Liverpool owners FSG risk backlash from fans with Reds in talks over new shirt sponsor

Match In Pictures | Liverpool 2-0 Everton

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Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group could risk angering the Reds’ fanbase after entering talks with a number of cryptocurrency firms in their efforts to find a new shirt sponsor, according to reports. Liverpool have carried the logo of Standard Chartered, a British financial services company, on their kit since 2010 but are said to be in the market for a new partnership ahead of the expiry of their deal in the summer of 2023.

The Reds currently receive around £40million per year from Standard Chartered but are believed to be keen on striking a new agreement with a different company in order to maximise profits over the coming years. However, they could end up sparking a backlash from their own fans as they continue to explore the idea of partnering with a crypto firm, according to The Athletic.

It is claimed that Liverpool have reached out to a number of potential suitors from sectors including electronics, media and tourism. Companies from the crypto field are believed to be among the interested parties, with an unnamed exchange firm and a blockchain platform said to have entered talks with the Anfield club over the last few weeks.

Liverpool are yet to discuss the implications of agreeing a crypto sponsorship deal with the club’s supporters in spite of the potential backlash that such a move could spark. Club chiefs are said to be aware that an agreement of this nature could be controversial but remain determined to compete with other elite clubs on a financial level by maximising their commercial revenue.

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The biggest crypto sponsor in the Premier League at present is Socios, which has ties to Arsenal, Leeds United, Everton and three other top-flight clubs. Crystal Palace supporters recently held up a banner in which Socios were referred to as ‘parasites’ due to the controversial nature of the firm’s ‘fan token’ scheme, which allows qualifying supporters to vote on certain matters decided by a club and to enter competitions.

It remains to be seen whether a sponsorship deal with a crypto firm would go down well with Liverpool fans, who have already shown their collective disapproval of the club’s latest NFT collection. The ‘LFC Heroes Club’, which features cartoon-style digital artwork of 23 first-team players and manager Jurgen Klopp, was released back in March and was promptly questioned by supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly due to the possible risks of investing in the project.

“We were able to challenge, scrutinise, and question their desire to enter into this [in talks with the club],” said the group in a statement. “We also raised concerns about financial, environmental sustainability and other risks involved.

“LFC do not require our consent in relation to merchandise and up to now we have not endorsed any LFC merchandise, digital or otherwise and similarly it is not for us to endorse this product.

“It is a fan’s decision alone what they choose to buy from the club. We only hope that the risk involved here is apparent and we expect LFC to assess this marketplace constantly and communicate with supporters.”

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