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Cash-Strapped Portuguese Football Giant Sporting Ponders ICO

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:11 PM
Francisco Memoria
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:11 PM

Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP), a popular Portuguese football club, is reportedly considering launching an initial coin offering (ICO) as an alternative way to raise funds, at a time in which it’s struggling to raise them through a bond issue.

According to local news outlet Dinheiro Vivo , the club’s vice-president Francisco Salgado Zenha claimed the organization is currently pondering the option, although there’s still “nothing concrete” on the subject. He was quoted as saying:

“We are looking closely at an ICO. We’re having meetings about it. There is a great value potential in the Sporting brand.”

The manager then emphasized that the club’s goal would be to “take advantage of this new world,” referring to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The move comes as the club is completing a bond issue in which it’s offering investors a 5.25% gross annual interest rate to raise €30 million ($34.2 million).

Sporting currently needs the funds as it has to repay investors for another bond issue that’s maturing on November 26. While the club managed to see subscription orders soar after it got the staff to promote the issue, it ended up raising €26 million ($29.6 million), falling short of its target.

Often, cryptocurrencies issued by organizations like Sporting can then be used to buy products or services at a discount, although the club hasn’t yet revealed what it may be planning. The country’s Securities Market Commission (CMVM) has asked organizations looking to issue ICOs to clarify “prior to any emission, the judicial nature of the tokens being issued.”

The regulator’s stance is an improvement, as last year it was keeping a close eye on what it deemed the “bitcoin euphoria” that was sweeping Portugal, by supervising investment banks and brokerage firms who were selling crypto-related products.

Sporting itself has notably revealed that if it fails to raise the funds it needs through bond issues and, potentially, an ICO, its “strategic decisions” may be hindered, and may even have to sell players.

It’s notably not the first football club planning to launch its own cryptocurrency through an ICO. As CCN.com covered, Brazilian football club Avaí has entertained the idea of launching its own ICO to raise $20 million, just days after French soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain announced its own cryptocurrency.

Two cash-strapped Premier League football clubs, Newcastle United and Cardiff City have also revealed they were in talks with SportyCo, a decentralized sports investment & funding platform, to potentially launch their own cryptos. SportyCo has also partnered with Avaí to launch its tokens.

Featured image from Shutterstock.