The COVID-19 pandemic has affected quite a number of football clubs. According to Reuters, sales at Europe’s top 20 revenue-generating clubs dropped 12% to €8.2 billion in the 2020 fiscal year, which for most clubs was the 12 months ending in June.
Thus, a number of clubs have resorted to some rather unconventional means of making money. As reported by Telegraph, some top European clubs -including Barcelona, Manchester City, Arsenal, Juventus, and PSG- have generated a total of £150 million through the new ‘Socios cryptocurrencies’, with four of them pocketing more than £20 million each.
Alexandre Dreyfus, a French entrepreneur, says he has simply found a ‘a new way to generate revenue’ from a fanbase that is different from the traditional matchday ticket-holder.
The memberships that fans buy do not cost much money to them, around £2, and those involved believe this to be a way to benefit both fans and clubs at stake.
Fans who pay these fees will benefit from more exclusive experiences. Especially due to the pandemic, and the limited number of supporters allowed entry into stadiums, the ‘tokens’, as they are called, allow for a different experience altogether.
Naturally, there is a divide in the reception of this practice. Some fans feel more connected to their fans, whilst others see this as just another way that clubs are distancing themselves by making it more expensive to support their teams.
We will have to wait and see whether the ‘Socios tokens’ will gain more popularity among the lower-tier clubs, but surely, every club will be looking to find new means to generate revenue.