Church of England slams Wayne Rooney over deal with gambling firm

The Church of England has attacked Wayne Rooney over his multi-million pound deal with a gambling firm.

The Derby County signing will have some of his reported £90,000 weekly wage paid by online casino 32Red and will also wear the number 32 jersey for the Championship side.

Dr Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans, said Rooney should make decisions in the interests of his fans, not his bank balance.

"Players need to start using their considerable power to reject gambling's influence on football," the Church's gambling spokesman told the Daily Mail.

The former England captain and his new club have faced a barrage of criticism since the £7.8 million deal was announced on Tuesday, with condemnation coming from former international players and MPs.

Dr Smith, who is a peer and member of the parliamentary select committee inquiry into gambling-related harm, added: "Coleen Rooney is reportedly angry with Wayne's decision to wear a football shirt adorned front and back with gambling ads, and so am I.

"Football needs to wake-up to the fact their shirt sponsorship deals will have a negative impact on the welfare of many of their fans, particularly children."

In February, the Church of England's governing body called for tighter regulation around gambling advertising.

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Everton's Wayne Rooney has a drink as his manager David Moyes (l) gives him instructions
Everton's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the equalising goal.
Arsenal's Thierry Henry congratulates Everton's Wayne Rooney at the end of the game after Rooney scored the winning goal
Everton's Wayne Rooney gets into a pushing match with Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.
England's Francis Jeffers (centre right) is congratulated by team-mates after scoring against Australia during the friendly International match against Australia at Upton Park, east London. Australia defeated England 3-1. THIS PICTURE CAN ONLY BE USED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF AN EDITORIAL FEATURE. NO WEBSITE/INTERNET USE UNLESS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE.
England's Wayne Rooney and Turkey's Buruk Okan battle for the ball
l-r; England's Michael Owen celebrates scoring the opening goal with Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney
England's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Switzerland, with David Beckham (right) during the Euro 2004, first round, Group B match at the Cidade de Coimbra, Portugal. EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO MOBILE PHONE OR PDA USE. INTERNET USE ONLY ON UEFA AUTHORISED SITES AND THEN, NO MORE THAN 10 PHOTOGRAPHS PER HALF OF NORMAL PLAYING TIME AND FIVE PHOTOGRAPHS PER HALF OF EXTRA TIME CAN BE PUBLISHED VIA THE INTERNET WITH AN INTERVAL OF AT LEAST ONE MINUTE BETWEEN THE POSTING OF EACH SUCH PHOTOGRAPH.
England's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the 2nd goal
Manchester United's new signing Wayne Rooney (r) and manager Sir Alex Ferguson pose with his shirt
Manchester United's new signing Wayne Rooney (l) with his girlfriend Coleen McCloughlin
l-r; Manchester United's captain Roy Keane congratulates opening goal scorer Wayne Rooney.
England captain David Beckham (R) attempts to console Wayne Rooney after he is shown the yellow card.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney with the PFA Young Player of the Year Award he received at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Britain's Prince William speaks to injured England striker Wayne Rooney (right) during a visit to the England World Cup squad training camp at the Carrington Training Ground, Manchester.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney as Celtic fans hold aloft scalfs
Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin during their visit to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, where they opened a new unit for children with brain illnesses.
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the third goal with teammate Wayne Rooney (l)
manchester United's Wayne Rooney and goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate a late winner ar Craven Cottage
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney lifts the English Premier League trophy
Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin at the Gary Neville and Emma Hadfield wedding, Manchester Cathedral, Manchester.
Manchester United players (l-r) Michael Carrick, John O'Shea, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney during a training at the Stade Gerland in Lyon, France.
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney with the Premier League trophy
England's Wayne Rooney scores his sides second goal
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown (centre) joins David Beckham (left) and Wayne Rooney to launch England's 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids at Wembley Stadium, London.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after his cross is turned in by Hull City's Andy Dawson, to give his side their second goal of the game
Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney arrives at Manchester Civil Court, where he will give evidence in court later today as he fights a 4.3 million lawsuit.
Wayne Rooney leaves the Westin Grand Hotel, Munich, Germany.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (left) with his trophy for PFA Players Player of the Year, and Aston Villa's James Milner with his trophy for PFA Young Player of the Year, at the PFA Player of the Year Awards 2010 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
England's Wayne Rooney (left) walks past manager Fabio Capello (right) dejected as he is substituted
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the winning goal during the UEFA Champions League, Group C match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.
England's Wayne Rooney with his wife Coleen and son Kai, leave the team hotel in Krakow, Poland.
England's Wayne Rooney and Ukraine's Denys Garmash battle for the ball
A heavily pregnant Coleen Rooney (centre) with husband Wayne Rooney and their son Kai, on the pitch to celebrate Manchester United winning the Barclays Premier League, after the game
England's Harry Kane (left) celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game with team-mate Wayne Rooney during the UEFA European Qualifying match at Wembley Stadium, London.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney holding the Emirates FA Cup trophy
(From left to right) Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, massuer Rod Thornley and manager Jose Mourinho pose for a picture during the training session at the Aon Training Complex, Carrington.
Everton's Wayne Rooney celebrates his second goal of the game
England's Wayne Rooney during a guard of honour
Nov 1, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney (9) stands on the field before the game against the Columbus Crew at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
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At the time, Dr Smith said: "More children gamble each week than drink, smoke or take drugs. This generational scandal sees young people immersed in social media and tech platforms where the gambling industry relentlessly promote their products as part of a £1.5bn annual spend.

"Football shirts are dominated by betting logos. Clubs must remove these logos and dismantle the wrap-around pitch-side adverts.

"Contrary to what some claim, advertising is influential. The evidence is available and shocking. Gambling advertising is pervasive and is remembered and understood by young people."

Half of the Premier League's shirts will feature a gambling company's logo during the 2019-20 season.

In the Championship, 17 out of 24 club shirts will show a betting logo.

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