BUSINESS: Crypto Partnerships flourish in English Premier League, Attracting Concern from Supporters

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster AF dWeb.News


Concerns about English football clubs Supporter groups have emerged that clubs are creating economic barriers for fans and recklessly monetizing the engagement

Lobby groups have protested against the plethora of crypto-partnerships undertaken by 17 out of the 20 clubs in England’s Premier League. Many partnerships involve the sale and creation of tokens for fans in return for playing a role in trivial club matters such as the scarf that a manager wears to a match or the music played at the stadium.

Socios has partnered with Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton, Aston Villa, and Leeds to sell fan tokens that must be purchased using Chiliz (CHZ) tokens. A fan token can be purchased for a few pounds.

The main concern is that it can monetize trivial club decisions which could otherwise be made using online polls. This can lead to a decrease in genuine fan engagement on economic grounds. Also, it can make individuals invest in tokens sans a proper understanding of the economics surrounding tokens, including their volatility.

The Aston Villa Supporters Trust is against fans’ monetization and believes that this monetization is targeting new fans to generate revenue. Following their club’s announcement of partnership with Socios, the Leeds United Supporters Trust expressed concern. The West Ham United Independent Supporters expressed their approval of the termination of West Ham United’s partnership with Socios in 2020.

A recent Liverpool FC website criticized the fan token fad as a fan-bonus vehicle to onboard new cryptocurrency investors. The website stated that token volatility indicated that it was owned by non-fans, raising questions about its effectiveness in driving fan engagement or if it is simply another speculative asset.

The Athletic highlighted that the tokens do not allow fans to have a say in matters in which they have proven to have a greater interest, such as transfers and tactics.

Fan tokens trade like other tokens

BeInCrypto reported that English Club Southampton had partnered with nonprofit, a pro-crypto learning site, is partially funded by and doesn’t provide enough warnings about the risks associated with investing in crypto. Fan tokens can also be traded on major exchanges. Fan who don’t have enough knowledge about crypto markets can be affected by this. The big red flag for English fans is that the Financial Conduct Authority does not yet regulate tokens.

Fan tokens provide a much-needed revenue stream

Fan tokens have thrived during the pandemic. The income generated by fan tokens partially compensates for the revenue lost due to regional lockdowns. If the English government bans gambling ads, many fans will pay to purchase additional content. Clubs’ partnerships with crypto companies may grow in the future.

The fact that blockchain is largely community-driven seems to mesh with the feeling of belonging that football fans have in common. Barcelona recently partnered with Chiliz and Socios to launch fan tokens, which sold out for $1.3M, and collectively revenues from the sales of fan tokens have exceeded $200M in 2021.

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