April 26 – US bank and Super League backer JP Morgan has apologised for its role in the European Super League (ESL) fiasco, admitting that it misjudged the reaction from fans.
JP Morgan Chase underwrote initial investment in the ESL for about $4 billion, but as the ESL disintegrated within 48 hours of its announcement in the wake of a tsunami of criticism from all corners of the football industry and beyond, the bank was also tarred and feathered for its role in the rise and fall of the competition.
“We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future,” said a company spokesman. “We will learn from this.”
Public apologies from JP Morgan are rare, but in an interview with Bloomberg TV the bank’s co-president Daniel E. Pinto tried to distance his company from the storm that has engulfed European football. “We arranged a loan for a client,” said Pinto. “It’s not our place to decide what is the optimal way for football to operate in Europe and the UK.”
JPMorgan however will reportedly not suffer any financial losses from the collapse of the ESL, with its expenses covered.
Last week, the banking giant also had its corporate sustainability rating downgraded by Standard Ethics over its role in the debacle.
The saga has been a PR nightmare for the bank, which sought to reposition itself as a leader of socially responsible and sustainable capitalism following a letter from chief executive Jamie Dimon. Executives at the stateside bank look to have been caught unaware that engaging in the world of European football politics with an attempt to prise its premium club assets away from the accepted football pyramid and its century-old fundamental principles of solidarity and meritocracy, could result in a strong community backlash and worse.
Ironically, Dimon had even referenced the importance of local sports teams to communities in his letter.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1635088680labto1635088680ofdlr1635088680owedi1635088680sni@o1635088680fni1635088680