Premier League champions Manchester City have pulled the plug on their partnership with 3Key Technologies after questions regarding the legitimacy of the firm were raised.
Manchester City announced a deal with 3Key Technologies on November 11, 2021, designating the firm as an “Official Regional Partner in decentralised finance trading analysis”. At the time, the announcement did not state which region the agreement applied to.
A statement from 3Key’s founder, Oliver Chen, said that the company was “in a startup phase with a product due to launch in the coming months” and that the partnership with City would be in “regions outside the UK”.
Further doubts were soon cast on 3Key when it emerged that the company’s website contained no contact details, registered office or company number. Its named staff also appeared to have no digital footprint. In the same week, websites associated with 3Key went temporarily offline.
By November 19, City were saying that they would not activate any products or services linked to the partnership until relevant regulations had been met. The club then took the decision to suspend the deal, pending further investigations.
“Manchester City conducts due diligence in respect of all of its partnerships,” read a statement from a club spokesperson.
“Manchester City’s partnership with 3Key Technologies has been announced but has not been activated in respect of any specific products or services in any part of the world.
“Prompted by the club’s interactions with 3Key Technologies in recent days, Manchester City is now conducting further enquiries regarding 3Key Technologies and the partnership has been suspended pending satisfactory resolution of all of those enquiries.”
The company was said to be launching a product in the coming months and had signed an agreement with City focused on regions away from the UK.
However, according to Sportsmail, Manchester City, who maintain they had done due diligence on the firm, have now severed all ties with 3Key, ending the partnership.