JP Morgan Chase scored an own goal in his Superliga

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Perhaps JPMorgan Chase is too wealthy and powerful to be cared about. He was definitely surprised. Presumably, European executives failed to warn presidents in New York that a multimillion-dollar plan to change the face of European football in favor of dozens of super-rich people risked unleashing a political storm.

As a financial sponsor of the European Premier League, the bank can now take comfort in the fact that the idea has collapsed very quickly under the weight of the protests. Often times, Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Emmanuel Macron, the French president, would agree on something, but the view from Downing Street and the Elysee was the same.

Here was a group of globalizationists on Wall Street seeking to reorganize the most popular game in Europe without regard to the opinions or interests of managers, players and supporters. JPMorgan Chase can at least now limit reputation damage.

But you have to wonder what the bank was thinking when it agreed to sign the new bid for 3,250 million euros, and each member promised to pay an initial payment of between 200 and 300 million euros. Twelve clubs have already been registered.

No one at JPMorgan Chase has apparently read the letter to shareholders that its Chairman and CEO Jimmy Dimon wrote in the bank’s most recent annual report. Released just this month, the letter outlined Damon’s well-publicized efforts to position the bank as a leader in the happy new world of socially responsible and sustainable capitalism.

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He placed particular emphasis on the alignment of the bank’s values ​​with those of the “communities” in which it operates around the world: “As you know, we have long championed the fundamental role of banking in society: its ability to unite people to enable companies and individuals to fulfill their dreams.”

Tell the players and supporters of these sacred institutions like Manchester United and Liverpool, and the societies in which these great teams originated. The plan to replace the current Champions League with a “close” competition between the richest clubs in Europe promised to break the game’s traditions, destroy its competitive spirit and mock the towns and cities where the teams had taken root.

It does not matter to “societies”. This was an arrangement that perfectly illustrated everything that was wrong with globalization. The new league is designed with one purpose: to obtain a greater share of revenue from the broadcast rights of wealthy owners and to ensure the stability of their profits by eliminating the risk of a club being excluded from the competition.

The flip side was that it would have eliminated the game’s competitive momentum. This is what makes football exciting: open tournaments that reward success on the field with a chance to climb to the top, and along the way, defeating the powerful when their performances decline. In the new scheme of things, local fans, once again, will lower those “communities”, second only to profitable digital subscribers thousands of miles away. Fans could have been called “backward”.

The epidemic, which has destroyed the financial resources of many sports, played its role. Four of the twelve clubs have US owners. They might have assumed that a closed system that appears to function for baseball and football could be transported to the other side of the Atlantic. But this is one of the concepts of globalization. You should be able to sell the same everywhere.

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I still hear from people baffled by the rise of populism. Really there is no mystery. The roots of the revolts against the elites go back to the often fair perception that the system was rigged. The wealthy have seized the benefits of globalization and technological progress, while those at the bottom of the ladder have been forced to confront economic insecurity. Unbridled capitalism trampled on traditions and contemplated the interests of local communities.

Premier League club owners have suggested applying this formula to European football. In the description of Alexander Ceferin, Uefa, chairman of the board of directors of European Games, the plan was to create a “closed shop run by a few greedy ones”. Almost everyone who had a passing role or interest in the so-called fine play agreed with him. Damon now wishes to wonder how JP Morgan Chase found himself on the wrong side of this argument.

(Taken from the Finacial Times / Cubadebate translation)

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