Football clubs have been using social media to carry out polls for years, but after the latest controversy, which saw Peter Crouch win a place in the Spurs Team of the Decade at the expense of Harry Kane, could the game finally be up?
Spurs fans were asked to choose their best starting XI from the last ten years, with England striker Kane looking certain to occupy the sole striking role until supporters of Liverpool and Arsenal began sabotaging the vote.
Crouch, who took 61% of the vote, wasn’t the only surprise entry, with fellow ex-Liverpool man Brad Friedel taking the goalkeeping spot ahead of Hugo Lloris.
The club took the outcome in relatively good humour, even tweeting out a message about ‘suspicious activity’ on their account, while a tongue-in-cheek Crouch conceded that Kane ‘just edges it’.
And it’s not the first time that clubs have seen skewed results from over-zealous supporters.
Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva was crowned Lazio’s 2018 Player of the Year, beating Ciro Immobile, who had scored an incredible 41 goals in 47 games, after tens of thousands of Liverpool fans took part in the club’s official Twitter poll. Leiva won again in 2019, this time taking a staggering 94% of the vote.
Liverpool fans have seemingly revelled in making a mockery of these polls, but fans of other clubs would do the same given the chance and a bit of momentum. The fact is, rival supporters will take any opportunity they can to undermine one another and these polls – in their current format – are just too good an opportunity to miss.
Harry Kane, who has 181 goals in 277 Spurs appearances, compared to Crouch’s 23 goals in 121, deserves to be recognised with a place in Tottenham’s Team of the Decade, just as Ciro Immobile deserved the Lazio Player of the Year Award in 2018.
By their very nature, Twitter polls are pretty much a free for all and the results extremely malleable. They’re easy to manipulate and can be easily sabotaged by an automated script, otherwise known as a bot, created to submit multiple votes. These scripts allow online polling to be used as the cheapest propaganda tool of the age.
While you can argue that polls such as these are just a bit of fun, clubs do need a reliable way to engage with their fans and they also need to be able to protect the integrity of fan polls, or else risk becoming a laughing stock over and over again. We believe Fan Tokens are the solution to this problem.
At the end of last year, Juventus became the first team in the world to launch their own Fan Token through our blockchain-based fan voting and rewards app Socios.com. The first poll on the Socios.com platform, to determine Juve’s new goal celebration song, opened at the same time, with the result set to be revealed live at the Allianz Stadium when the Bianconeri take on Cagliari on January 6th.
And in terms of ensuring the sanctity of future votes, this is where the use of blockchain comes into its own. Polls held on Socios.com cannot be manipulated or sabotaged. Voters need to own Fan Tokens to take part, which means purchasing them in Fan Token Offerings on Socios.com, or using the app to collect them through Augmented Reality (AR) Token Hunts.
For a rival fan, this would require a far greater degree of effort than the seconds required to undermine another team’s poll via Twitter.
Ownership of Fan Tokens will be the exclusive preserve of real supporters.
Every single one of our partner clubs will commit to a number of binding & non binding polls each season, allowing true fans to take part confident that their vote will contribute to a meaningful outcome. Furthermore, as all votes are processed through the blockchain, the results are immutable (can’t be altered).
Through blockchain-backed Fan Tokens, Socios.com protects the integrity of fan polls, allowing clubs to engage with true fans and reward them with unique experiences and exclusive merchandise.
Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético de Madrid, A.S. Roma, West Ham and Galatasaray will also launch their own Fan Tokens through Socios.com in the near future, while dozens of other football clubs, as well as teams from other sporting verticals are waiting in the wings to join the platform.