12 European Soccer Clubs, Backed By JPMorgan Chase, Break From UEFA To Form Rival League

12 European Soccer Clubs, Backed By JPMorgan Chase, Break From UEFA To Form Rival League

(Photo by Comfreak / Pixabay)

In what could arguably qualify as the 21st-century equivalent as the shot heard around the world, 12 of the largest soccer clubs in Europe, with financial sponsorship from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), have defected from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to create the Super League, a rival for both the allegiance of the continent’s soccer fans and for the lucrative corporate sponsorships that back the sport.

What Happened: The new league was formed by six English teams (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United PLC (MANU) and Tottenham), three Italian teams (A.C. Milan, Inter and Juventus) and three Spanish teams (Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid). Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid, is the chairman of the new league.

In a press statement, the league’s organizers promised that “a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.” A corresponding women’s league will be planned after the men’s league is up and running, the statement added.

Who's Paying For It: JPMorgan Chase is providing grant funding to help kickstart the league's operations. The Associated Press is reporting the 15 founding Super League members will each receive at least $4.2 billion in initial infrastructure grants, with the money divided among four tiers of clubs, with the top six each getting $420 million.

Super League organizers are planning to generate $4.86 billion annually from broadcasters covering their games. The UEFA, in comparison, has generated $3.9 billion for each of the past three seasons in the broadcast rights from its Champions League, Europa League, and UEFA Super Cup games.

Then there is the question of whether the Super League can attract super-sized marketing deals from the world's major companies. The corporate sponsors of UEFA’s multiple tournaments and endeavors reads like a Who’s Who of multinational monoliths, with the likes of Banco Santander SA (SAN), Coca-Cola Co (KO), Expedia Group Inc (EXPE), FedEx Corporation (FDX), Gazprom PAO (OGZPY), Heineken N.V. (HEINY), Mastercard Inc (MA), Nike Inc (NKE), Nissan Motor Company (NSANY), Visa (V), and Volkswagen (VWAGY) adding their brand names and money to the games.

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