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Was Fifa a secret backer of the European Super League project?

Jim Armitage
·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The sight of Manchester United fans rioting nearly a fortnight after the collapse of the Super League fiasco makes it ever more baffling how those behind the plan thought it could possibly work.

More’s to the point, why on earth did its financial backers in London think it would get the fans and domestic league’s approval?

On closer scrutiny, it seems the financiers were hugely naive in their misjudgment, but not entirely stupid.

Why so? Because the terms of JPMorgan’s £2.8 billion funding package show the clubs’ owners were 100% confident it would be a runner.

How do we know this? Because I’m told the contract stated in black and white that the funds would be pulled if either Fifa or Uefa, the international and European governing bodies, did not approve it.

And, reasoned the financiers, the SuperLeaguers would never have agreed to that clause if they didn’t think such approval would be granted.

Some sources say the project’s cheerleaders were led to believe by Fifa that it would tacitly support the plan.

As for Uefa, they figured they could batter it into submission through the courts.

Some even say Fifa hoped it could take over the Super League - battering Uefa’s Champions league.

Fifa would vehemently deny its part in such treachery, naturally.

But there is some evidence for the bit about smashing Uefa into submission with lawyers.

After all, the European Super League Company already had a lawsuit filed in the Madrid commercial court the first working day after launching their plan. The suit was to block Uefa and the domestic leagues from trying to block their project, and the Madrid judge found in the Super League’s favour a day later. That looks like a pre-hatched plan.

Why would Fifa agree to such a dastardly idea?

Perhaps because of a desire to undermine Uefa, but also because the sport is in such a major crisis.

After a year of Covid, clubs like Super League architect Florantino Perez’s Real Madrid need the money.

Years of paying crazy players’ wages have left them in huge financial peril which a Super League could have helped ease.

Now, not only are club owners who signed up to it never going to get that lifeline, but they face the prospect of having to cough up multi million pound break fees to get out of the Super League contract.

The misery for the club owners continues.

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