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12th Aug 2021

PSG used cryptocurrency in deal to sign Lionel Messi

Kieran Galpin


Messi gets hefty cryptocurrency top up on his salary

Paris Saint Germain literally spared no expense when signing football legend Lionel Messi. As Barcelona’s funds dry up, PSG are giving Messi stock in cryptocurrency as the cherry on top of his reported $41 million annual net salary.

Messi will continue to be the highest-paid footballer in the world thanks to his whopping $1m a week salary. On top of that, Messi will receive ‘$PSG fan tokens’, Sportsmail reports. In September 2018, PSG made a deal with blockchain company, which meant supporters could purchase $PSG fan tokens. The service is powered by $Chiliz cryptocurrency.

Marc Armstrong, chief partnerships officer of Paris Saint-Germain said of the deal: “[We are] Fully embracing and $PSG Fan Tokens has proved a massive success for the club.

“We have been able to engage with a new global audience, creating a significant digital revenue stream.”

A whistle-stop explanation of cryptocurrency:

A cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency that does not exist in the physical realm like pound coins and paper money. Cryptocurrencies only exist in the digital space and can only be spent in certain places online or on certain platforms. Crypto is a decentralised currency, meaning that control is not down to a single organisation, person, or business. Instead, decentralised platforms are monitored by impartial computer systems and those engaging in trade.

It basically takes out an intermediary, giving more control to the individual.

Though the value of crypto changes and fluctuates, a presence such as Messi’s could skyrocket their value and bring more revenue to PSG.

The tokens operate as a digital currency that allows supporters to ‘cash these in’ to have a say on how operations run at the club. For instance, these tokens can be used to influence minor details in the clubs running like the end of season awards. Though the exact amount of tokens has not been revealed, PSG chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi said that they have not broken financial fair play guidelines.

Al-Khelaifi said: “Regarding the financial aspect, I will make it clear — we know the rules of FFP and we will always follow the regulations.

“Before we do anything, we check with commercial, financial and legal people. We have the capacity.

“What Leo brings to the club is huge, which you can see just outside (the stadium, where thousands of fans had gathered). He is a big asset.

“I hope Leo will not ask for a raise of salary, but what we have is fantastic,” he added during Messi’s unveiling press conference on Wednesday.

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