Premier League Bets on NFTs Despite Latest Crypto Value Slump

by Joe Ellison Last Updated
Premier League NFT

Premier League football fans will be able to buy NFTs of their favourite players after an official deal was reached with Paris-based crypto-assets firm Sorare last month.

However, there are already concerns players will lose money from the trading cards-style platform as NFTs continue to slump in value.

In January it was announced the Premier League had signed a £30m, four-year deal with Sorare to become the league’s official NFT provider. The deal means Sorare can “mint” officially licensed digital playing cards of players from all 20 Premier League clubs.

Players can then compete in fantasy five-a-side tournaments, using the on-pitch success of their players to score points against an opponent.

However, the NFTs are also seen by many as high-value collectables – and there is concern young players may be about to pour their money down a black hole.

Premier League NFT betting

Premier League NFT deal in detail

The multi-year agreement between Sorare and the Premier League effectively grants the NFT provider license to produce digital playing cards of individual players. Users can buy and sell these cards – sometimes for hundreds or thousands of pounds – while also using them as part of their five-a-side team.

Sorare is also launching two new aspects of its platform – a card-specific competition, and a “financial fair play” game that prevents users from selecting all-star teams.

It hopes to greatly increase its user base of three million and capture a greater swathe of the UK market.

As for the Premier League, they now have an option to purchase a stake in Sorare at a later date and have already bought equity warrants in the firm.

Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia said the deal – rumoured to be worth £30m – took longer than expected to complete due to the Premier League already having a licensed NFT agreement.

Crypto Winter Continues

But there remains concerns that the deal will leave customers on Sorare’s platform out of pocket. The cryptocurrency and NFT markets are currently enduring a “Crypto Winter” with values crashing across the industry.

The collapse of crypto trading exchange FTX has only exacerbated the issue. Bitcoin has increased 33% in value since it’s harrowing slump in December, but is still nowhere near its November 2021 peak.

And the value of NFTs are also going down. While some NFT sales hit the headlines – a trading card of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo recently sold for a record-breaking $187,000 – the majority of card values are sinking. 

NFTs are considered collectables by many but there is concern about how the unregulated market protects assets from dramatic value decreases. The average price of an NFT in December 2021 was $383.73. One year on and that average has fallen to $143.22.

Meanwhile, overall NFT sales have fallen 78% over the last year. It appears as though players and investors are walking away from the market.

Is Gambling Betting Than NFTs?

All this and investors seeking to place their money on sure bets are now looking more at gambling sites for a return on their stakes, rather than bank on NFTs. Many of the best UK online casinos and sportsbooks offer a variety of sure-thing wagers, such as betting on a top-ranked golfer making the cut at a major or a top-seeded tennis player advancing to the next round at a grand slam..

Of course, where there’s betting there’s risk – and not every wager wins. But investors are steadily walking away from NFTs, causing their value to fall. One more collapse like FTX could viably kill the crypto markets as we know them. And that’s why some now consider gambling to be just as viable a bet as throwing money at digital assets.

About the Author


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Joe is a journalist, editor and copywriter who specialises in sport, politics, film and the gaming industry. He works on Fleet Street for national newspapers and other publicans across the UK and in North America. He is an experienced product reviewer and editor for global brands and gambing companies. He has interviewed everyone from elite sport stars to the next generation of influential business people.
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