If you’d seen Rangers’ gracious thanks to the SPFL during the week, you’d have perhaps begun to think that some goodwill had developed between the Gers and the members’ body.
The Ibrox side took the time to thank the SPFL for helping to move Rangers’ weekend clash with Motherwell back a day ahead of the club’s Europa League semi-final with RB Leipzig.
But any notion the two might be cuddling up soon came back down to Earth amid the announcement of a deal with controversial crypto trading card company Sorare.
Rangers – who have their own cryptocurrency partner in Sportemon GO – have been excluded from the deal due to existing commercial contracts. Sound familiar?
Sorare deals in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) of football stars from across the globe and acts as something of an online trading card/fantasy game in the world of football.
The SPFL will become the group’s 10th divisional partner with Sorare also partnering with the likes of the MLS, the Bundesliga and even La Liga.
Players can now purchase SPFL players to make up their online fantasy teams and trade cards online for profits.
Rangers excluded due to commercial commitments as SPFL partner with Sorare
It’s more serious than it all sounds too; last year, Sorare completed a $680-million funding round that valued the company at $4.3 (£3.3) billion and it claims to have 1.5m users worldwide [Sport Cal].
Rangers have a pre-existing deal with Sportemon GO until the end of 22/23 and the company has launched a range of fan engagement and digital products.
The Gers also launched the Rangers Fan Token with controversial platform Bitci last season.
The whole thing is also made more complex by the fact Club 1872, in a tirade against the club’s current board, slaughtered Rangers for seemingly fleecing fans with these Crypto arrangements.
It’s all a bit of a mess – and at least SPFL-wise has shades of Rangers’ season-long running dispute over cinch sponsorship – but Sorare are hopeful of onboarding the Ibrox club soon.
Whatever way you paint it, without Rangers the entire thing is (probably) a bit naff and we suspect the French platform will be eager to resolve any issues soon.
But Sorare is not without its own issues as Ajax found out this week following an apparent dressing room leak regarding a starting line-up.
As the Athletic explains, Dutch pair Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen inadvertently leaked team line-up news by their trades on the fantasy football platform ahead of the Dutch Cup Final, which Ajax lost 2-1 to PSV.
Basically, in using their dressing room knowledge the players rejigged their line-ups to increase their fantasy league scores and – theoretically – stood to profit financially from dressing room intel.
It has brought into question the fairness of the platform and also feeds into other issues – such as gambling in football – that could have players profiteering over their direct role in the game.
It’s a brave new world of footballing-crypto fusion and whilst Rangers might’ve got the leg up on the SPFL last season, even with Sorare, the problems remain plentiful.
But for anyone thinking that the long-running feud between Rangers and the SPFL was set to end after the post-Motherwell move handshakes, it appears they were sadly mistaken.
Meanwhile, the comments of one Celtic star ahead of a crunch Scottish Premiership weekend are music to the ears of Rangers fans.