The League Two club were taken over by WAGMI United in April and the owners have bold plans as they bid to “shake up the status quo and build a worldwide community of fans”
The ambitious new owners of Crawley Town are to make the club’s third kit for the coming season available only to fans who buy Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The League Two side were taken over by crypto-currency firm WAGMI United towards the end of last season. Upon their purchase, the owners declared to “shake up the status quo, try out some new ideas, and build a worldwide community of fans”.
The decision to launch a strip solely available to supporters who purchase NFTs could upset traditional fans who either do not understand the concept of crypto-currency or flatly disagree with it. Speaking about the thorny issue, co-owner Preston Johnson explained the reasoning: “Our NFTs are more like virtual season tickets. They’re not items we’re trying to sell to local fans.
“We’re bringing something that our NFT crowd has wanted for a long time – a professional sports club. Who was going to be the first to do it? It was WAGMI United and we want to make it to the Premier League one day.”
So far supporters of the Sussex club appear content with how the arrangement has gone so far. Investment in the club’s infrastructure has been evident, with a range of appointments behind-the-scenes made.
On the playing side of things, the poaching of Arsenal’s under-23s coach Kevin Betsy has been widely praised and Friday saw the Red Devils pull off something of a coup by signing striker Dominic Telford on a free transfer. Telford scored 25 goals in League Two for Newport County last term before allowing his contract to run down.
The club, whose average attendance last season was the second-lowest in the EFL, are now entering a new era but how it pans out is hard to predict given this is the first takeover of its kind.
Johnson says that season ticket and NFT holders will eventually have a say in certain decisions made at the club but has given little detail on what this will actually entail. Speaking to the i, Johnson says he and fellow director Eban Smith plan to be as open as possible on mediums such as Twitter.
He adds: “Being open and transparent helps the fans being OK and comfortable with some of the newness and weirdness of what is going on.”
Johnson also confirmed that he and Smith purchased the club using traditional currency rather than NFTs and that their reserve stock will allow them to “preserve the club” for multiple seasons. He added: “We’re still really confident that we will be able to establish something that’s going to generate revenue for the club and be a positive.”
Crawley begin the League Two season on July 30 away to Carlisle United.
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