But after the club announced it’s lucrative two-year deal with an Asian online betting and gaming firm they’ve been left scratching their heads and wondering just who is W88?
A simple Google search doesn’t really help much – access to the majority of the firm’s website appears to be restricted in this country and the only listing for W88 on Wikipedia describes it as ‘a United States thermonuclear warhead’ – clearly not the right W88.
But we are living in the times of social media so after turning to Facebook, a few more clues can be found. W88’s page, founded in 2013, says it’s licensed and regulated in the Philippines and is ‘rapidly growing’, operating with more than 1,000 employees.
It apparently specialises in sports betting, live dealer casino, poker and slots and lottery games from Beijing, Australia, Canada, Slovakia and Malta, which are available in eight languages including English, Mandarin, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Khmer.
The firm also has a link to English football as former Three Lions and Liverpool player Emile Heskey was signed up to be a brand ambassador in February this year.
When he was unveiled, the retired footballer, who made 500 league appearances over an 18-year career, said he was ‘proud’ to have been appointed and would be offering ‘football tips, news, predictions and match analysis’ for the W88 website.