Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern, Manchester United, the Chinese bookmaker and the English model: the story of football in the twenty-first century

PSG press release, posted on November 6, 2020, Its deep satisfaction reflects its compliance with a preferred business partner for three seasons starting from 2020/2021. This partner, the Asian online betting site Yabo Sports, was already a sponsor of Manchester United, Bayern, Las Monaco, from Serie A and the Argentine Football Association, among others. Its official ambassador to Asia was none other than Steven Gerrard. In other words, he was the most visible and ambitious of the Far East’s shadowy bookmakers, who based their notoriety in their own part of the world, especially in China, on the relationships they had forged with the big names and sometimes less great Europeans. football.

Sebastien Fassel, general manager of Paris Saint-Germain Asia Pacific, was delighted with this. “We are convinced, He said, Yabo Sports will be the ideal partner for the club, and together we will be able to reach more fans and engage even more with this growing base in Asia. This is a strategic partnership for the club, demonstrating our growing commitment to the region following the launch of our APAC office, our successful Asian tours in 2018 and 2019, the signing of key partnerships as well as the opening of our stores. South Korea. “

General view of Parc des Princes

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However, after a year and two months, while the agreement between the club and the online betting site was supposed to last until the end of the 2022/2023 season, we can no longer find any trace of this “strategic partner”. In the list of brands officially associated with PSG, Among them is another Asian betting company, Leyu.com, which is also the sponsor of Chelsea recently, which came out recently.

The Yabo Sports logo and ideograms no longer appear on Parc des Princes billboards. As for sites that betting company customers were once directed to, do we go there, including using a VPN, where we only run into dead ends or error messages.

Yabo Sports vanished like the morning mist, and not just from the Parisian landscape, for that matter. What applies to Paris Saint-Germain is also true of ASM, its first assistant in the first division, Bayern Munich, which nevertheless organized a “signing ceremony” for the contract between the club and its “official partner in Asia for Paris” in November 2019 (in which Lothar Matthaus was present). ), or Manchester United, who summoned their legends Brian Robson, Andy Cole and Wes Brown to a similar event in Manchester a month later. Yabu Sports may not have existed at all. So what happened to make the most prominent Asian bookmaker in world football disappear in this way?

Chinese authorities against Yabo

To understand why, we must first remember that the law prohibits betting on football matches in the target countries of Yabo Sports and its competitors from the Far East, including Layu.com, W88, FUN88, SBOTOP and dozens or hundreds more. These digital platforms circumvent the laws in force in their countries by obtaining a license in more welcoming regions, with a particular preference for the Philippines, where Yabo Sports has been approved by the relevant authorities since 2015, apparently.

The servers of bookmakers are also moved, while potential customers located in China are alerted to their presence by advertising on T-shirts and light panels of clubs and stadiums, mostly Europeans, with whom they have entered. Partnership agreements. That is why Yabo Sports has spent tens of millions collaborating with PSG, ASM, MUFC, Bayern and all the others: to express themselves, and to introduce themselves to their clients in the Far East, and not to the French, British or German audience, where their activity was and will not exist.

But in the Yabu Sports case, it was without relying on the intervention of the Chinese authorities, who, As recently revealed by Josimar magazine, They took action in December 2019, after dissatisfied customers – who lost nearly half a million euros on the Yabo platform – complained to police in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, leading to an unprecedented investigation that quickly spread to other provinces in the People’s Republic of China. This investigation, which lasted eighteen months, involved thousands of investigators and police officers, and ended with a crackdown, the size of which gives an idea of ​​u200bu200bthis giant of online betting sites, no matter how illegal they are. .

He learned that Yabo Sports employed a network of 80,000 (!) agents responsible for recruiting customers (5.6 million in total, in China alone) and taking their bets. In total, more than 4,000 suspects were arrested, and the Chinese authorities confiscated the equivalent of 200 million euros; Which, by the way, was just a fraction of the sums collected by Yabo Sports, whose earnings were estimated at more than 15 billion US dollars.

That is why the PSG partner no longer gives any sign of life: the dismantling of a criminal network in China was the reason for his disappearance. This may also have been the reason why the clubs that were so proud to welcome Yabo Sports into their partner ‘families’ kept quiet, and have remained so ever since, leaving Gusimar’s questions unanswered to this day, with the exception of Bayern, who ended up reply back. like him: “Bayern Munich unilaterally terminated its partnership with Yabo Sports in 2021. We will not comment on any other matters and appreciate your understanding.”. Football is not fancy when it arrives at its door to be shown in the millions.

He’s also not bothered when it comes to exactly who he’s dealing with. The evidence is that Bayern, Manchester United and … Steven Gerrard have signed their agreement with Yabo Sports with the supposed “CEO” of the online betting operator, Dean Hooks.

Had they pushed their curiosity a little further, they would have realized that the so-called Dean Hooks was not the CEO of a multi-billion-brewing betting company, but rather a director of two or three small companies between China and the UK, which had absolutely nothing to do with sports and that Dean Hooks had nothing to do with sports. It was also, and perhaps above all, a popular model for Chinese advertising agencies. He submitted to Huawei, among other things.

Why not also take a position with Yabo Sports, then, in order to give a full British flair to the favorite – for some time – Asian bookmaker from PSG and others?

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