City's female supporters urge action over BK8 saga

Behind the scenes from the BK8 main sponsorship announcement at Norwich City, Carrow Road.

Norwich City's partnership with BK8 has been criticised by supporters. - Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher

Norwich City's female supporters have been left upset and disappointed by the club they love and are urging for the club to review their sponsorship deal with Asian betting company BK8.

Their social media account contained images and videos of scantily-clad women as early as Tuesday morning despite the betting firm describing the content as 'historical' in a statement released on Monday. 

Whilst other clubs do have betting sponsorships for their shirts, including companies who adopt similar methods of marketing, Norwich fans have been left disappointed after the values the club has committed to in order to achieve equality. 

Zoe Morgan was one of several City fans who wrote to the club to express their disappointment.

"While we have to concede that football is as much a commercial world as a sporting one, there are still lines to be drawn, and this is one of them," she said.

"Norwich City have always claimed to be a community club, a club for everyone. Saying it isn't enough to make it real; they have to be it. I look forward to the club's response and their efforts in rectifying this unsettling situation."

Work is ongoing at Carrow Road to find a suitable conclusion to this saga, with the club expected to make a statement. They are aware of the mistake they have made and are keen to put it right.

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Di Cunningham has been influential in promoting equality via the Proud Canaries group, which is designed to help LGBTQ+ supporters feel welcomed at Carrow Road. 

Inclusivity is something Norwich City, as a club, have done a lot of work to progress in recent years and is something that BK8 have affected. 

As a community, supporters are disappointed because of the club they felt City are. The one who phone people during a pandemic to ensure they are coping okay, the one that has a flag saying 'Welcome to Norwich' in the Barclay prior to kick-off; not one that associates itself with a sponsor that sexualises women.

Speaking about the sponsorship controversy, Di said: "I was disappointed to see that our club had established a partnership with an organisation that exploited women to advance its social media profile - I feel increasingly let down now that over 24 hours later there’s been nothing said to fans: I’d hoped as a fan to hear at the earliest opportunity at least a statement of regret that something went wrong and perhaps a commitment to make some sort of amends."

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