NEW YORK, NY
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.
Source: Business insiders