Could a new app revolutionise football?

Entrepreneur Maurice Ashkenazi-Bakes is behind new app


A Jewish entrepreneur is behind a new multi-million pound social media platform involving some of the biggest football clubs in Europe.

Maurice Ashkenazi-Bakes is the founder of, which uses Israeli IT expertise to create an app which allows fans to gain instant access to official news and exclusive content and offers gossip harvested from the web about their team.

The app also allows supporters to interact through messaging fellow supporters, buy merchandise, play games, place bets on the match and take virtual reality tours of their club’s stadium.

On top of creating commercial opportunities, it also uses new technology which allows fans at the stadiums to pool data on their mobile devices to create high-speed connectivity to the internet.

has received millions of pounds of investment so far — much of which has come from China.

Among the clubs who have already publicly stated their involvement are Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, Poland’s Legia Warsaw and Russian giants FC Zenit St Petersburg.

Mr Ashkenazi-Bakes — who has been involved in the bid to open a new Jewish school in north-west London — has also opened talks with British Champions League clubs about their involvement in the project.

He told the JC: “Many of the world’s top sports clubs cannot effectively monetise their global fan base. 

“They have millions of social media followers but don’t derive any direct commercial benefit.

“This is particularly true of China and Africa; we are making great inroads into both. 

“We’re particularly excited about China and are developing really strong links with Chinese youth organisations who have many millions of members. 

“Our technology has been described as becoming the ‘Facebook for sports’ in China.

“In China, they support European clubs in a different way, so may have three of four that they follow closely.

“We’re offering sports clubs the opportunity to interact more directly with their global fan base in an entertaining and informative way that brings in significant added revenue streams.

“There’s been lots of support from investors who clearly share my vision about the huge potential for the platform. The fact a lot of this investment has come from China is no coincidence.”


With audiences around the world having different user habits, the app also localises the platform using experienced interface developers for individual markets. This is especially important for markets in Asia, the Far East and Africa. 

Sports clubs will be able to choose which elements of the app they adopt and would be able to sell advertising and create marketing opportunities through it.

Mr Ashkenazi-Bakes, who attends Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, said: “I first came up with the idea a few years ago and then contacted my wife’s cousin in Israel, who works in IT, to discover exactly what was possible. 

“Clearly, Israel is a world-renowned leader in developing IT and we’ve worked closely with COMAS University in Rishon LeZion to create some superb cutting-edge technology

“My business partner Jon Goddard (formerly at EA Games) and I have flown to dozens of big football clubs across Europe and the response has been incredibly positive. 

“We’ve created a solution to the problem of accessing fans globally that they’ve all been desperate to solve. It means we’ve been welcomed with open arms.

“We currently have a large beta-version of the platform running for our clubs which we expect to go fully live in the next few months. 

“There are clubs in the UK, Europe and across the world that are very keen but I’ve signed non-disclosure agreements with them which means I can’t name them.

“It’s not just football that the app is aimed at. We’re also looking at it being used by cricket, basketball, baseball and rugby clubs.”
Eventually, Mr Ashkenazi-Bakes expects the company’s technology to be used to screen games live.

He said: “I think down the line it’s inevitable the clubs will eventually take control of their own rights to screen their games and take commercial advantage.

“At the moment there’s so much lost revenue with people illegally live streaming games. By clubs showing a match themselves on their own global media platform it will be easier for them to monetise.

“Ultimately, when the clubs are able to reach their global fans more directly they will then be able to take even more control.”

One of the key investments has been from G Entertainment, a company specialising in opening new markets between Asia and Europe.

Brooke Greville, chief executive of G Entertainment, said: “This is a fantastic example of new technology creating new market opportunities for everyone’s benefit. We were attracted by the opportunity presented for sports clubs to properly tap into a wider global fan base.

“Ultimately, when the clubs are able to reach their global fans more directly they will then be able to take even more control.”

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