Good morning, everyone! Happy Friday.
In which you all entertain my Francophilia
As the latter months of the season have worn on, there has been no shortage of intriguing storylines swirling around world football, whether it be Inter’s bid to be the first Italian team in a decade to dethrone Juventus in Serie A, the big three duking it out at the top of the table in Spain, or the race for the Champions League by a logjam of English clubs, none of whom seem to actually want it.
What’s flown under the radar, at least in my anecdotal experience, is that the French domestic league, Ligue 1, is a fucking dogfight. There are four clubs that are a clear cut above the rest: Lille LOSC, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Monaco, and Olympique Lyonnais, who are biting and scratching it out for the league title. Only three points separate Lille, currently in first, from Lyon, in fourth.
One would think that PSG, the strongest side by a wide margin on paper, would be heavy favorites to end up on top once the dust has settled. While they definitely have a major chance to do so, and probably do have the single highest probability of the four clubs, it’s by no means a formality. PSG still have to play RC Lens, FC Metz, and Stade Rennais, three clubs in the top half of the table. On the other hand, PSG do have an advantage, because both Monaco and Lille have to play Olympique Lyon, so at least some combination of the three clubs is guaranteed to drop points by the end of the season. PSG’s best chance is if Lyon beats Monaco and/or Lille, allowing PSG to leapfrog into the driver’s seat.
If, by any chance, you’re interested in watching how the league plays out, a good day to start would be this Sunday, when Lyon hosts Lille at 3 PM EST. I know I’ll be watching.
JPMorgan Apologizes (!) for its role in the European Super League
Well this isn’t something you see every day. The American financial giant JPMorgan Chase has apologized for its role in the European Super League. The investment bank was reportedly set to provide much of the initial financing for the project, but with the project collapsing earlier this week, the bank has issued an apology.
NEW: JPMorgan Chase apologizes for backing the failed Super League, saying "We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future.”— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 23, 2021
Far be it from me to suggest that the same bank that famously misled investors about securities containing toxic mortgages is probably less concerned with the integrity of European soccer than they are being associated with one of the worst public relations movements in living memory.
Apropos of nothing, my favorite part of that clip is Andrew Ross Sorkin struggling to piece together even the barest level of detail about this story, probably begging his producers to cut to commercials in his mind. Clearly, soccer has a long way to go in the Wall Street finance bro universe.
The Daily Buzz
Which club do you think will win Ligue 1 once the dust has settled?