The Chaplain for Sport has warned that a three-year partnership between the Premier League and Cadbury may confuse some fans into viewing the confectionery company products as “healthy”.
The Premier League and Cadbury announced that the partnership would include initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles to schoolchildren.
However, Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, who is also CEO for the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, warned that the partnership might have the opposite effect.
“The Premier League teaming up with Cadbury to back a healthy for life programme sounds great – if the health of young people will indeed improve,” he told The Universe.
“The danger is that Cadbury will look healthy and become one of the ‘good guys’ by a close-association with sport,” he continued. “Were I a cynic I could say the initiative is a cynical ploy to fool the young into taking on board more obesity enhancing sugars.”
However, Mgr Felzmann added that if the partnership does indeed promote healthy lifestyles he would be full of praise for both the Premier League and Cadbury.
“If as a result Cadbury products reduce their sugar levels dramatically – perhaps the FA will make sure this happens – a gold medal to both Premier League and Cadbury! The proof of the health benefits will be in the eating.”
The partnership will launch at the beginning of the 2017/18 season and follows Cadbury’s sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics.
Cadbury will work with the Premier League to create new sessions for the existing community programme Health For Life, which encourages healthy lifestyles among 60,000 schoolchildren.
“This is an incredibly exciting chance to bring together the Cadbury brand with the unmistakable Premier League brand,” said Cadbury brand director Francesco Vitrano.
“We can’t wait to start this journey with the Premier League.”
Premier League managing director Richard Masters said that the league was very pleased to be entering into the new partnership with Cadbury, who he described as “one of the country’s most iconic and well-known brands”.
“Cadbury’s popularity across the world, and our shared focus on delivering moments of joy, make this a great fit for the Premier League and we are thrilled they have chosen to work with us in what is their first ever partnership in football,” he said.
“We are really looking forward to working with Cadbury to celebrate the excitement of the competition, and on the plans we have to jointly grow and enhance their Health For Life project as part of the Premier League’s wide-ranging community work.”
Cadbury will join a growing number of Premier League partners and will benefit from a range of rights relating to player milestones including the Premier League’s Golden Boot and Golden Glove awards.
This weekend’s Premier League fixtures:
Saturday 4th February
Chelsea v Arsenal – 12:30pm
Crystal Palace v Sunderland – 3:00pm
Everton v Bournemouth – 3:00pm
Hull City v Liverpool – 3:00pm
Southampton v West Ham United – 3:00pm
Watford v Burnley – 3:00pm
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City – 3:00pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough – 5:30pm
Sunday 15th February
Manchester City v Swansea City – 1:30pm
Leicester City v Manchester United – 4:00pm
Picture: A 19th January 2010 file photo of Cadbury’s headquarters in Birmingham, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File).