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Crawley Town astonish fans with statement; Crypto group takeover club with big plans

Crawley Town astonish fans with their latest statement as a Crypto group takeover the League Two club with some rather big plans.

They have confirmed that investment group WAGMI United LLC have purchased Ziya Eren’s controlling shares of the club after weeks of speculation, establishing the best welcome bonus casino canada.

The group is headed by Preston Johnson, a sports gambling analyst Preston Johnson, along with co-founder Eben Smith, a trader who has moved from derivatives to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

They are to become directors of Crawley Town and deal in data cryptocurrency and NFTs. It is also believed to include businessman Daryl Morey, president of National Basketball Association side Philadelphia 76ers, businessman Gary Vaynerchuk and TikTok user Bryce Hall among others.

The Athletic wrote: “WAGMI United is a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), a group governed by computer coding — usually in the form of crypto tokens. Anyone who holds these tokens can vote on matters related to the DAO. The decisions are carried out by automated contracts. No middlemen, no bosses.”

WAGMI United say via their website ‘Crypto’s Road to the Premier League’ and are also known to have been in talks to buy Bradford City in December 2021, with Bradford Telegraph and Argus reporting: “Under the WAGMI United plan, online investors and fans all over the world could purchase “a piece of the team” in the form of digital collectibles such as videos, photos or characters.”

Eben Smith told the Washington Post that the group would be “starting from scratch” – which would allow them to be “riskier in what you allow your brand to become. Then you can work with your community to figure out what it is together.”

Crawley Town astonish fans with statement as Crypto group takeover club with big plans after Bradford interest

The Yorkshire Post state: “Cryptocurrency is a controversial topic within football because it relies on a market which is hugely volatile and unregulated. Some clubs sell virtual “fan tokens” to bring in revenue, but WAGMI suggested they intended to go further as part of ambitious plans to buy a lower-league football club and take it into the Premier League.”

The i’s chief football writer Daniel Storey wrote on the 16th of December: “On the face of it, and if you squint to avoid the deep set environmental, ethical and financial concerns about the rise of cryptocurrency, you can just about make a case for this as an ambitious ownership model. Rather than shares, supporters would own an NFT that they might generously interpret as a piece of their club. The WAGMI United group would then use the capital raised to fuel the club’s progress (they are particularly keen to invest in data analytics).”

The middle of December 2021 saw Bantams owner Stefan Rupp reveal that he had received an email bid from WAGMI offering to buy the League Two club but it was rejected days later when Rupp took account of the backlash in some quarters to the plans.

In a statement, Rupp said: “On Thursday I received an offer from the WAGMI United group to purchase the football club. This has been rejected. A great deal has been aired publicly since the offer was made. This, as well as a number of factors which will remain private, has led me to this decision. As a proud custodian of this wonderful football club, my first and most important responsibility is to protect it and safeguard its long-term future, while upholding our values.”

The Bradford Telegraph and Argus reported: “WAGMI United issued a response to say they were “bitterly disappointed” with Rupp’s decision.

“They also claimed that talks had been going on since early November – and that the German had agreed to a deal in principle before the news broke about their interest.

“Their statement read: “This agreement was non-binding and pending additional due diligence on both sides before finalization but there was an agreement. He’s obviously now had a change of heart but to suggest that he’d never heard of WAGMI United before Thursday or that no further action was taken following our offer is simply untrue.”

In February. the Yorkshire Post said Bradford City and WAGMI United had agreed to make a joint “five-figure contribution to the Bradford’s Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit” rather than take their argument over the latter’s attempt to buy the former to court.

In a statement WAGMI said: “WAGMI United thanks Stefan Rupp for his leadership in arranging this opportunity to support such an important cause. The matter is now closed and both parties can move forward and concentrate on the success of their respective ventures.”

CRAWLEY TOWN STATEMENT ON TAKEOVER

Crawley Town Football Club can today confirm that investment group WAGMI United LLC have purchased Ziya Eren’s controlling shares of Crawley Town Football and Social Club Limited. 

WAGMI United is dedicated to bringing Web3’s most innovative ideas and passionate communities to the world of sports. Founded by Preston Johnson and Eben Smith, WAGMI United seeks to reimagine how professional sports teams are owned and operated — building tight-knit communities of passionate fans and empowering them to take a personal stake in telling their team’s story and shaping its future. They are eager to bring this exciting new approach to the club.

“Crawley Town Football Club is a club with more than 125 years of rich history that we revere and respect. However, a conventional approach to ownership hasn’t worked, and the club is losing hundreds of thousands of pounds while its fans suffer through year after year of uninspiring results on the pitch,” said Preston Johnson, WAGMI United co-founder. “We think the club can do better and our fans deserve better. Sports are supposed to be fun and bring communities together. At Crawley Town, we’re going to shake up the status quo, try out some new ideas, and build a worldwide community of fans new and old that can be excited to cheer on the Red Devils together — stretching from West Sussex to anywhere in the world with an internet connection.”

WAGMI United also pledged a new era of unprecedented transparency and accountability to Crawley Town Football Club supporters and the Crawley community. With Johnson and Smith assuming roles as club directors, they plan to allow the fans to decide whether or not they keep those roles for the following season if the team does not achieve its goal: earning promotion to League One by the end of their second season in charge.

“If we’re trying to build a community-club, and we are, then we have to build in mechanisms to hold ourselves accountable,”  said Eben Smith, WAGMI United co-founder. “So if Crawley Town Football Club doesn’t get promoted to League One by the end of our second season, which we think is about 50/50, then we under-performed. If we underperform, Crawley Town fans should get to vote on who the next directors of the club are. We might run for reelection because it was clearly all Preston’s fault, but we don’t just get to hold the fanbase hostage because our dad invented Cablevision.”

The agreement with WAGMI United will see Ziya Eren, Erdem Konyar, Emre Eren and Nuhkan Ruzgar leave the board with immediate effect. In addition to Johnson and Smith, full details of a new board will be shared in due course.

Members of the WAGMI United group were present earlier in the season for the Reds’ win over Swindon Town and met with club management to discuss plans for the future. Having met with the group, departing Chief Executive Officer Erdem Konyar said, “A new exciting chapter awaits Crawley Town Football Club. Eben and Preston represent a united, passionate, energetic and intelligent group committed to the progress of the club. It’s been an honour to serve this special club with Mr Eren, to whom I thank for all of the support and commitment over the last six years.”

General Manager Tom Allman said, “Today’s news is really exciting for the future of this Football Club and the Crawley community. All of my dealings with Eben, Preston and the WAGMI group as a whole have been really positive and productive with plans already well underway for next season, with the fans and the community being centric to these. In tandem with this, I want to take this opportunity to thank the fans and sponsors for their continued support of the club, especially over the last couple of seasons where various aspects, not least the COVID-19 pandemic, have impacted on what we would’ve wanted to achieve – but to be continually backed, both socially and financially, has been nothing short of phenomenal. With today’s news, I hope this is where we as a team can start to reward the fans and everyone associated with the club who have stuck with us over the years and give them a club and town to be truly proud of. Finally, a thank you to Ziya Eren for the support and the opportunities he has afforded me personally during his time at the club.”  

First Team Manager John Yems said, “This is an exciting time for the club. Let’s hope that we can continue the good progress we have made and take the club forward. I would also like to place on record a thank you to the previous owners. They gave me the opportunity to manage the football club, and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Furthermore, having met with the foundation’s leadership, WAGMI United will be donating an initial £10,000 to the Crawley Town Community Foundation in order to further develop the community programme and work within the Crawley area. Speaking on the donation, Head of the Community Foundation Darren Ford said, “We would like to thank WAGMI United for their generous donation, which will help the Foundation to further support the community of Crawley. This is an exciting time not just for the Club, but also for the community, whom the Club and Foundation serve and we look forward to working with the WAGMI United group. The Foundation would also like to thank the previous owners for their support of the Foundation and wish them well for the future.”

Over the course of the next month, Johnson, Smith and members of the WAGMI United group will be contacting Season Ticket Holders and sponsors to outline their plans for the future with further announcements due in the coming weeks, before meeting local press and the wider fan base in early May. 

As mentioned, Crawley Town astonish fans with their statement as a Crypto group takeover the club with big plans…

@OhBirkenhead: Reeks of Vanarama

@smivadee: WOW! A lot of backlash with this and I totally get it. A lot of education will be needed from a fans point of view but also the new owners with regards to football and it’s traditions too! As someone with a keen interest in Web3 I hope it goes well for them!

@LowerThanRy: Why does this stink of administration and a national league south stint in 3 years time… please look after our little club and don’t lose sight of what it means to our community. We’re not just going to be another NFT you can bleed money from. This club means something to us.

@AidanLeach_: Theyll end up in prem now, because we rejected this. If we accepted, we’d have been dissolved in 3 years.

@DanJones3142: Do I feel sick that the club I love is now controlled by a Ponzi scheme? Yes. Does the idea of John Yems turned into a cartoon ape JPEG make me feel better? A little bit

@AllAtSeaFanzine: Lump on Crawley to be relegated next season. This looks an utter train crash waiting to happen.

@hollins_ben: I hate modern football pretty much 99% of the time

@jimbopowers91: See you in the isthmian league boys

@LincolnCity1884: This is not ending well. I give it 5 years max until Crawley are either in Non-League or in administration. Not that I’d be too upset about it.

@Staceywestblog: Just when you thought you disliked a club as much as you possibly could…..

@CunningColin: Imagine your club getting taking over by people who like pictures of cartoon apes. Mortifying

@mattbishun: Not sure what to make of this, but could work wonders for us. Exciting times could be ahead.

@VP_Bantam: Watch them be in the premier league in 5 or 6 years 😂😂😂 #bcafc

@RogersJordan99: Hopefully they’ll be out of the EFL or in administration in a few years, shambles this has been allowed to happen

@MitchMoylan: See you all in the Champions League in 7 years x

@clifford_nick: So glad that wasn’t us. No actual interest in football and running a club based on magic beans. Not saying it won’t work but if it doesn’t then it will be another bury #bcafc

@neshfox: This will be interesting. Excited to see how it goes.

@ChrisHilton83: This is going to be an interesting one, either they’ll fly or end up bankrupt

@LewisBP5: This is grim. A football team being allowed to be an experiment for crypto bros. Can’t help but feel a load of fans are going to lose money on this as well.

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