SportyCo Crypto Platform Bids £45 Million On Hull City Football Team To Give Fans Ownership Opportunity
Crypto Firm Bids to Give Hull City Football Club’s Fans a Seat on The Board
In what may be a trendsetting move, the Hull City Supporters Trust (HCST) and SportyCo, a cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform operating on blockchain technology, are in partnership to ‘takeover’ the reigns at Yorkshire-based championship football team, Hull City.
If their £45 million ($58.9 million USD) bid to purchase the club is accepted, the club’s fans would have a presence on the football board, said Hull City Daily Mail Sports Editor James Smailey.
Hull Daily Mail reports that if SportyCo wins the bid, fans will be included into the ownership structure of the club and as such will be able to work with the consortium on team matter, thanks to SportyCo.
SportyCo allows investors to crowdfund for and invest in athletes, paying for training and maintenance in exchange for dividends based on athlete success. SportyCo is backed by the local HCST as well as a consortium of US and UK investors.
However, their bid will receive stiff competition from Paul Duffen, former chairman of the club who has announced his intention to buy the club with the backing of Saudi Arabian private investors. Duffen led Hull City to its first Premier League during his time as chairman but resigned in 2009 with the club in dire financial straits.
Hull City is currently in the English Football League Championship, the highest division of the English football league and the second highest overall in English football after the Premier League.
SportyCo’s CEO Marko Filej has reportedly met with the owners of the club, Assem and Ehab Allam, and sent an official letter to formally begin negotiations.
HCST chairman Geoff Bielby stated they are
“100% sure that this new and unique approach of combining institutional investors and the fan base will enable us both to achieve our goals, a successful and stable Hull City AFC that will be a joy to watch play. This model will surely be emulated by other clubs in the future and Hull City AFC fans are thrilled to be the trendsetters of how fans take a more active role in clubs they support.”
This isn’t the city of Hull’s first brush with blockchain – in 2014 the Hull City Council launched what may have been the first ever local government cryptocurrency, HullCoin.
HullCoin was then adopted as a means of rewarding local volunteer work carried out in Hull, the idea being that residents could volunteer and be rewarded in a cryptocurrency that could only be spent within the community among local retailers.
The tech-savvy city is also known for being the only UK city with its own independent telephone network and broadband provider.
Hull City Daily Mail Sports Editor James Smailey commented on the positive response from fans upon hearing that they would have a presence on the football board were SportyCo’s bid to go through. He pointed out that the negotiations with Paul Duffen’s investor group were at a more advanced stage, and that fans would have to wait until later this week for more information on the Allams’ decision.