Athletes push ahead with legal action over data use

Those in favour of legal sports betting would still like to see it done in the next session.
Those in favour of legal sports betting would still like to see it done in the next session.

Hundreds of footballers and other sports people are taking legal action against betting and data-processing companies.

UK.- Sportspeople are intensifying their legal challenges against the use of performance and tracking data by betting, gaming and data-processing companies. Some 1,400 present and former athletes involved in Project Red Card want £400m in damages.

According to the Athletic, letters of action have been issued, giving companies 28 days to respond or face notices ordering them to stop sharing athletes’ data. The sportspeople claim companies are selling their data without their consent and without giving them financial remunerations. They also claim that inaccurate data is sometimes sold, flagging examples of errors in stated player heights and ethnicities.

Player and referee GPS data is monitored in Premier League and Championship matches and players do not seem to be contesting the analysis of such data for performance, but they say they aren’t happy with the data being sold for gambling.

The action is said to involve footballers from the Premier League, Scottish Premiership, English Football League, Women’s Super League and the National League. Female footballers and cricketers have now joined male footballers. Rugby players are also expected to join. The project is being led by Global Sports Data and Technology Group.

Manager Russell Slade said: “This case has always been about bread and butter footballers who normally have a limited career with a long life after football. It only seems proper that companies making millions share some of this income with the people who create their wealth.”

Meanwhile, in the UK, clubs await the government’s delayed gambling white paper to see what lies in store for gambling sponsorship in the Premier League and other English football divisions. The Premier League is to vote on whether to propose to voluntarily phase out front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship.

A group of football fans in the UK has launched a petition that aims to collect more than a million signatures to call for an end to all gambling sponsorship in English football. The Footballers Supporters Against Gambling Adverts campaign is being led by recovering gambling addicts and families who have been affected by gambling-related suicide. Campaigns such as The Big Step have also made similar calls.

See alsoLincoln City’s Chris Maguire suspended for betting misconduct

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