Crypto firm endorsed by Premier League footballers ceases trading
Another one bites the dust
A cryptocurrency firm that was endorsed by Premier League footballers and had sponsorship deals with Scottish clubs Rangers and Hibernian has ceased trading after the value of its products plummeted.
Sportemon Go (I know, wow) removed its social media accounts on Sunday night, before they re-appeared to confirm the news that the company had stopped trading.
A message was posted that read: "The SGOX Token has ceased trading. The community voted unanimously to redeem SGOX for L1TF (Liberty One Treasury Fund, another form of cryptocurrency) tokens. Also note the Team, Athletes and other IP (intellectual property) are currently being removed or deleted, as we finalise amicable termination agreements."
Both Manchester United's Luke Shaw and Liverpool's Andy Robertson had endorsed the platform, prompting much backlash from fans of their clubs and neutrals alike.
The company's logo also appeared on the back of Rangers' shirt this season, as well as Edinburgh club Hibernian.
Sportemon Go tokens saw a surge in value after their initial launch, helped by the aforementioned endorsements, with nearly $600,000 (£480,000) being traded in one 24-hour period, as reported by The Athletic.
However when existing holders quickly cashed out, the value of the token dropped like a stone again.
This is the latest in a series of controversial episodes relating to NFTs in the world of football. As legislation clamps down on gambling advertising, clubs are moving towards the crypto world for lucrative sponsorship deals, but the volatility of the product is proving an obstacle in making them sustainable.
Both players and clubs have faced criticism for endorsing products for which the financial risks are not made sufficiently clear to impressionable fans, too.
As recently as a month ago, an NFT range endorsed by John Terry saw its product's average value decrease by 90 per cent in the space of a month, while multiple active players quietly deleted their promotion of it from their social media feeds.
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