Crawley Town fans say they are both ‘excited and apprehensive’ over a cryptocurrency group buying a controlling stake in the League Two outfit.
WAGMI United became the majority shareholder in the 126-year-old West Sussex club on Thursday, leaving some fans scratching their heads over what cryptocurrency was while others embraced the investment.
Having had the weekend to digest the news, supporters’ groups around Broadfield Stadium have been airing their views on the takeover.
WAGMI’s founders – Eden Smith and Preston Johnson – were unsuccessful in an attempt to buy Crawley’s fourth-tier rivals Bradford City late last year, but have quickly laid out their ambitions for The Reds by promising promotion within two years. Failure to get to League one in the next two seasons, they say, will see them face re-election as club directors.
Sam Jordan, chairman of the Crawley Town Supporters Alliance, said he was hopeful of ‘a wonderful journey’ filled with promotions and cup runs, but cautiously branded the move as ‘an experiment’.
“I’ve been through ownerships which have been fantastic and I’ve been through ownerships which have taken us to the brink of existence. So there’s definitely apprehension,” he told the Press Association.
“What I would say initially they’ve been quite open and transparent. We know who they are, we’ve seen their faces, they’re active on social media, they want to talk to fans, all those things are positive.
“The biggest fear for me, and I’m not massively into cryptocurrency or NFTs, is where is the money going to come from if we don’t succeed with the budgets they’re looking to spend and their experiment doesn’t come off?
“What does that look like for making sure everyone gets paid and we can retain our Football League status?
“It’s fantastic that they want to come in and get promoted in two years. I think when you buy a club everyone says that though. So is that going to happen?
“They’re buying a small club compared to Bradford, they’re two totally different clubs in terms of potential.
“I’m excited at the potential, but there’s apprehension there too that, if it doesn’t go well, what that could mean for the future of the club.”
As part of the takeover, it is understood WGMI have disclosed detailed financial information to the English Football League which sets out a funding plan into the 2022/23 season.
The group has also pledged an era of “unprecedented transparency and accountability”, with the founders set to host an online questions and answers session with fans this week.