Ken Early: Fan Tokens for football supporters – loyalty is a two-way street

Some clubs are so desperate for money they are herding their fans towards tokens

  Fans react during the   match between Leeds United and Everton at Elland Road on Saturday. The clubs are among five  who  announced a partnership with Socios.com to market digital Fan Tokens to their supporters. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Fans react during the match between Leeds United and Everton at Elland Road on Saturday. The clubs are among five who announced a partnership with Socios.com to market digital Fan Tokens to their supporters. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Leeds against Everton has the ring of a true classic fixture – a match that would have been even bigger in 1971 than it was last Saturday. The two teams left everything out there, and so did the home crowd, which was finally getting to enjoy Premier League football at Elland Road again after 17 years. A middle-aged Leeds fan assumed a lecherous air and rubbed his paunch at Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a vain attempt to distract the Everton striker as he took a first-half penalty. A respectable-looking older woman greeted Calvert-Lewin’s celebration with a middle-finger salute. Everton might have been a goal up, but Leeds United were back.

These are two clubs with a lot in common. Both represent the less successful side of one of English football’s ancient rivalries. Both have struggled with the English game’s transition from local sporting institution to global entertainment business. Leeds famously chased the debt dragon all the way to the Champions League semi-finals and blew up in one of football’s fieriest financial meltdowns. Everton steered a more prudent course for years under David Moyes, only recently joining the ranks of the big-spending billionaire-owned superclubs, although many people have not yet noticed the metamorphosis.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.