Twelve major European football clubs are facing criticism after announcing the formation of an exclusive “European Super League” (ESL) on Sunday. In the middle of the turmoil is JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM), which intends to finance the ESL’s establishment with $6 billion in debt.
President of Real Madrid and now chairman of the ESL, Florentino Perez, has stated that the “Super League” is intended to save European football amid dropping audiences and increased competition from other forms of media by delivering more exciting matches between top clubs more frequently.
The twelve founding clubs from England, Italy and Spain have further stated that the ESL would alleviate the instability induced by the Covid pandemic and are confident that the formation of the league will benefit the European football as a whole.
The backlash was fast and fierce. Many professional players, managers, and policy makers have announced their opposition. UEFA President Alexander Ceferin has condemned the project as a “spit in the face of all football lovers”, undermining the true spirit of competition.
German football league boss Christian Seifert compared some breakaway clubs with “poorly managed money incinerators” and interprets the effects of the pandemic as a pretextual argument to be able to make significantly more money within the ESL to alleviate high amounts of debt after years of mismanagement.
He is further questioning if JP Morgan will really pay the announced amount.
The UEFA and the FIFA want to proceed against the formation of the ESL by all means, including banning the clubs from all other competitions, including the newly reformed UCL and also banning individual players from representing their countries. Irrespective of the outcome, the twelve ESL teams are very influential and will most likely gather more power in the football landscape.
What do you think, will the ESL go through? And should JP Morgan continue with their plans to finance the league?