Spanish Soccer Clubs Sue Cryptocurrency Sponsors

According to a recent study, Spanish football (soccer) is suffering from a “crypto hangover,” with several La Liga teams left with “defaults, complaints, and an experience to forget” after their agreements with cryptocurrency sponsors failed.

Celta Vigo is the most recent team to have issues with a sponsor from the cryptocurrency industry. In 2021, the club teamed with the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Bitci.

Celta said in a press statement issued on Twitter earlier this week that the exchange has “not made any payments” since the agreement was reached.

Celta noted that it “had been compelled on many occasions to request that Bitci meet its payment commitments.”

The club said that Bitci had “restricted itself to making several payment promises that it has never fulfilled.”

The club said it has “decided to take legal action” to “require complete compliance with the terms of the parties’ agreement.”

The club determined that it was exerting “maximum effort” to resolve a “disagreeable situation” that had been “exclusively generated by Bitci.”

Yet, Celta’s situation is not an unusual one. Xataka reported that Bitci has demanded payment delays from several other Spanish partners, including Celta’s La Liga rivals Valencia and Espanyol of Barcelona.

Espanyol said they planned to sue Bitci for unpaid payments from the previous year. According to Xakata, Bitci asserts it has the “solvency” to pay its obligations to Spanish clubs. Yet, it says that it is constrained by recently enacted Turkish law.

The same cryptocurrency platform has sponsorship relationships with Real Betis, Cádiz, and Alavés. It also signed a contract with the Royal Spanish Football Association to have its emblem printed on the training uniforms of the Spanish national team.

Yet, Bitci is not the first crypto platform to have difficulty with La Liga clubs. Xakata also revealed that Real Sociedad’s primary shirt sponsor, Iqoniq, went out of business last year. With its dissolution, Iqoniq owed Sociedad $875,000 in unfulfilled sponsorship costs.

Two top-tier Brazilian footballers stated their desire to sue a fellow professional player earlier this month, alleging that he induced them to engage in a crypto pyramid scam.

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