A leading candidate for the presidency of FC Barcelona, one of the most famous football clubs in the world, claims he has negotiated a deal that would reportedly see a Hong Kong crypto exchange become the club’s main shirt sponsor in a deal worth USD 71.7 million a year.
Per BeSoccer, the claims were made by the lawyer Toni Freixa, who will go head-to-head with Joan Laporta and Victor Font in an election on Sunday, March 7. The club’s supporters vote on the presidency in elections usually held every five years.
The media outlet La Vanguardia said the exchange in question is named DSDAQ, and quoted a European representative for the company as stated that it has been indeed been in talks with the Freixa team. The deal would only apply to shirts worn in matches played away from the Camp Nou, DSDAQ added, in a move that could placate many fans. Barcelona wore shirts without a sponsor logo until 2006, a fact that many of the club fans took enormous pride in.
Frexia did not mention the company by name, but stated that he was in “very advanced” talks with what he called an “investment fund based in Hong Kong and with a presence in Silicon Valley.”
DSDAQ says it was launched in December 2019 and says it has been backed to the tune of USD 1.5m in angel investment funding from the DraperDragon Innovation Fund III, which it describes as “a Silicon Valley VC associated with Tim Draper,” as well as Effotronics Asia, a firm it says has “a multi-billion family office based in Hong Kong.” Per DSDAQ’s website, its founders are “Bart,” “Matt,” and “Edison” that have experience in Wall Street, fintech, and blockchain. Meanwhile, among major crypto market data providers, only CoiMarketCap lists DSDAQ. ADA/USDT is currently the main trading pair, reportedly responsible for 11% (USD 1.36bn) of the total volume.
Freixa had found himself behind in the polls – due in part to his association with the presidency of Josep Maria Bartomeu. The latter resigned in October last year after leaving the club in financial disarray. Financial issues have continued to blight Barcelona, and this week saw more chaos at the club, with four arrests and a police raid on the club’s HQ, as reported by the BBC.
But Freixa is hopeful of making a dramatic last-gasp turnaround – and claims that, if elected, his sponsorship deal would begin in the 2022-2023 season, bringing in a record-breaking windfall for the club. The deal, which Freixa said was in its “advanced stages,” would see the exchange’s name and logo displayed on the front of the Barcelona shirt, and represent a remarkable coup for the exchange.
Laporta is widely reported to be the favorite for the election, but Freixa appears hopeful that his late financial package will be attractive enough to turn heads ahead of the vote. Barca are currently second in La Liga, the Spanish first division, and are in desperate need of reinforcements.
Freixa has spoken of his plans to restructure the club’s finances in recent days – with his alleged DSDAQ deal plans evidently a key part of this – and claimed, in an interview on the El Larguero radio show, that he would spend money on bringing in new players in both “defensive and attacking positions.”
Our has reached out to DSDAQ for comment on this story.
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