THE Southern League are on the hunt for a new headline sponsor, as BetVictor has withdrawn its sponsorship less than half way through their two-year deal.

It comes as the FA Council ratified the decision on Friday to conclude the 2019-20 seasonacross steps three to seven of the National League System, aswell as tiers three to seven of the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game.

The Non-League Paper reported on Sunday that the gambling giants exercised a break clause midway through the sponsorship agreement, a sponsorship deal worth well in excess of £100,000 a year.

BetVictor made its move within 72 hours of the Football Association ratifying the decision to terminate the season at Steps 3 and below, declaring it null and void.

Kevin White, vice chairman of Basingstoke Town, said: “Personally, I feel that it was wrong in the first place to engage with a betting company.

“I know it is big business, but as a vice chairman of a community club, and knowing how gambling addictions can ruin peoples lives, it is a decision I welcome and I am pleased that it didn’t get to the stage where we had to put the BetVictor logo on our shirts. I sincerely hope the league gets a new sponsor as it is shaping up to be a cracking season next season, I just hope it isn’t another betting company.”

Manager, Dan Brownlie, added: "It never sat comfortably with me that hardworking community clubs were being asked to promote something that many supporters are fighting demons of.

"It was a strange partnership in the first place, the negative criticism must have been expected.

"There is further disappointment that they then chose to blame at volunteers for not executing the complicated promotions including coding of websites for age restrictions."