Tucked away in the pages and pages of financial and legal jargon that constitute the founding contract of the Super League, the failed project that last month briefly threatened the century-old structures and economics of European soccer, were references to one “essential” requirement.
The condition was deemed so important that organizers agreed that the breakaway plan could not succeed without satisfying it and yet was so secret that it was given a code name even in contracts shared among the founders.
Those documents, copies of which were reviewed by The New York Times, refer to the need for the Super League founders to strike an agreement with an entity obliquely labeled W01 but easily identifiable as FIFA, soccer’s global governing body.
That agreement, the documents said, was “an essential condition for the implementation of the SL project.”Publicly, FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, have joined other soccer leaders, fans and politicians in slamming the short-lived Super League project, which would have allowed a small group of elite European teams — a group that included Spain’s Real Madrid, Italy’s Juventus and the English powerhouses Manchester United and Liverpool, among others — to accumulate an ever larger share of the sport’s wealth.
Super League, The New York Times, FIFA, SL, Publicly, League, Spain’s Real, Italy’s Juventus, Manchester United, Liverpool
Spain’s Real Madrid