Questions Raised Over Manchester City’s Asian Betting Partner

  • The Daily Mail uncovered some concerning aspects of 8xBet’s operations
  • A video confirming ambassador Teddy Sheringham was apparently all for show
  • The probe revealed faked LinkedIn accounts and mysterious marketing firms
  • Last week, Fulham also axed its partner Titan Capital Markets for similar reasons
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The Daily Mail has raised questions regarding the legitimacy of Manchester City’s official Asian betting partner 8xBet. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Numerous discrepancies

A Daily Mail investigation has highlighted some concerns regarding English Premier League (EPL) club Manchester City and its official Asian betting partner 8xBet.

contradictions in 8xBet’s history

Manchester City first confirmed 8xBet as its official Asia betting partner in July this year, affirming that it would help grow the team’s reach in Southeast Asia. At the time, a Norwegian magazine called Josimar called out some contradictions in 8xBet’s history, such as the people employed by the company and its original launch date.

Regarding the launch date, City claimed that 8xBet went live in 2018, but the 8xBet web domain was still for sale at the end of 2021. A platform called 978bet went live near the end of 2021 and rebranded to 8xBet the following month, according to Josimar.

Now, the Daily Mail has completed its own investigation into 8xBet and detailed its concerning findings in a report on Saturday.

Head scratchers

One strange aspect noted by the Daily Mail is that 8xBet announced English soccer legend Teddy Sheringham as brand ambassador earlier this year. The daily news source cited someone close to the company who claimed that this announcement was only made to create a “fictional narrative.”

Notably, the video announcing the partnership with Sheringham featured a London-based model who is not listed as an employee of the Asian betting operator. In the video, she shakes hands with the soccer star before he signs a contract.

her profile picture was a stock image

Further controversy came in the summer regarding the supposed CEO and co-founder of 8xBet, Trinh Thu Trang. Her LinkedIn profile was deleted after it was established her profile picture was a stock image.

The Daily Mail also looked into the marketing company that helps promote 8xBet, QOO Global. That firm had its own irregularities, including the fact that 8xBet was its only listed client. Further investigations of employee LinkedIn profiles revealed that many worked for other companies and seemed to have fabricated their roles with QOO.

Dodgy deals

Manchester City is currently the focus of an EPL investigation regarding financial irregularities. In addition to other issues, investigators are concerned that the club may have disguised investment through sponsors and breached rules regarding the signing of underage players. The club’s legal team is contesting the legitimacy of the investigation.

There is a precedent for EPL partnerships not being what they appear on the surface. Just last week, Fulham cut ties with Titan Capital Markets following another Daily Mail investigation. It was uncovered that the financial trading firm was unrealistically guaranteeing trading profits of 480% each year and that the company was made up of fake employees.

As well as its deal with 8xBet, Manchester City also has LeoVegas on board as an official partner. The club has been the dominant force in English soccer in recent years, with commercial revenue reaching £309.5m ($364m) for its 2021/2022 financial year. This is the highest-ever commercial revenue any English soccer team has generated.