ATTENTION!!! SD³ project was directly affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Until further notice, we are forced to put a freeze on all our operations. Stay tuned for updates.

Tag fifa

Gene Swinton, CEO of Sports D³ commentary instigated by today’s story in BBC News about Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich.

Among 100s of messages that I receive every week, there’s always at least one asking about how to view the Sports D³ platform in the context of the Third-Party Ownership (TPO) restrictions … and this means it’s time for a thread.

In instances such as the one reported today by BBC News: “FinCEN Files: Roman Abramovich had secret stakes in rival players”, the Third-Party Ownership (TPO) DOES cast a shadow of distrust and may affect the integrity of the game.

However, we at SD³ believe that drawing investors and their capital into the world of football is a good thing. We also wish for ALL clubs and ALL the investors to have equal and indiscriminate access to financing opportunities. The current reality provides an unfair advantage to the elite clubs and their billionaire-owners.

For this reason, we view TPO as an issue ONLY when the ownership of “economic rights” of a player is heavily concentrated in the hands of select few rich investors, who are able to exercise excessive control over the performance of an asset, undermines the integrity of the game.

We believe that preventing billions of sports fans & investors from direct participation in the sports economy (such as the Transfer Market) is not only unfair to 100s of non-elite football clubs & their fans but is also a violation of the European principle of “freedom of enterprise”.

Current distortions in the industry and unequal access to resources can not be solved through the “Central Planning” function of FIFA alone (the system of Solidarity Payments) similar to how the central planning function failed the Soviets in the last century.

Our mission at Sports D³ is quite the opposite: we strive to dismantle the existing asymmetry of power & abusive industry verticals. We empower smaller fan-investors to hold a direct economic interest in their favorite team or players WITHOUT exerting influence on their performance in the field. We facilitate crowd-formation of capital to provide clubs with new funding alternatives WITHOUT interfering in their sporting affairs.

The key reason why we chose DLT (blockchain) as underlying technology is to ensure (in the spirit of TPO) the widely-distributed nature of the ownership structure of an asset. Among other reasons, of course, were its decentralized tamper-proof nature, its transparency, and better consensus-based governance.

Page 16 of the FIFA manual on TPO, section “Regarding the compatibility of article 18bis with European Union Law” it reads:

“It also does not violate the freedom to provide services (in this case, financial or investment services for football clubs) within the European market, because such services can be freely provided so long as they do not lead to the investor or funder gaining unlawful influence on the football club in question.”

With a widely distributed ownership structure in place for each asset initiated on the SD³ platform and no majority shareholder influence, the SD³ platform follows the original noble intentions of the TPO regulation. We achieve this by setting a maximum cap of TPO ownership of an asset in the range of 25-45% with no single investor holding stake greater than 5-10% at any given time.

The “Zero-influence” principle is further reinforced via the issuance of non-voting class shares or debt when structuring the offering to the investors.

Simply put, in terms of influence & control, the capital raised on the SD³ platform resembles more of a credit line from a traditional bank [than the scenario described in the above mentioned BBC article], where the only expectation from the bank as a creditor is to receive back loan principal amount + certain % interest as a profit. The influence on the sporting strategy of a club is neither intended nor it is possible.

Sports D³ delivers fairness, equal access to opportunities, and better governance that are so needed in the industry today for the ultimate benefit of the game we all love.

In fact, SD³ is the 1st platform to enable true democracy in the flow of capital in the sports industry and to uphold the European principle of “freedom of enterprise”…. all for the benefit of the smaller football clubs which are NOT owned by a billionaire.

SD³ = #SportsDemocracy!

#SportsDemocracy #FanInvestors #FIFA #UEFA #Sports #Football #soccer #SportsD3 #SD3 #digitalassets #tokenization #TPO #FootballBusiness #FootballLaw #FootballFinance

‘Sports D³’ (‘D-Cubed Ventures OÜ’) is the leader in sports democracy. SD³ is a regulatory-compliant digital marketplace for assets in the sports industry. Join with many other sports fans, pro athletes, and clubs by signing up at

If you have questions or interest in this subject matter we will be happy to hear from you. Please send us a direct email to

Read More

Commentary by Gene Swinton, ‘Sports D³’ Founder & CEO on the video published by FIFA’s Emilio Silvero on the subject of Third-Party Ownership (TPO) regulation.


This turned out to be a more elaborate version of Nick’s article in ‘Football Legal’ last year, which I found to be the best piece on TPO so far not just from legal prospective, but commercial too. Thank you for sharing! Many important points were raised indeed, also glad to see the prospects of changes.

However, my main concern about the current status quo remains. The very last comment in the Q&A section about “socialism vs. capitalism” was the closest it got to my area of concern.

The role of regulator in any industry is to ensure purity and fairness of competition, … unless it is a natural monopoly. What I find fundamentally wrong with TPO regulation in it’s current form is that FIFA, as a regulator, is mistakenly treating football industry (specifically flow of capital) as a natural monopoly. As a result FIFA’s manual ”central planning” approach to allocation/redistribution/flow of resources creates distortions (repeatedly) within various layers of the industry.

The solution to existing assymetries/distortions can be found within the economic theory’s Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH), and to a smaller extent in the regulation of the industry. We do need ground rules, but excessive centralization/over-regulation will only create unneccessary burdens both for FIFA and the industry without yielding results.

In my opinion (shared by clubs across continents), EMH can be achieved in football/soccer industry by inviting the OPEN MARKET FORCES into the industry and specifically into the Transfer Market, i.e. adapt regulatory framework to invite BILLIONS OF FOOTBALL FANS to participate economically in this market side-by-side with billionaires and financial conglomerates (who we traditionally tend to focus on in conversations re TPO).

Democratic formation & flow of capital can deliver the purity of competition that we all wish to achieve and eliminate the existing distortions, all w/o violating the integrity of the game or creating external influence on internal policies.

The last person in the video to ask the question just barely touched on the tip of what can be done to DEMOCRATIZE the soccer industry. This subject matter is very complex – anyone interested feel free to message me directly to have a bigger conversation.

#SportsDemocracy #freemarket #FanInvestors #FIFA #UEFA #Sports #Football #soccer #SportsD3 #SD3 #digitalassets #tokenization #DeFi

Read More

Read More

Distortion #2: Regulatory restrictions limit club’s choices in search of capital & resources.

This is really amusing, ‘cos it comes only 2 days after my write-up where I draw parallels between football and politics.

“Lavrov noted that a grand football club in Europe had to revoke its request for assistance from a Russian non-governmental organisation that is helping with medical supplies amid the pandemic after being discouraged from receiving Russian help”.


Wouldn’t it be great if that undisclosed ”grand football club in Europe” could just turn to millions of their loyal football fans and crowd-fund the required capital/resources, skipping the entire need to play the game of politics and rather focus on what they do best – playing the game of football?

Football (soccer) is full of economic distortions resulting in consistently unpredictable side-effects.

Very curious to hear more about this story to validate my early assumptions.

#SportsDemocracy #freemarket #FanInvestors #FIFA #UEFA #Sports #Football #soccer #SportsD3 #SD3 #digitalassets #tokenization #DeFi

Read More

Read More

Distortion #1: Excess of regulatory participation in the industry puts FIFA in the shoes of a micro-manager.

Do you find football and geo-/politics to have a lot in common? In both cases ‘politicians’ tend to destroy the economic value. Let’s recap key points from today’s article in “Independent”. Mr. O’Neill:

  • complains about the drain of young talent to the Republic from N. Ireland
  • yet, not willing or able to “make an offer they can’t refuse” to keep young talent in N. Ireland
  • admits that “ultimately the choice belongs to the individual”
  • yet, is asking FIFA/UEFA to come in heavy-handed to use regulatory powers to prevent young athletes from choosing the other side.

If FIFA/UEFA follows through intervene and impose, to regulate and micromanage every little aspect, the industry as a whole would resemble China under CCP leadership rather than a free market.

We already have a ‘passport regime’ prescribed by Sec. 7 of RSTP Reg. with ‘visa stamps’ by FIFA to authorize player’s club affiliation. What’s next? … If a player is artificially restricted in his/her choice of economic terms of employment, it’s no freedom – it’s slavery & total control. This practice is even more worrisome since young athletes are involved.

Without relying on open market forces to self-regulate the industry we will continue to witness these distortions in resource allocations. Football is over-regulated already. If anything, it needs more democracy to attract smart capital to the right corners of the industry, to empower best-managed clubs retain their best talent, and unleash the full potential of the industry.

#SportsDemocracy #freemarket #FanInvestors #FIFA #UEFA #Sports #Football #soccer #SportsD3 #SD3 #digitalassets #tokenization #DeFi

Read More

Read More