Manchester City, PSG, Barcelona, AC Milan and other football clubs are launching crypto tokens to rein in more revenue

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Manchester City, PSG, Barcelona, AC Milan and other football clubs are launching crypto tokens to rein in more revenue
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  • Crypto tokens from football clubs allow fans to have a say in various day-to-day affairs of the club.
  • But fan tokens from football clubs are also trading on some exchanges.
  • Clubs like Barcelona, AC Mila, Manchester City and more have launched such tokens.
The cryptocurrency industry is getting support from an unlikely arena. A number of football clubs worldwide have started launching their own fan tokens in recent months, making efforts to augment their incomes amid pandemic-driven lockdowns.

Amongst the biggest names to have launched their own tokens are England’s Manchester City, French Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Spanish Barcelona, and Italy’s AC Milan, which are some of the richest football clubs in the world.

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Further, the Spanish national team has also said that it plans to launch a similar crypto scheme. South American Argentina too has jumped on the bandwagon. Both Spain and Argentina are currently competing in the Euro 2020 and Copa America championships. The two continent-level championships had been cancelled last year, following pandemic-driven lockdowns worldwide.

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What are fan tokens?

Fan tokens are slightly different from traditional cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum. While fan tokens do trade on various exchanges, they also allow fans to take part in a club’s decision making process, take part in various promotional campaigns, games, votes and more. Simply put, it makes fans a stakeholder in the club’s big decisions.

One of the top promoters of such coins is tokenized sports and entertainment exchange Chiliz, which has struck no less than 24 deals with sports teams. “Fan Token owners can access benefits including voting rights in club polls, VIP rewards, ‘super-fan’ recognition, club & sponsor promotions, games and chat forums,” Chiliz wrote in a post on Medium.

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The company uses its rewards platform, Socios.com, to provide access to these special rewards programmes and other promotional campaigns. AC Milan, Manchester City, Barcelona, PSG and Juventus have all signed with the club. City is also partnering with a digital entertainment company called Animoca, to create blockchain-based games.

According to a report by Reuters, the total market value of 21 publicly-traded tokens issued by Chiliz was around $260 million as of June 13. The exchange showed the Barcelona token trading at around $50 right now, while Manchester City and PSG’s tokens were trading at $38 and $48, respectively, at 6pm Indian Standard Time (IST) on June 16.

Football clubs are trying to made up for lost revenue during the pandemic

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Football clubs have been forced to take such steps as revenues from regular means fell due to the pandemic. The opening match of the Euro 2020 title between England and Croatia saw only 22,500 fans in the country’s Wembley stadium, which has a total capacity of 90,000. Football clubs also had to keep their doors shut for most of the year, and have seen low occupancy of seats even after live games returned.

It’s unclear whether the trend will hold as well. Not all fans are happy with the idea, as noted by various reports. “Why should you have to pay to have any sort of say in the club?” Sue Watson, chair of the West Ham United Independent Supporters’ Association told Reuters.

Malcolm Clarke, who chairs the Football Supporters’ Association for England and Wales, told Cointelegraph that the clubs are “trying to squeeze extra money” from the fans.

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