Portuguese Football Team Considering ICO to Repay Debts

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 4 min read
Portuguese Football Team Considering ICO to Repay Debts
Photo: Sporting Clube de Portugal / Twitter

Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP), a popular Portuguese football club, said that they are considering launching an initial coin offering (ICO) as an alternative way to raise funds, at a time in which it’s struggling to raise them through a bond issue.

According to local news outlet Dinheiro Vivo, the Sporting vice-president Francisco Salgado Zenha said that the association currently is considering the option but still nothing is decided on the particular subject.

He said:

“We are looking closely at an ICO. We’re having meetings about it. There is a great value potential in the Sporting brand.”

The manager then emphasized that the club’s goal would be to “take advantage of this new world,” referring to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

He also confirmed that the club’s main aim is to take benefit of the digital currency ecosystem. The move comes as the club is completing a bond issue in which it’s offering investors a 5.25% gross annual interest rate to raise €30 million ($34.2 million).

Sporting currently needs the funds because he needs to repay investors for another bond issue that’s maturing on November 26. While the club managed to see subscription orders soar after it got staff to promote the issue, it ended up raising €26 million ($29.6 million), falling short of its target.

Often, cryptocurrencies issued by organizations like Sporting can then be used to buy products or services at a discount, although the club hasn’t yet revealed what it may be planning. The nation’s Securities Market Commission (CMVM) had issued a notice and requested the organizations that are looking forward to issuing Initial Coin Offerings to clarify before to any release, the judicial nature of the tokens that are being issued.

Blockchain is not a novice to the football community. This summer, the ticket sale for the UEFA Super Cup 2018 attracted the attention of both football fans and tech community as it was the first time the UEFA used blockchain-based mobile app to sell all the tickets. And it will not become the last one: the Union has already announced the intention to use the system at other football events.

100% of the match tickets for the UEFA Super Cup were sold using a blockchain-based mobile application. The benefits of the blockchain-based solution were evident: it eliminated any manipulations with tickets like replication and duplication.

The regulator’s approach is a development, as the previous year it was watching closely what it deemed the BTC euphoria, that was cleaning Portugal, by overseeing the brokerage companies and investment banks who were trading crypto-related products.

The regulator’s stance is an improvement, as last year it was keeping a close eye on what it deemed the “bitcoin euphoria” that was sweeping Portugal, by supervising investment banks and brokerage firms who were selling crypto-related products.

Sporting itself has notably revealed that if it fails to raise the funds it needs through bond issues and, potentially, an ICO, its “strategic decisions” may be hindered, and may even have to sell players.

It’s notably not the first football club planning to launch its own cryptocurrency through an ICO. The Brazilian football club announcement came just days after the French soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain declared that it is launching its own digital currency.

Recently, two other premier league football clubs called Cardiff City and Newcastle United also revealed they are in talks with a decentralized sports funding and investment platform, SportyCo to launch their own crypto ICOs. The SportyCo recently revealed that it has also collaborated with Avai that is planning to launch its own tokens.

In July, a Premium Division football team, Gibraltar United became the first football team to pay its players in cryptocurrency. However, it is not a coincidence since Gibraltar is one of the many countries that are leading the pack in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.

The government introduced various regulations for businesses using blockchain technology as far back as January and is currently working on a solid framework for regulating ICOs as well. Just a month after, as a partner of seven Premier League clubs, the global investment platform eToro said they were going to fund the sponsorship deal that will see it pay for football with Bitcoin.

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Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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