Both Inter and AS Roma looked just a little bit different as they took to the pitch for their respective Serie A Matchday 32 games, with the Nerazzurri coming from behind to beat Lazio at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and the Giallorossi sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw with AC Milan. Viewers might have been scratching their heads trying to work out what exactly had changed about the two clubs’ respective shirts as they tuned in to watch.
The change was perhaps more noticeable in Milan, with Inter facing Lazio without a sponsor on the front of their shirt. Roma, meanwhile, replaced their usual sponsor with an acronym that will be familiar to anybody who has visited the Eternal City in the past – SPQR.
What happened with DigitalBits, Inter and AS Roma?
Both Roma and Inter decided to suspend their respective deals with cryptocurrency company DigitalBits due to a lack of payments from the sponsor. It has been reported that DigitalBits did not make a single payment to Inter for the 2022/23 season, also failing to fulfil their financial obligations to Roma.
For their part, the crypto company pointed a finder at Zytara, the company that had been responsible for their sponsorship contracts, and DigitalBits have reportedly distanced themselves from Zytara.
News of the seriousness of the issue broke on Saturday, April 29 – the day on which Roma hosted AC Milan and the day before Inter’s game against Lazio. While the Giallorossi’s men’s side took to the pitch at 18:00 local time with SPQR on their shirt, their women’s team played at 14:30 that same day as they sealed a first-ever Serie A Femminile title by beating Fiorentina. Although they still had DigitalBits on their shirt, there was no sign at the Stadio Tre Fontane of any advertising boards with the company’s name visible.
What does the SPQR on AS Roma’s shirt mean?
Anybody who has visited the Italian capital would have seen SPQR all over the city.
SPQR stands for “Senatus Populusque Romanus”, which means the Senate and the People of Rome. By choosing to wear this across their shirts, Roma are perhaps tightening their ties to the Eternal City and its population.