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The night doomed European Super League was born as Prem Big Six chiefs held secret Dorchester meeting – FOUR years ago

04

THIS is the day the doomed European Super League plot kicked off.

Five Premier League bigwigs booked a room in the Dorchester for a secret summit.

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Owners and execs of the Prem’s Big Six – including Chelsea’s Bruce Buck (front centre), Man City’s Ferran Soriano (back centre), Liverpool’s Ian Ayre (left) and Arsenal’s Ivan Gazidis (right) – first met in 2016 at London’s Dorchester[/caption]
Executives Ed Woodward of Manchester United, Arsenal's Ivan Gazidis, Avi and Joel Glazer and Liverpool's John W Henry were at the dinner in New York
Man Utd’s Ed Woodward and Joel and Avi Glazer then met with Liverpool owner John Henry and Gazidis again in 2017 in New York
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Woodward – who has now quit over the botched Super League – was also present at the 2016 meet[/caption]

SunSport broke the story in March 2016 that a top American TV exec was planning a rival competition to the Champions League that would also undermine the Premier League.

The rest of the Prem demanded answers at the time. And then it came to this – one of the most dramatic 48hrs in the history of the beautiful game.

The only change from that night was that Tottenham got their invite to the party after an original snub.

The faces are mainly familiar. Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Manchester United’s Mister Big Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief exec Ivan Gazidis and Manchester City official Ferran Soriano.

Only Liverpool’s Ian Ayre has left that original cast, moving on to new pastures while his successors continued the plotting.


MORE ON SUPER LEAGUE OUTRAGE


The TV guru behind it was known to them all. The backer was billionaire Stephen Ross, who had already made good money for himself and the clubs with trips and competitions.

Those long-haul games in the International Champions Cup cluttered up the calendar but gave him a toehold and an idea. Why not have a European Super League?

Unfortunately for Ross and his team they did not own the exclusive rights to that concept and five years later someone nicked the plan – and found the same old allies.

Ross and his Relevent Sports company still have the International Champions Cup and even at the start of the year he was trying to promote the European Super League version.

Ironically the ICC competition has not proved lucrative in its original form and he has threatened to pull the plug because it was losing money.

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Plans for a breakway league have been in the offing for years[/caption]
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Former Liverpool exec Ian Ayre was present in 2016[/caption]

Ross, 80, has managed to survive all the same. He is the main owner of Miami Dolphins and his net worth is estimated at £5.44billion.

Since the renegade plans for the franchise-style, closed-shop Super League emerged on Sunday, it has been subject to widespread outrage across the country.

This evening, the pressure became too much for two of the Big Six as it emerged Chelsea and Man City were pulling out.

There is an expectation that Arsenal will follow them – leaving the Super League plans in tatters.

Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool have not yet indicated their intentions.

But cracks have also opened at Manchester United, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sensational QUITTING amid the furore over the breakaway league.

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