Fan concern over Crawley Town FC takeover

Fans of League Two side Crawley Town are wary of their club becoming “an experiment which goes wrong” following a takeover by cryptocurrency investors.

WAGMI United announced they had bought the Sussex club on Thursday after failing in a bid to buy Bradford City last year.
The group had planned to build their ownership model of the Bantams around non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
It is not yet clear if they intend to implement this model at Crawley.
The investors said they wanted to “empower fans to take a personal stake in telling their team’s story and shaping its future” at The People’s Pension Stadium.

WAGMI founders Preston Johnson and Eben Smith have promised fans promotion to League One within two seasons or to stand for re-election as club directors if they fail.
In confirming the takeover, WAGMI said they wanted to “reimagine how professional sports teams are owned and operated”.

However, Sam Jordan, chairman of the club’s supporters’ alliance, said fans remained sceptical about where the finances would come from, with cryptocurrency an unregulated market in the UK.
“The biggest fear for me, and I’m not massively into cryptocurrency or NFTs, is where is the money going to come from if we don’t succeed with the budgets they’re looking to spend and their experiment doesn’t come off?”, he told PA Media.
“What does that look like for making sure everyone gets paid and we can retain our Football League status?”
The new owners are understood to have provided future financial information to the EFL, setting out how they will finance the club for the remainder of this season and for the 2022-23 campaign as one of the requirements of the takeover, as well as proving the source and sufficiency of funds in conventional currency.

Jordan, who said the alliance had contacted the new owners with a view to meeting them when they were next in the country at the end of the month, hopes that will include supporter representation on the new-look board.
“We are interested in talking to them because it’s our football club,” he said.
“Managers and players come and go but fans are always going to be there and it’s really important that we’re comfortable.
“We would like to have a seat on the board, that can convey the fans’ opinions. It will be one of the questions we ask, whether we can have that.”

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