JP Morgan says it regrets backing the failed European Super League with $4 billion of financing: ‘We clearly misjudged’

Super League
Soccer fans protest plans for a European Super League.

  • JP Morgan says it “misjudged” its decision to offer $4 billion in finance to the failed European Super League.
  • JP Morgan had said it would offer debt financing to the 12 soccer teams, who wanted to form an elite breakaway league.
  • Clubs quickly withdrew from the closed tournament after intense backlash from fans, players, and politicians.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JP Morgan said it “misjudged” a deal to finance a breakaway league for 12 elite European soccer teams, which collapsed following furious backlash from fans.

The US investment bank committed more than $4 billion in debt finance over 23 years to the 12 founding teams of the league, some of the best in Europe. The debt was secured against broadcasting rights for the tournament, according to the Financial Times.

Twelve clubs announced plans to breakaway from the UEFA Champions League, the top European-wide competition, on Sunday. They would form their own Super League, they said, sparking outrage from fans, players, politicians, and even the UK royal family.

The plan quickly unraveled. By Wednesday all six UK clubs had pulled out. Italian teams AC Milan and Inter Milan, and Spain’s Atletico Madrid, said they would also withdraw.

The new competition planned to include Manchester United and Real Madrid, among other top clubs.

A JP Morgan spokesperson said: “We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future. We will learn from this.”

Critics said the scheme risked turning European soccer into a “money-grabbing” exercise similar to US sports leagues like the NFL, and undermined the ability for smaller clubs to beat the odds and win against top teams.

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JPMorgan gets backlash from soccer fans after backing the Super League, Amazon denies supporting it

chelsea european super league
  • 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.”

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.

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.

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.

Other fans cracked jokes and made memes about JPMorgan’s decision.

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.

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