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01st Apr 2022

Leeds supporters launch ‘Fan Token’ April Fool in clever dig at club crypto deals

Simon Lloyd

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Leeds United Supporters’ Trust (LUST) have used April Fools’ Day to take a swipe at the growing links between football and cryptocurrency by pretending to launch their own spoof fan token.

In a tweet posted on Friday morning, LUST encouraged fans to buy the LUFC Trust Fan token to increase their influence in key Trust decisions.

“Each token you own enables you to have more sway in important Trust membership surveys,” the tweet explained. “The bigger the fan you are, the more say you get in our future!”

Leeds fans have spoken out against Socios

LUST are one of many supporters’ groups who have expressed concerns over partnerships between professional clubs and fan token site, Socios.

Leeds were one of a raft of Premier League clubs to announce a deal with Socios last summer. It allowed the club to generate their own branded ‘fan tokens’, which can be bought on the Socios app using its cryptocurrency, Chiliz ($CHZ).

The tokens can be used to vote on relatively minor club decisions, with no limits placed on how many tokens a user can have. The value of the tokens can rise and fall.

Supporters’ groups were critical of the concept, particularly the idea of having to pay to engage with their clubs.

LUST released a statement condemning their club’s partnership at the time, with secretary Adam Willerton outlining concerns about the potential financial risk to supporters Socios might pose during an interview with JOE last year.

leeds crypto april fool

LUST’s April Fool

Though many of their Twitter followers instantly recognised LUST’s tweet on Friday morning as a thinly veiled dig at the fan token concept, others took it at face value.

“Most people understood it, but a few people were confused,” Willerton told JOE on Friday.

“They were replying saying things like, ‘Wait, so the more tokens we have, the bigger fans we are? Have I got this right?’

“Although this was an April Fool, those kind of responses sum up how absurd the original idea is. Fan engagement shouldn’t ever be linked to tokens.”

leeds crypto april fool

Lionel Messi reportedly to sign Socios deal

Despite criticism from fan groups, a reminder of Socios’ increasing ubiquity within football came with recent reports that Lionel Messi is set to sign a three-year deal with them on a contract said to be worth $20m (ÂŁ15m).

Messi will act as an ‘ambassador’ for Socios and will be involved in a promotional campaign ahead of the Qatar World Cup, which begins in November this year.

Reuters have stated that Messi will not be paid in crypto, after he was gifted fan tokens when he joined Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

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