- JPMorgan Chase wants to finance the development of a media business for Italy’s top-tier soccer league, in a deal worth up to €1 billion ($1.08 billion), Reuters reported Thursday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
- The bank’s interest in the 20-club Serie A marks an attempt by JPMorgan to revisit a soccer-focused financing deal. The $3.7 trillion-asset bank was the financial backer of a proposed European Super League in 2021 before the project collapsed following widespread criticism.
- JPMorgan is not the only bank to consider providing financing to the league. Goldman Sachs sent a letter to Serie A’s top officials expressing preliminary interest in helping find funding to develop the league’s media business, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Under JPMorgan’s plan, Serie A’s media rights would serve as the collateral to back the bank’s financing, a source told Reuters.
The league’s clubs are expected to assess in the coming weeks how to proceed regarding banks’ interest, Reuters reported.
Goldman, meanwhile, had come forward as early as October, Reuters reported Friday, but news of the bank’s interest didn’t surface until after JPMorgan’s offer was reported.
Serie A, which has been searching for ways to boost revenue and its global appeal, has been considering options to generate more income from its media rights by forming a media unit, Reuters reported. The move, sources said, would open the league up to external investors.
JPMorgan is expected to be able to provide between €700 million and €1 billion to support the creation of Serie A’s media unit, a source told Reuters.
The move comes two years after the dissolution of the $4.8 billion JPMorgan-backed European Super League.
That venture would have formed a breakaway league comprising the continent’s biggest clubs, a move many critics viewed as a major upheaval to European soccer.
JPMorgan’s ties to the project garnered backlash from European soccer fans, particularly in the U.K., where the firm was preparing to launch a digital platform.
The bank’s Italian venture, however, likely won’t face the same level of scrutiny, as it would align the lender with an established league rather than position it as the underwriter of a controversial rogue competition.
JPMorgan declined Banking Dive’s request for comment.