US crypto group buys English Ligue 2 club

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A group of American cryptocurrency investors, including Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, have completed the takeover of English fourth-tier club Crawley Town, currently 13th in League Two.

WAGMI United, led by co-founders Preston Johnson – a former ESPN gaming analyst – and Eben Smith – a former derivatives trader – failed last year in a bid to buy another League club Bradford City football club, as they planned to rely on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a significant source of funding.

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Besides Morey, the group also includes businessman Gary Vaynerchuk and TikTok personality Bryce Hall.

They promised to bring a “new era of unprecedented transparency and accountability” to Crawley.

“Crawley Town Football Club is a club with over 125 years of rich history which we revere and respect,” Johnson said in a club statement announcing the takeover. “However, a conventional approach to ownership has not worked, and the club are losing hundreds of thousands of pounds as their fans suffer year after year of lackluster results on the pitch.”

“We believe the club can do better and our fans deserve better. Sport is meant to be fun and bring communities together. At Crawley Town we will challenge the status quo, try new ideas and build a world community of new fans. and alumni who can be delighted to cheer on the Red Devils together – stretching from West Sussex to anywhere in the world with an internet connection.”

A view of the People’s Pension Stadium, home of Crawley Town FC. Getty Images

According to a Washington Post report last year, the group plan to use NFT revenue “to invest in analytics and outspend their opponents to quickly climb the EFL ranks” and eventually reach the Premier League. .

Johnson and Smith will both take on the roles of club managers, but have pledged to empower Crawley supporters to decide whether they should continue in those positions long-term.

If the team fail to secure promotion to Ligue 1 at the end of next season, a prospect the group describes as “50-50”, they say they will allow fans to vote on whether they keep their jobs.

“If we underperform, Crawley Town fans should be able to vote on who the club’s next managers will be,” Smith said.

Crawley first-team manager John Yems welcomed the move, while paying tribute to former board members Ziya Eren, Erdem Konyar, Emre Eren and Nuhkan Ruzgar, who have all left the club.

“It’s an exciting time for the club,” said Yems. “Hopefully we can continue the good progress we have made and take the club forward. I would also like to formally thank the former owners. They gave me the opportunity to lead the football club, and I wish them all the best. for the future.”

Source: espn.co.uk

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