The backers of the short-lived Super League are learning that breakups can be messy, even for a 48-hour fling.
JPMorgan, which had fortified the project with around $4 billion in pledged loans, apologized for its involvement in a corporate statement, saying it “clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future.”
Arsenal, Manchester United, and Liverpool also apologized for their involvement in the project.
FC Barcelona took a different approach with a statement on Thursday, defending the Super League while conceding that the public outcry against the idea warrants an “in-depth analysis” with “time and the necessary composure to avoid taking any rash action.”
The club also called for “structural reforms to guarantee the financial sustainability and feasibility of world football.”
Notably, Barcelona did not disavow or even say it would withdraw from the Super League. Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid are the three holdouts of the dozen teams that initially committed to the league.
Barcelona is reportedly prepping a three-year offer to its superstar Lionel Messi. Messi, who is believed to have his eye on Major League Soccer, is on a $672 million contract which expires June 30.
Spanish outlet Vozpopuli reported that teams would be fined around $362 million for leaving the Super League, but the league has refuted that claim. It’s possible that teams would simply be forced to return an entry bonus of the same amount.