Premier League in £30m Talks With NFT Company Sorare Despite UKGC Investigation

  • The EPL is reportedly meeting with clubs on Friday to discuss the deal
  • Sorare hopes to develop digital assets based on EPL players
  • It appears that a similar type of deal with ConsenSys has fallen through
  • The UKGC launched an investigation last year to see if Sorare needs a gambling license
Sorare NFTs on a smartphone
The EPL is reportedly close to agreeing to a £30m deal with digital asset company Sorare, despite a UKGC investigation. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Seriously considering the deal

The English Premier League (EPL) is reportedly in talks with digital assets firm Sorare despite the company having been under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Sky News reported on Thursday that such a deal could be worth £30m ($35m) annually for the UK’s most high-profile soccer league.

EPL reportedly is meeting on Friday with executives from each of its 20 clubs

The EPL is reportedly meeting on Friday with executives from each of its 20 clubs to discuss the possibility of signing a multi-year agreement with Sorare. If executives are in favor of such a deal, there could be a formal agreement in place within weeks.

If the parties come to an agreement, the France-based Sorare would develop digital assets based on the players in the EPL for fans to purchase, such as digital depictions of EPL superstars like Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.

Numerous parties have been in the mix

An arrangement with Sorare would be a replacement non-fungible token (NFT) deal for the EPL’s provisional agreement with ConsenSys that ended up not being signed earlier in 2022. ConsenSys had attempted to renegotiate its deal with the EPL at a lower price after NFT market valuations fell significantly. The Sorare deal on the table is reportedly more lucrative than the revised proposal from ConsenSys.

EPL is also in discussions with Dapper Labs

There are rumors that the EPL is also in discussions with Dapper Labs for a similar type of arrangement. Dapper Labs currently works closely with numerous major sports organizations on similar projects, including the NBA and UFC.

Sorare currently provides digital assets for other sporting organizations, including the La Liga soccer league in Spain. It also already has a partnership in place with the EPL’s Liverpool FC. Some of the backers for Sorare include major Japanese investment group SoftBank and France’s superstar striker Kylian Mbappé.

The UKGC’s investigation into Sorare

Last October, the UKGC revealed that it was investigating Sorare to determine if it requires a UKGC license to operate in the region. The gambling regulator also warned that the company does not carry a UK license and that people should be careful if they have financial dealings with the platform. It is unclear if the investigation is ongoing or if it has concluded.

Sorare’s EPL proposal would see it offer an NFT-based fantasy soccer manager game through which users could buy, sell, and trade virtual cards of players.

At the time, a Sorare spokesperson stated that the company was “very confident” that it does not offer any type of gambling, a viewpoint shared by many legal experts with whom Sorare has consulted.