Leeds United Supporters' Trust: Why we oppose fan token scheme

This week, the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust Board looks ahead to the start of the new Premier League season and also outlines its concerns about the club’s plans for Leeds United fan tokens.

Leeds United is planning on introducing a new fan token scheme.

With only one week left until our season gets underway, we’re reaching the sharp end of pre-season.

While the results in many of these games may have not gone as we hoped, the larger goal of getting players back up to speed and giving our new faces an introduction to our style of play has been achieved.

Our pre-seasons under Bielsa have always been lacklustre, perhaps the only occasions where our manager truly prioritises function over style.

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One thing you can be certain of however is that from the second we kick off at Old Trafford, our players will be giving everything to take us one step further than last season.

You may have seen the news this week of plans for Leeds United fan tokens. This is a form of cryptocurrency made available to buy for fans (and non-fans) advertised as a way of allowing supporters to have an impact on club decision making.

At the Trust however, we take a much dimmer view of the impact fan tokens will have. The scheme appears to simply be another way of monetising fan engagement, while offering supporters the opportunity to have their vote on some superficial decisions in return.

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Another concern is the fact that operating this way would obviously allow wealthier Leeds fans to have much more influence than those who can’t buy as many tokens. Any supposed ‘fan engagement’ scheme that doesn’t offer something to fans from all financial backgrounds is clearly questionable right from the start.

On top of this, there is also the fact that there is no way of ensuring that these tokens are only bought by Leeds United fans. At their core the tokens are a cryptocurrency like any other and as such can be bought and sold by anyone.

The idea of non-Leeds fans buying and selling these tokens to make a quick profit doesn’t sit well with any of us at the Trust.

We aren’t the first club to launch schemes like this, clubs like Atletico Madrid and West Ham have already had their own cryptocurrencies. Judging by their examples, this isn’t something we believe we want at Leeds.

For all these reasons and more, the Trust opposes the plans to implement these fan tokens at the club.

To read our full statement on the subject, please head over to our website www.lufctrust.com where there are more details on our opinion of fan tokens.

This week we also received the news that another of our club legends, Terry Cooper, has sadly passed away.

Having made 250 appearances at the club in arguably our most successful era, there is no doubt that he will be remembered fondly in Leeds for years to come.

We send our best wishes to Terry’s loved ones at this difficult time.

Adding your own voice to the Trust’s work is easy .Visit our new website at www.lufctrust.com and you can become a member for just £10 per year.

Marching on together.