Bedford Football Club’s manager and assistant manager have quit just days after Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack bought the 10th-division club and promised to take it to the Premier League.
Former manager Jason Goldman and his number two Martin Wells announced their departure on Tuesday, reports BBC Sport.
“Despite the exciting plans ahead, my coaching team and I feel that our positions have been made untenable by those now running the football club,” said Goldman in a Twitter statement.
Bedford’s new owner announced he’d achieved “a childhood dream” by purchasing the club in a Twitter thread last week.
McCormack, who’s jokingly referred to himself as the “King of Bedford,” is a prominent name in the Bitcoin sphere, mainly for his podcasts and unfiltered social media persona.
It’s not clear whether McCormack settled the deal in Bitcoin, British Pound, or any other currency, nor the price.
Bitcoin bull McCormack goes full Lasso
Bedford’s new head honcho pledged to help Bedford FC climb to the Premier League — a lofty promise as it would be a 10-league climb from its current position in Division One of the South Midlands League.
McCormack also revealed plans to rename the squad to “Real Bedford” complete with a new logo and kit next year.
Outside of that, he’s promised not to interfere with the day-to-day running of the squad.
“I am a Bitcoiner, we aim big. If we can separate money and state, we can get a football club into the Premier League,” McCormack told his 430,000 Twitter followers.
“The state of football finance is interesting, to say the least, and something is obviously broken with a lot of clubs in debt, and many going out of business altogether.”
McCormack offered the team support of a Bitcoin community 150-million strong. Bedford hails from a traditional Rugby town with less than 200,000 residents.
The other Bedford team rejected Peter McCormack
Speaking to local press, McCormack said he’d turn Bedford into “the Bitcoin club,” operating on a Bitcoin standard.
While that’s vague, it likely means McCormack will look to conduct most — if not all — of Bedford FC’s business in Bitcoin.
Still, Bedford FC wasn’t McCormack’s first choice.
McCormack originally offered to buy the much larger (but still non-League) Bedford Town football club. The undisclosed cash offer was rejected.
Bitcoin or otherwise, pumping big money into small British football clubs is en vogue of late.
Last year, Marvel star Ryan Reynolds teamed up with Always Sunny In Philadelphia cast member Rob McElhenney to buy Welsh squad Wrexham.
Indeed, McCormack’s involvement in his second-choice Bedford team is likely to attract cash. Offers are apparently already rolling in.
“We have already secured £250,000 [$335,000] in sponsorship and there have been 133 enquiries about investing in the club already, and those are from people I do not personally know,” said McCormack (via Bedford Independent).
Football fans don’t want fan tokens
Football fans and regulators are growing skeptical of crypto’s rising influence on football.
Just this week, Arsenal took heat from the UK’s advertising regulator for “misleading” adverts for fan tokens. Arsenal issued a fan token via Malta-headquartered crypto startup Socios earlier this year.
The Advertising Standards Authority said the North London squad trivialized crypto investments and took advantage of fans’ inexperience with digital assets.
Earlier this month, Crystal Palace fans protested Socios’ involvement with the club in the stands.
But many European clubs now have their fingers in the fan token pie. Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, Arsenal, Leeds United, and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have all launched a club-themed crypto aimed at fans.
In fact, BBC News recently commissioned Protos to analyze the fan token market.
Out of the top 13 fan tokens by market value, we found Manchester City and SS Lazio had lost the most since their first day of live trade — down 50% and 70% respectively.
Protos estimated the top 13 fan tokens had generated between $300 and $500 million in sales. It’s unclear how much was kept by the clubs.
As such, McCormack says he’s keen to separate Bitcoin from crypto, at least in his slice of the football ecosystem.
“It is important to separate Bitcoin and Crypto. Firstly, we aren’t some group of crypto bros from America buying a random team, I am from Bedford, my team is from Bedford and we have the goal of doing something great in this town,” he said (via BedfordshireLive, our emphasis).
“Bitcoin is not part of the success, it is our leverage, nobody needs to buy Bitcoin or be paid in Bitcoin for this to work. Bitcoin is just the standard we operate our finances on.”
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Edit 08:58 UTC, Dec 24: Clarified phrasing regarding fan token revenues in paragraph 28, population in paragraph 12.