship with Burnley, it’s yet another football foul for the operator this season. Following a review of the relationship between football and betting, the Football Association (FA) decided to cut its ties with Ladbrokes.

As part of its move away from all betting operators and interests, the FA called time on the four-year contract after just 12 months. The partnership gave Ladbrokes priority branding inside FA venues such as Wembley as well as digital billboards during high profile matches.

However, with the FA deeming the relationship to be a conflict of interests with its anti-betting stance for football club members, the contract was terminated.

Despite the FA’s move, individual clubs are permitted to work with betting operators, which is why Ladbrokes may now want to move past its recent blunder and win over the fans of Burnley and Leeds.

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