Trophy-like figures amid the European Super League logo
The European Super League, a breakaway soccer competition, came and went in less than a week. JP Morgan lent $4.2 billion to support the initiative, only to call it a misjudgment on Friday. Nine of the 12 founding clubs backed out after fans and politicians opposed the league. See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The European Super League’s precipitous rise was only matched by its stunning fall.
This week, the breakaway men’s soccer league involving Europe’s biggest sporting names fell apart just days following its unveiling. Nine of the 12 founding clubs reversed their decision to participate in the initiative after fans protested in the streets of London, while soccer pundits and politicians voiced their opposition all week. The Super League was designed to compete alongside the popular Champions League, currently the continent’s highest-ranking club competition.
JP Morgan had committed to fund the clubs’ upfront costs for the league with a €3.5 billion ($4.2 billion) loan that offered between 2% and 3% in interest and would have matured over 23 years.
But in a u-turn on Friday, a spokesperson for the US bank said it “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.”
This followed numerous fans calling for a boycott of JP Morgan for funding the Super League.
Typically, a loan of this size and stature would have been structured with a breakup fee for JP Morgan, but the spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
The US bank had pondered taking the deal into the syndicated loan market to spread the fundraising among other banks, but was also prepared to remain the sole lender if its peers weren’t comfortable with the risk, according to sources familiar with the financing.
“The secret sauce at the top level is all about advertising, broadcast, and merchandising revenue,” said one senior banker that opposed the