Top league football clubs are poised to take on the National Lottery with the launch of their own branded scratchcards produced by industry giant Littlewoods Lotteries.
But funds from the scratchcards would not go to conventional good causes or charities – they would be used to refurbish the money-spinning clubs’ football grounds.
Littlewoods is in talks with clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United to produce the cards, to be sold through company’s 35,000-strong retail network of post offices and news-agents. Littlewoods believes that the games would provide stiff competition to National Lottery Instants, run by Camelot.
The scratchcards are to be branded with the clubs’ names and logos, and are due to be launched at the beginning of the next football season in August. The clubs are keen for the scheme to go ahead. Unlike most scratchcards, proceeds from the sales would go to pay for the up-keep of the football grounds, rather than to charities. This is permitted under the 1976 Lotteries & Gaming Act.
But the plans are understood to have annoyed some of the charities which sell scratchcards through Littlewoods, as they believe the move could hit their own sales.
Littlewoods Lotteries marketing director Andrew Slamin says: “We are actively considering running games linked to football clubs. Negotiations are advanced.”
A number of premiership clubs already sell scratchcards through “Premier Instants”, which claims weekly sales worth 40,000.