FA bans Hooters from sponsoring under-10s football team after backlash
The Football Association (FA) has ruled that the Nottingham branch of Hooters – the restaurant chain best known for requiring its waitresses to wear revealing uniforms – will not be allowed to sponsor a local under-10s football team. The move sparked an angry backlash after it was announced last week.
After Hooters of Nottingham announced that it was to become the “proud” sponsor of local under-10s football team Burton Joyce Football Club, the response from some was nothing short of dismay.
In a since-deleted Facebook post, the restaurant chain’s Nottingham outpost wrote, “Hooters Nottingham are proud to be the new sponsors of Burton Joyce U10s.
“We wish you all the luck this season boys. Go smash it.”
But many commenters were left aghast at the news.
“No! Who could think that’s appropriate?? What next? Ann Summers sponsoring the Scouts or a lap dancing club advertising at school events?” One Twitter user responded, while a second added, “So a raunchy bar wants to sponsor an under 10s team. Surely the fact it’s a bar in the first place should be enough red flags for an under 10 team.”
However, not everyone was so concerned by the announcement. “What’s wrong with them sponsoring the team? On the grand scheme of things Hooters is no big deal.” One commenter said.
In any case, the Nottinghamshire FA has seen fit to call an end to the short-lived sponsorship deal, with a senior safeguarding lead for the organisation telling the BBC that the football team had been sent a letter advising them that “they need to cease the sponsorship deal”.
In a statement, Nottinghamshire FA added:
“The County FA had not been approached by the club seeking sanction for the sponsorship and had we have been, the request would have been declined in accordance with FA rules appertaining to the Kit and Advertising Regulations.
“From being made aware of the sponsorship we have been working with the club to reinforce their understanding of the regulations surrounding such sponsorship.
“We understand the difficult climate that grassroots football operates within and urge any club seeking investment from sponsorship that they are fully aware of the regulations or contact us for clarification.”
The Facebook post announcing the sponsorship deal featured members of the Burton Joyce U10s football team posing for pictures with women from Hooters, wearing a kit featuring the restaurant chain’s logo.
FA kit regulations state that clothing for under-18 players must not display any “product, service or other activity which is considered by The Association as detrimental to the welfare, health or general interest of young persons, or is otherwise considered inappropriate, having regard to the age of the players or Match Officials”.