According to national newspaper the Daily Mail, a digital collectibles agreement between the English Premier League and French company, Sorare, worth more than £400m, is being scrutinised by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Sorare is one of four companies in the running for the Premier League’s first NFT (non-fungible token) licence. NFTs are tradeable digital products bought online and in 2021, a unique virtual trading card of Cristiano Ronaldo was sold at auction for £300,000 and earlier this month, one of Erling Haaland sold for £511,000.
The clubs are obviously enthusiastic about this additional source of revenue, but the NFT market has been widely criticised for its lack of regulation and Sorare is a company that is already on the UKGC radar. They already work with Spain’s LaLiga, having launched a fantasy football game based around blockchain. This product was launched without a UK licence, leading the regulator to caution fans against it.
The winning bidder for the NFT licence will produce a range of digital products for the Premier League, to be sold to fans around the world. The range will include virtual football stickers and trading cards featuring match footage and players at all 20 top-flight clubs.