Super League lender JP Morgan admits it ‘clearly misjudged’ backlash from fans

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Investment bank J P Morgan has admitted it “clearly misjudged” the backlash from football fans over the proposed new European Super League.

The financial giant had committed just over £2.8bn of start-up financing to the ill-fated scheme, although no money has yet changed hands.

But on Friday, a statement from JP Morgan 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.”

The controversial new league had planned to include Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, together with the Spanish sides Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, and Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan.

However, the plans swiftly and spectacularly unravelled and all six Premier League clubs, both Italian clubs and Atletico Madrid are withdrawing.

JP Morgan was due to provide debt financing for the competition. It is understood it was also to underwrite around £4.3bn in loans for the teams involved.

The proposal breakaway league posed a direct challenge to UEFA’s Champions League and also threatened to devalue Europe’s top domestic leagues.

It attracted widespread protest from fans and outrage from UEFA, FIFA, leagues, clubs, players and politicians, making it a non-starter.

Even Prince William, FA president, joined the chorus of disapproval, tweeting: “I’m glad the united voice of football fans has been heard and listened to.

Prince William is pictured at Wembley to mark his 10th anniversary as FA president
Image:
As president of the FA ,Prince William felt compelled to add his voice to the debate

“It is now really important that we use this moment to secure the future health of the game at all levels.”

The debacle has now prompted a number of questions into football financing and into the hold large owners have over the game.

On Friday, an appeal came for the Glazer family who control Manchester United, to loosen their grip and commit to reducing their combined stake in the club from the current level – which stands at roughly 75% – to a maximum of 49.9%.

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