Premier League football clubs have come under fire for partnering with Socios, a firm which issues crypto fan tokens for sports clubs.
Chiliz the parent company of Socios, which is partnered with six Premier League clubs including Arsenal, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United and Manchester City, is facing allegations around the behaviour of its chief executive Alexandre Dreyfus and failures to pay advisors.
The Football Supporters Association told the Mail on Sunday that football clubs have been too quick to jump into partnerships with crypto companies.
“Ever since their emergence in English football, supporters have raised concerns about crypto-backed tradeable fan tokens,” a spokesperson told the Mail on Sunday. “Clubs have been all too quick to enter into partnerships which seek to monetise fan engagement – promoting products that are misleading and often trivialise the nature of crypto-investments.”
Off the Pitch published the findings of an investigation into Socios on Friday which alleges chief executive Alex Dreyfus recommended against paying Korean advisers using the crypto currency Chiliz in order to keep its value high.
Dreyfus has responded to the investigation which he claims contains a number of “factual inaccuracies.” The company claims that given the “scale of circulating supply,” awarding Chiliz token to Korean advisors would have little effect on price movements.
The firm added that it is looking into allegations made in the piece “as a matter of priority.”
Arsenal, which previously faced criticism from the UK’s advertising watchdog for promoting its crypto fan tokens, revealed to the Mail on Sunday that it has approached Socios about the investigation.
“We are speaking with Socios to understand more about the allegations,” an Arsenal spokesperson told the Mail on Sunday. “We always carry out due diligence through independent specialists before we enter any partnership,” the spokesperson added.
Fan tokens are crypto assets which give owners benefits such as access to exclusive promotions or games and the ability to vote on minor decisions taken by clubs.