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Banking giant JPMorgan on Super League debacle: “We clearly misjudged”

Jim Armitage
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Banking giant JPMorgan today spoke for the first time about its role in helping with the planned European Super League, admitting it had “clearly misjudged” how the project would be received.

The US firm, which employs thousands in London, assembled a multi-billion pound financial package to underwrite the tournament.

However, the plan was scrapped within days this week amid an unprecedented uproar from fans, domestic leagues, and even the Prime Minister.

JPMorgan said in a statement: “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 bank has received a tide of abuse for getting involved in the project by agreeing to underwrite a e3.25 billion fund to promise initial payments of e200 million to e300 million for clubs who joined.

Its spectacular misjudgement of the football loving public’s mood stood in stark opposition to chief executive Jamie Dimon’s loudly vaunted efforts to beef up his company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials.

In his latest annual report he talked of how JPMorgan championed “the essential role of banking in a community - its potential for bringing people together...”

The Super League proposal did achieve that, but only by unifying the footballing community against it.

Standard Ethics, a sustainability rating agency which grades companies’ ethical standing like a credit rating agency grades creditworthiness, downgraded JPMorgan from “adequate” to “non-compliant”.

The bank’s near-apology today could go some way towards mending its reputation, which already took a hit recently from its role in the Deliveroo flotation, which proved to be wildly overvalued and plunged in value when shares began trading.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were advisers on the IPO.

Former Labour shadow business minister Chuka Umunna had just started working for the bank as its head of ESG. He was not said to have been involved in the Super League project.

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