Lionel Messi signs $20m deal to promote crypto company Socios
Messi will act as an "ambassador" for Socios
Lionel Messi has reportedly signed a three-year deal with cryptocurrency fan company Socios on a contract reported to be worth $20m (£15m).
The 34-year-old has joined a host of other high-profile sports stars such as NFL quarterback legend Tom Brady and the NBA's LeBron James.
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 himself, however, it has been suggested that his move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona last summer did include cryptocurrency.
What are fan tokens?
Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that allows holders to vote on what can only be described as minor decisions at their clubs, as well as access to exclusive clubs.
Socios currently have deals with over 130 clubs, including Inter Milan, Lyon and Juventus.
Supporters' groups have also highlighted that clubs have acted too quickly in some instances to form a partnership, despite the grey areas that still linger around crypto-based companies.
Investigations into Socios
However, an investigation into the company has since put pressure on Premier League clubs who have deals with the company to review their relationship with Socios.
There are currently six top-flight clubs who have partnered with Socios - Arsenal, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United and Manchester City.
As reported by the Mail on Sunday, Arsenal contacted Socios and their parent company Chiliz for details on allegations surrounding its chief executive, Alexandre Dreyfus, and the rumour that staff hadn't been paid.
The investigation conducted by Off The Pitch stated that Dreyfus, a French internet entrepreneur, had advised that high-profile individuals shouldn't receive payment in order to protect the value of his firm's cryptocurrency.
Staff were also told they would be paid in Chiliz, however, they reportedly went unpaid until the terms of their contract were rewritten - meaning they were left worse off than if they had cashed their currency sooner.
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