What in the hell?
How did Arsenal, a club that has long-needed to step up its commercial sponsorships, manage to somehow agree to a deal with Chinese car manufacture BYD, only to find out earlier today that, in fact, they were done in by a conman?
This is truly shambolic on so many levels.
To recap: Arsenal announced an agreement with BYD back in April of this year for them to become the club’s official car and bus partner (whatever that means, but hey, more commercial deals!). To commemorate the two parties coming together, there was even a photo with Laurent Koscielny, Skhodran Mustafi, and Granit Xhaka holding up an Arsenal shirt with BYD on the back. And it was all, apparently, a complete ruse, the work of a con artist who did all of this work unbeknownst to BYD.
As Bloomberg reports today:
BYD Co., an electric-car maker backed by Warren Buffett, asked the police to investigate a person who it says damaged its reputation and harmed related parties. Arsenal, which announced a pact with BYD in April, says the carmaker informed the English Premier League club that the deal was among those potentially affected by a fraud.
The person isn’t an employee and never has been, and BYD hasn’t authorized the person to conduct business in its name, the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange Monday. The carmaker also said it reported to the police a forged company seal, which may have been used to stamp contracts that the person awarded.
Goddammit, Arsenal. Of course this would be something that happens to you.
What’s even more wild about this particular case of fraud is that Arsenal “quoted” BYD’s brand and public relations director Sherry Li in its press release announcing the partnership. This is truly high-level fraud at its best.
Whatever, good job you dorks. We’re already the butt of many jokes online, and now you get done in by a guy walking into multiple meetings wearing mustache glasses. Christ. Next time, do a bit more due diligence, you gullible morons.