8 March 2024 - 4:00 PM


IMAGO | Atletico Madrid had the crypto platform WhaleFin as their sponsor in 2023.

First came football’s crypto millions. But will criminal prosecutions be its ultimate legacy?

  • After clubs netted hundreds of millions from sponsorship deals, author of a new book on football’s crypto craze says the spotlight will likely turn on criminal investigations facing the architects of some of these schemes.
  • The football-crypto nexus, fuelled by greed and speculative frenzy, now faces intense scrutiny in the wake of allegations of fraud and misconduct, challenging the integrity of clubs’ commercial ventures and their commitment to fan welfare.
  • Why it matters: As football embraced the crypto boom, the lack of due diligence and the rush for quick profits may have set the stage for a series of financial and legal reckonings.
  • The perspective: With Bitcoin reaching historic highs, could there actually be a second wave of crypto in football’s commercial hinterland? And have any lessons been learned?

The author of a new book on football’s love affair with cryptocurrencies believes that Premier League clubs alone collectively earned at least a £200 million windfall from the craze, and warns that there are “criminal investigations in progress” against the founders of several crypto schemes that had deals with Premier League clubs.

Investigative journalist Martin Calladine’s “No Questions Asked: How Football Joined the Crypto Con” meticulously

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