After a week in which Manchester City announced the highest commercial revenue in English football history and publicly confirmed that they are still under investigation by the Premier League for alleged financial irregularities, the Mail on Sunday has uncovered new anomalies in one of the most recent City commercials. partnerships.
The reigning champions announced a deal with betting company 8xBet in the summer as they “introduced a new regional partnership making the brand the club’s official betting partner in Asia”.
This was followed by Norwegian magazine Josimar asking about apparent contradictions in 8xBet’s alleged history, from when they were founded to who actually worked for them. Neither City nor 8xBet reacted then.
Manchester City’s partnership with betting company 8xBet appears to have anomalies
A glossy promotional video announcing Teddy Sheringham as an 8xBet ‘ambassador’ earlier this year was not intended to be a ‘fictional story’, says a source close to 8xBet.
But 8xBet founder and acting CEO, Ryan Li, contradicted this in an interview saying: “Just like when a football club signs a star, we wanted to show our pride and excitement and let everyone know that Teddy is joining 8xBet.
“So the first step was to celebrate the partnership with our official signing ceremony, which can be seen in our announcement video.”
Sheringham continues to promote the company as an ambassador, and the video shows a woman apparently representing 8xBet shaking hands with that contract.
Manchester City announced the highest commercial revenue in English football history
The woman is actually a London-based model named Jasmine, who frequently poses for bikini, lingerie and fashion shoots, and has no role in 8xBet. The source says it’s “common practice” to use actors and models for such shoots.
Over the summer, a LinkedIn profile of someone claiming to be co-founder and CEO of 8XBet, Trinh Thu Trang, was removed after her profile picture was shown to be a stock photo.
The MoS has now determined that the same image was widely used on the Internet, including on a sex site where the user offered services as a bisexual ‘cam model’.
Manchester City has provided the Mail on Sunday with an email address for a man named Jet Zhu, the CEO of a Dubai-based marketing firm, QOO Global, and the de facto spokesperson for 8xBet, to answer any questions related to the company.
Mr Zhu declined to speak officially, but a source said the Trinh Thu Trang profile was “false” and had not been posted by anyone from 8xBet.
Mr. Zhu’s own company, QOO has some quirks. The company claims it has up to 50 employees, but their website only lists work samples for one client: 8xBet. A source close to QOO said the marketing company could not name other customers “due to confidentiality.”
Of QOO’s employees, 23 apparently have LinkedIn profiles, but these include a man from Lahore, Pakistan, who has a Facebook page promoting his work as a motivational speaker, and inspirational quotes from Martin Luther King.
Contacted by the MoS, he said he was the CEO of his own company, then claimed he was the CEO of QOO, which is untrue. When asked if we could meet him at QOO’s Dubai office, he was unable to provide an address and said, “We work digitally from Pakistan and Dubai.”
Another supposed full-time QOO employee in Dubai appears to actually work for a healthcare company, while a third stopped answering questions when asked about 8xBet. A fourth has her own company that offers website development and digital marketing services.
A source close to QOO said personal social media profiles were not monitored by QOO and some people who claimed to have false associations with QOO have been reported to LinkedIn.
A shiny promotional video announced Teddy Sheringham as an 8xBet ‘ambassador’ this year
The Mail on Sunday has asked for an address of 8xBet’s headquarters and a phone number, but no details have been released.
These developments come a week after the MoS reported that Fulham had dumped a commercial partner, Titan, following an investigation by this newspaper which found it was “staffed” by fake employees played by actors, and an unrealistic financial return of “at least 480 guaranteed. percent profit per year.
Manchester City’s 2021-22 financial statements, published last week, showed that their commercial revenues are now £309.5million, up 13 per cent in a year and now more than half of their total revenues. Commercial giants and cross-city rivals Manchester United made just £258 million from such deals in the same season.
In their accounts, City also acknowledged “an ongoing Premier League investigation” into alleged irregularities.
These include alleged anomalous ‘disguised investments’ via sponsors, alleged violations of rules for signing underage players and alleged fictitious consultancy contracts.
The investigation is well into its fourth year and is slowing down mainly as City’s lawyers continue to dispute its legitimacy.