- On Sunday, 12 top soccer clubs announced plans to join a closed league, called the European Super League.
- JPMorgan invested $4 billion in the new league, while companies like Amazon denied supporting it.
- The bank faced backlash from soccer fans on Twitter who were upset about the new league.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JPMorgan faced the ire of soccer fans on Tuesday after it was revealed that the bank was backing the European Super League to the tune of about $4 billion.
On Sunday, 12 top clubs from England, Italy, and Spain, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United, announced plans to participate in the new, closed league. The announcement sparked a significant backlash in the sports community. Top players, as well as government officials, spoke out against the new league.
And by Tuesday afternoon, several clubs, including Barcelona and Manchester City, reportedly decided to withdraw from the league following criticism. Chelsea fans protested outside the team’s stadium on Tuesday, leading the club to withdraw the same day.
On Twitter, numerous soccer fans called for a boycott of JPMorgan.
“If your bank is @jpmorgan you simply have to move your money elsewhere,” one fan posted on Twitter. “Say NO to the #SuperLeague.”
-bitterandstout 🏴 🇨🇽 (@mike_jeski) April 19, 2021
Fans also called for a boycott of services that would stream the Super League games, pointing fingers at Amazon and ESPN.
“To all footbalfans: if the SuperLeague arrives, refuse to choose the TVchannels they will use: If they cannot make money, JP Morgan and the greedy clubs will soon loose their appetite,” one Twitter user wrote.
-Bard Blasius (@BardBlasius) April 20, 2021
Streaming rights to the European Super League could be a major boon to media groups like ESPN and Amazon Prime, likely on par with the NFL.
Amazon responded to claims the company would stream the Super League events and said it “understands and shares the concerns of fans.” The company said it has not been involved in any discussions about the new league.
-Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) April 20, 2021
A primary concern among fans was that the new league meant increased control over the game from American corporations. The Super League would be more reminiscent of US sports leagues than European ones, as the league would no longer regulate teams to lower levels based on their performance.
Some fans said JPMorgan was attempting to turn European soccer into a “money-grabbing” entity like the NFL.
-Ruchir Vyas (@Ruchir_V26) April 19, 2021
Other fans cracked jokes and made memes about JPMorgan’s decision.
-The FPL Fan (Andrew Yee) (@TheFPLFan) April 20, 2021
JPMorgan declined to comment about its backing of the league.
The founding members of the project have already filed motions in several courts against any efforts to stop the foundation of the league, according to The New York Times.