English Premier League investigates clubs' crypto connections as potential NFT platform partnership gains traction
A report from The Times has detailed how the leadership of the English Premier League intends to look into growing links between clubs and crypto companies. While there does not seem to be any great concern at the present, with teams like Manchester City already being involved with digital token production companies, there are worries that increased integration could lead to younger association football fans becoming interested in investing in the platforms without sufficient education or funds.
The EPL is not only one of the richest sports leagues in the world, bringing in billions of pounds in TV rights each year, it is also the most-watched sports league. For example, a single match between Liverpool and Manchester United in early 2021 that ended in a 0-0 draw brought in over 4 million viewers just on a single Sky Sports channel. The EPL is nothing short of a money-making enterprise and it’s no wonder crypto and NFT platforms want to become associated with it.
This seems to be happening with something like the Ethereum-based Sorare platform, which already has a deal in place with the lucrative Spanish La Liga. Sorare has made inward moves to the Major League Soccer organization in the US, and it is very likely in discussions with the EPL. The publisher’s NFTs come in the form of digital player cards that are validated on the platform’s blockchain, thus allowing for the production of unique and therefore valuable digital assets.
Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of opposition to the idea of the EPL and individual clubs becoming closely associated with crypto companies and NFT trading platforms. There is concern that fans with limited income could end up becoming locked out of club involvement that centers on crypto or NFT trading. There is also the widespread distrust that many have when it comes to the whole cryptocurrency/NFT discussion, especially when associated with something as influential as the EPL with its millions of fans.